Freo charity wool auction leaves warm and fuzzy feelings

Bob GarnantCountryman
AWEX western region wool technical officer Andrew Rickwood and Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation director Paul Foley with the fundraising wool.
Camera IconAWEX western region wool technical officer Andrew Rickwood and Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation director Paul Foley with the fundraising wool. Credit: Bob Garnant

The 2019–20 wool market season recorded its second week of higher values, with the benchmark indicator rising 31¢/kg to close at 1754¢/kg clean.

Australian Wool Exchange senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the final 34,080–bale sale before the annual mid-year three–week recess was down by 19,350 bales on the corresponding sale of the previous season.

“Due to seasonal conditions, the size of the Australian wool clip is expected to decline further this season,” he said.

“The Eastern Market Indicator has now risen for both sales of the 2019–20 season, a much–welcomed result after the prolonged run of losses to finish the 2018–19 season.”

At WA’s last sale before the recess, the Western Market Indicator recorded a 27¢/kg increase to close at 1894¢/kg clean with an inaugural funding appeal a highlight of the Fremantle sale.

The WA wool industry raised $31,000 for country people in need through the sale of 17 donated bales of wool at the sale.

The appeal was through the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation, a Melbourne-based support service established in 2015 to provide for rural families or children in need.

Foundation director Paul Foley, based at Fremantle, hopes the charity auction will go nationwide while keeping its WA flavour. “In Fremantle, we raised $31,000 and the next day $54,000 was raised in Melbourne,” he said.

“It was a fantastic result for the wool industry to assist those in need. Michael passed away in July, 2014, after a short battle with cancer, he was 61.”

Mr Foley said Mr Manion was a larger than life, gregarious person who had empathy for people.

“He was the founding member and managing director of Segard Masurel Australia, based in Melbourne,” he said.

Mr Foley said Mr Manion was well respected within the wool trade and known for his good-natured character and wool expertise.

“During his lifetime in the wool industry he always went out of his way to mentor and help young people in the trade,” he said.

“Out of respect for Michael, the foundation is a way to honour his namesake and make a big impact raising funds for the rural community.”

Mr Foley said people on the land can find it tough at times – “they’re at the mercy of the gods and sometimes children suffer because of it”.

“This foundation is here to support rural families in need due to the likes of illness or accidents,” he said.

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