James Braszell Photography at Wool Academy Podcast

#097 James Braszell about life as a shearer and photographer

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James Braszell is a full-time shearer based in Australia. James found a creative way of sharing his passion for his work and life in the shearing sheds through his photography. Every day while shearing, James captures unique moments of life in the shearing shed.

In his Wool Academy Podcast interview, James shares insights into the work and life as a shearer and how he developed his second career as a photographer.

About James Braszell

In 2013, James Braszell, started working full time in rural Australia as a rouseabout. He wasn’t long into his time in the woolsheds when he realised it would be worth getting a camera and capturing the unique scenes he found around me every day. The people, the places, the animals and even the dirt and the dust – there was so much to capture everywhere he went! That was how James started his photography business.

Years later and his passion for the job has now only grown and he is now shearing full time. His photography has taken him all over the country and into countless woolsheds and farms where he has met many wonderful people on the way and snapped thousands of photos.


Connect with James Braszell here

Photography website 

Follow James’s photos on Instagram and Facebook


Other podcasts you may enjoy

#024: Ari Kuchar on telling wool stories through video

#058: Chantel McAlister tells the truth about wool

#070: Mark Grave about the services of the Australian Wool Exchange








Allan De Boos The Woolmark Company

#096: Allan De Boos about successful wool education

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Allan De Boos has been working in the wool industry his whole career. As the Programme Manager responsible for the Woolmark Wool Education Course at tertiary level he shares his knowledge with the wool industry’s future designers and engineers. In this episode, he talks about the programme and explains the importance of educating students in wool for the innovations of the future.

About Allan De Boos

Dr. Allan de Boos is a graduate of the University of NSW (Textile Technology – Chemistry) and the Victoria University of Manchester (Dept Chemical Physics). He was employed by CSIRO Division of Wool Technology from 1968-2002 conducting research into the chemical and mechanical finishing of wool and wool-blend fabrics.

While at CSIRO he worked closely with fabric and garment manufacturers particularly in Italy and the UK, on the exploitation of SiroFAST and other systems for fabric objective measurement for fabric and garment manufacturing.

Over the last 15 years, Allan has worked for Australian Wool Innovation and is currently the Programme Manager responsible for Woolmark Wool Education Course at tertiary level. Over the past four years, he has delivered the Woolmark Course at Yantai-Nanshan university in Nanshan, China. The delivery involves two periods, each of two months, working in Nanshan. This year he will also be delivering units at Jiaxing University.

In addition to delivery of the course units, Allan conducts ‘course familiarisation’ sessions with staff from other Chinese universities so that they can evaluate the course and its materials for inclusion in the university undergraduate programme for textile engineers.

Allan also manages the delivery of units of the course at several other textile-related universities in China by staff from Deakin University (Australia).


About AWI/The Woolmark Company

AWI is the research development and marketing (RD&M) organisation for the Australian wool industry.

AWI’s mission is to invest in research, development, marketing and promotion to enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wool
industry and increase demand and market access for Australian wool.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and its subsidiary The Woolmark Company (TWC) represent the interests of 55,000 wool growers in Australia.

AWI is proud of what it has achieved for Australian wool growers. In FY17 AWI invested $71 million in 398 projects with 140 partners worldwide. These included leading international brands and sport companies such as Nike and Adidas who recognise their customers are interested in natural fibre, and in particular wool, in clothes, running shoes, and soft tailoring.

Connect with AWI and the Wool Education Course

Wool Appreciation Course

AWI website

The Woolmark Company website


Other episodes you may enjoy

#017: Angus Ireland about the latest wool research Edit

#064: Nora Kuehner explains the key trends for wool

#070: Mark Grave about the services of the Australian Wool Exchange

#078: Jimmy Jackson about wool knitting manufacturing in China

#086 Peter Morgan about the Australian Wool Export Industry

#095 Yolanda Leask and Martin Brambley about Cloudwool

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Yolanda Leask and Martin Brambley are the two young entrepreneurs behind the company Doppelhaus. In this episode, the two fashion textile experts talk about their product Cloudwool. Cloudwool is a non-woven fabric made out of wool. Yolanda and Martin share how they came up for the idea of Cloudwool and what they are trying to achieve with this product for wool and the planet.

About Doppelhaus

Yolanda Leask and Martin Brambley are the founders and Directors of Doppelhaus Ltd.

Doppelhaus Ltd is a textile company specialising in utilising non-woven technology for the creation of high-quality fabrics. Their novel approach involves meticulous consideration and research in to supply chains, sustainability and surface technology/design.

