Wool group has a new boss

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A Newly appointed wool man to take the reins at the NCWSBA.
Camera IconA Newly appointed wool man to take the reins at the NCWSBA. Credit: Bob Garnant/The West Australian, Bob Garnant Picture: Bob Garnant

With a strong farming background and a university education in agriculture, Victorian Paul Deane is looking forward to his new role in Australia’s $2 billion wool industry.

Mr Deane started his new role as the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director on Monday, replacing Chris Wilcox, who retired last week after 13 years.

He will also continue the role he has held at Melbourne University since 2016, lecturing in agricultural markets, agribusiness investment, risk management and applied farm economics.

Born on a mixed sheep and cropping farm in Wahring, Victoria, Mr Deane developed a strong affinity to agriculture, knowing the farm had been in the family since the 1890s.

“We farmed in a mixed dryland area in central Victoria, predominately winter cropping — wheat, canola and sheep,” he said.

“I also grew up spending time in shearing sheds as my father was a local shearer in the area.

Newly appointed National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Paul Deane.
Camera IconNewly appointed National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Paul Deane. Credit: NCWSBA

“I am very much looking forward to my new role.”

And he’s also worked as a senior agricultural economist at ANZ Bank from 2008 to 2016, leading the development and promotion of the bank’s research in the agribusiness sector.

In that role, he advised government, corporate and institutional agribusinesses ranging from global trade houses, processors and global consumer food and fibre brands.

Mr Deane developed in-depth knowledge across Australia and international markets and supply chains across the grains, sugar, natural fibres, fertiliser, biofuels and animal protein sectors.

From 2004 to 2008, as the Woolmark Company’s market intelligence lead economist on various projects, Mr Deane covered the industry from raw wool to retail.

His projects included market demand potential and customer requirements for ethical Merino wool in Western Europe, Japan and US.

He also worked on revitalising demand for Uruguayan wool in China and Australian wool production in the pastoral zone. During his time with the Woolmark Company, Mr Deane also served as Australian and State Wool Production Forecasting Committee secretary and principal analyst.

Mr Deane was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne and went on to complete a masters via research and thesis, evaluating the profitability and market suitability for new Merino genetics.

“My master’s degree was on controversial innovation in sheep selection during the Soft Rolling Skin era, to change certain characteristics of wool which had significant implications for the wool processing industry,” he said.

“My thesis evaluated the benefits and costs and the potential implications throughout the wool supply chain for auction buyers, processors and consumers.”

NCWSBA president Rowan Woods said he was thrilled to appoint Mr Deane.

“With Paul’s appointment, we can look forward to continuing to provide key benefits to members, including a weekly market analysis newsletter,” he said.

“Paul will be working with industry on issues such as how new technologies can enhance both the efficiency and transparency for the sale of wool throughout the supply chain.”

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