Yolanda’s and Martin’s vision remains to develop and produce reliable, high-quality textiles for many industries. They are on hand to impart their unparalleled creativity and passion into a project you may have. The two are based in London & Berlin.

Connect with Yolanda Leask and Martin Brambley from Doppelhaus

Doppelhaus website

Doppelhaus on Instagram and Twitter


Similar episodes you may enjoy

#082 Jacob Long about re-launching American Woolen

#089 Evan Helle about his sheep to shelf brand Duckworth

#090 Derelee Potroz-Smith is turning wool into gold with Woolchemy

Cobus Osthuizen

#094 Cobus Oosthuizen puts wool to test during a 250 km desert race

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Cobus Ooosthuizen has always wanted to bust advertisement claims and proof them wrong. That is also why he took on the wool industry to proof the outrages claims the industry was making about wool as false. These claims about wool included that wool was soft, durable, cool when it is hot, warm when it is cold, breathable, UV protective, odour resistant etc. Cobus Oosthuizen tested a wool t-shirt during a 250 km running race for 6 days through the South African desert.

Cobus talked about his experience with wool at the last IWTO Wool Round Table in South Africa. This episode is a live recording from the event. Listen to the amazing story of how Cobus ran for 6 days through the South African desert with temperatures of 42-52 degrees Celcius to test wool’s marketing claims.

About Cobus Oosthuizen

Dr. Oosthuizen is passionate about change…”that moment when you discover something and you know you can never go back to the way things use to be.” It is his drive and passion to see everyone have moments like these, leading them to more productive, effective, healthy and purposeful lives.” As the founder of LifeXchange and owner of LifeXchange Solutions, Cobus and his incredible team of experts are leading both communities, schools, and churches as well as small, medium and large business and corporate clients into effective mentoring and change management processes!

Cobus is married, has an 8-year-old daughter, lives in Cape Town and is always ready to show you that you are more capable than what you could ever imagine!

Connect with Cobus Oosthuizen here

LifeXchange website

LifeXchange Facebook

The T-Shirt Cobus wore was from Core Merino

Cobus was sponsored by Cape Wools, Core Merino and NWGA


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#038: Francesco Botto Poala from Rewoolution

#039: David Michell from IO Merino

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Francesco Botto Reda and Rewoolution

#093: Francesco Botto Poala takes us behind the scenes of Reda 1865

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Francesco Botto Poala is the Chief Operating Officer at the well known vertically integrated weaving company Reda 1865. In this episode, Francesco talks about how the company strives for continued success through quality and innovation. Francesco explains that innovation means to be always willing to change and adapt in order to survive. Traceability, animal welfare and environmental standards are of highest concern to Reda. Francesco explains how the company tracks and traces its own progress in these areas while setting the benchmark for other companies as well. Francesco goes even so far to discuss why consumers are also asking for this kind of level of transparency and responsibility.
Listeners will also gain insights on the challenges of founding the sportsbrand Rewoolution and the brand’s social media activities.

About Francesco Botto Poala

Born in Biella in 1964, after completing school education in Italy, Francesco Botto Poala starts building his 360° experience, both at home and abroad. Francesco works in London for a fabrics wholesale and for a short period also for a mill in Scotland, then for a garment manufacturer in Italy and after this experience, he joins Reda the family company in textile since 1865.

Francesco was appointed for 4 years as a Sales Manager for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and around 1989 he got his first experience with wool working for 3 months for the Australian Wool Corporation, and after buying wool for several years in 1993 the company bought the first of the 3 farms in New Zealand. This gave Francesco the opportunity to get experience also in the farming side and in classing wool. Since 1990 he started to get a lot of knowledge of the business in all its different facets, and in particular, he was more and more involved in the mill’s production process and the related technical aspects. Francesco was responsible for raw material supply and right after he was in charge of the farms in New Zealand.  But, it is in the year 2000, that he became the mill’s COO.

Francesco is also a board member of different companies and President of the spinning mill CB Spa and a combing mill Pettinatura lane Romagnano Sesia Spa.

Connect with Francesco Botto Poala here

Reda 1865 website

Similar episodes you may enjoy as well

#039 David Michell on building synergies by running two different wool businesses

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#082 Jacob Long about re-launching American Woolen

Dave Maslen

#092: Dave Maslen about giving consumers a great wool experience

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Dave Maslen introduces the New Zealand Merino Company in this Wool Academy Podcast interview. Dave explains the different benefits NZM offers to its wool growers, supply chain partners and brand retailers. He also talks about the research NZM conducted to better understand the environmental impacts of wool. Dave  is also an expert when it comes to understanding the passionate wool consumer and what it takes to turn first-time wool customers into raving fans.

About Dave Maslen

Dave Maslen is the Global Partnerships Manager at the New Zealand Merino Company. This involves taking primary responsibility for NZM’s key international relationships with its retail brand partners and supply chain partners. He is responsible for NZM’s marketing activities, maintenance and growth of existing business, development of new business, supply chain and contract management, strategic growth initiatives, research and development, and sustainability, traceability and ethical production. Dave has a background in environmental science and sustainable land management, and is engaged globally with a broad range of agencies focused on sustainability.

Connect with Dave Maslen here

The New Zealand Merino Company website

The ZQ Merino accreditation programme

NZM on Facebook and Twitter

ZQ Merino on Facebook

ZQ Merino Fibre Factsheet


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#049 Dr. Beverley Henry about Wool Life Cycle Assessment
#075 Ingun Klepp on how consumer research reveals new business opportunities for wool Edit
#076 Stephen Wiedemann about Wool Life Cycle Assessment
Ben Watts from Bralca at Wool Academy Podcast 055 1200x630

#091: Ben Watts about how automation is helping wool growers on farm

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Ben Watts is a wool grower based in Australia who is using automation technology to help him run is farm more efficiently and more effectively. Drones, RFID tags or automated scales all help Ben look after his sheep, the farm, ensure the health of his stock and improve is production and therefore his overall business. Ben explains in this episodes how the different technologies work and how they aid wool growers, sheep and consumers. As Ben saw so much success with the new types of technologies he also started his own consulting and training company, Bralca, to assist other wool growers achieve the same goals. Listen to the fascinating world of automation on farm.

About Ben Watts

Ben has been working in the merino industry over the past 25 years, in this time ben has managed sheep farms for corporate business’ up until 2005 when he and his wife Fiona purchased their second farm and began to focus on utilizing automation.

In this time Ben has developed commercial applications for a number of technologies to better utilize skilled labour by reducing repetitive tasks, providing meaningful live information and identifying individual animals within large commercial flocks.

Traditionally data collection has been based on manual processes to collect mob based information. Utilising individual electronic ID, Ben uses remote data collection for live monitoring of animal body weights, matching ewes to lambs and recording animal treatments.

In the past two years, Ben has incorporated the use of Drones to track stock, monitor water and measure pasture growth. This has provided a new level of automated monitoring to assist in management.

Connect with Ben Watts from Bralca

Bralca website

Ben Watts LinkedIn profile


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#025: Jen Hunter is educating consumers by giving them the real farm experience

#021: Philip Attard about creating the Gostwyck Merino Brand

#018: Geoff Kingwill about wool growing in the semi-desert

#058: Chantel McAlister tells the truth about wool

Derelee Potroz-Smith Woolchemy on the Wool Academy Podcast

#090 Derelee Potroz-Smith is turning wool into gold with Woolchemy

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Derelee Potroz-Smith is the CEO and Co-founder of Woolchemy based in New Zealand. Woolchemy processes wool with its innovative neweZorb treatment to make it super-absorbent. In this Wool Academy podcast, Derelee tells the story of how she and her mother came up with the idea for Woolchemy and how she developed the business over the past 10 years.

About Derelee Potroz-Smith

Derelee Potroz-Smith is the CEO and Co-Founder of Woolchemy in New Zealand.  She is a mother of three boys, an engineer, and an environmentalist. Her company Woolchemy have formulated a world first method that makes sheep wool super-absorbent for use in multiple moisture management applications. In 2017, Woolchemy was named finalists in the ’Going Circular’ category of the New Zealand NZI Sustainable Business Awards. Derelee comes from a wool producing upbringing and her mission is to pay farmers fairly for their wool clip and creating innovative biodegradable products for the better of our planet and our people.

Connect with Derelee Potroz-Smith here

Woolchemy website

Woolchemy on Facebook and LinkedIn

Other episodes you may enjoy

#033 Philippa Wright always brings on a new perspective to be successful in wool

#036 Dave Maslen about giving consumers a great wool experience

#041 Graham Ormondoryd on how wool improves indoor air quality

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#075 Ingun Klepp on how consumer research reveals new business opportunities for wool

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#082 Jacob Long about re-launching American Woolen

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Evan Helle from Durckworth on the Wool Academy Podcast

#089 Evan Helle about his sheep to shelf brand Duckworth

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Evan Helle is a fourth generation sheep rancher and co-founder of the merino wool retail brand Duckworth. In this episode, Evan shares the story of his family, the family ranch and the decision to add more value to their wool by starting an apparel business. He shares insights into the benefits and hurdles of running a vertically integrated business and the importance of preserving wool skills and knowledge locally.

About Evan Helle

Evan Helle is a fourth generation sheep rancher and co-founder of Duckworth. He is an active member of the American Sheep Industry Association, Montana Wool Growers, and Southwest Montana Stockman’s Association.

Shortly after graduating from Montana State University-Bozeman in 2014, with degrees in Agriculture Business and Economics, he jumped into the fledgeling company Duckworth to help launch the startup. Excelling at computer database and software integration, he built the tools required to carve out a vertically integrated U.S. supply chain from Sheep to Shelf™.

After Duckworth was up and running, Evan moved back to his hometown of Dillon where he manages Duckworth’s fabric production remotely and helps on the ranch. He is also an active ambassador for Duckworth and attends trade shows, sales events, and helps with social media.

Evan’s focus is to grow the supply of wool for Duckworth by reaching out to fellow wool producers who buy Helle Rambouillet seed stock. He also is working on integrating new genetic software, management practices, and helping to develop fine wool breeding indexes aimed at improving wool production and quality.

Connect with Evan Helle here

Duckworth website

Duckworth Journal

Duckworth on Facebook and Instagram

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#005: Mac Bishop shares his insights about starting Wool & Prince

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#047 Nick Armentrout about the all American wool supply chain at Ramblers Way

#068 Chad North about launching a wool kerchief

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#082 Jacob Long about re-launching American Woolen

John Roberts from The Woolmark Company at the Wool Academy Podcast

#088 John Roberts about the Woolmark Resource Centre

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John Roberts is the General Manager Eastern Hemisphere of the Woolmark Company – Australian Wool Innovation. IN his position he leads the Asian Woolmark offices as well as the Woolmark Resource Centre. In this interview, John Roberts shares insights into the Asian wool consumer and manufacturing markets. John also explains the concept and goal of the inspiring state of the art Woolmark Resrouce Centre.

About John Roberts

John brings nearly 30 years experience in the Wool Industry having worked in a wide range of industry sectors from primary production to processing, marketing and trading. He stems from a wool producing family in Binalong, NSW and started his career in the industry as a shipping and administration clerk for the Exporter Booth Hill & New Pty Ltd in Sydney in 1988.

Since that time he spent a number of years as a wool buyer in Sydney before moving into wool trading. He continued to expand his experience in the industry working as the Senior Trader for Agrisk Pty Ltd developing risk management tools for wool growers before moving to Dubbo, NSW as the Topmaking and Trading Manager at Fletcher International.

John returned to the Booth group (then owned by the German topmaker BWK) where he assumed the role of Trading Manager for both greasy wool and wool tops, based in Melbourne. He covered numerous key markets in his time trading including Italy, India, UK, USA Eastern Europe and China. As the groups processing expanded John was also overseeing the blending, processing and selling of wool tops ex Austops in Parkes, and the Geelong Wool Combing mill.

When Elders bought BWK in 2000 John relocated to Adelaide and was able to work on a number of new sales initiatives that linked his extensive global sales network to Australian Wool Growers via the Elders broking arm. He extended this work when he was appointed to the role of Marketing & Trading Manager – China, based in Shanghai for 3 years. In that time he initiated the first Australian wool auctions held in China, developed a number of new mill direct selling avenues, led numerous farmer tours to China, and negotiated the sale of Austops and Joint Venture of Geelong Wool Combing with the Nanshan Group.

John returned to Australia in 2006 in the role of General Manager for Elders Wool International where he oversaw the groups greasy wool trading and commission combing operations globally including the New Zealand greasy exporter J.S. Brooksbank.

More recently John was General Manager of Dalgety Wool Exports before starting his own agricultural consulting business Eubindal Pty Ltd where he has worked on export initiatives in the wine and wool industries. He has spent the last 18 months working as the Executive Officer of the Wool Selling Systems Review that was commissioned by AWI.

Connect with John Roberts here

The Woolmark Company website

Woolmark Resource Centre

Australian Wool Innovation website


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#011: Roy Kettlewell explains how finishing processes bring out the best in wool

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