Some 80 million sheep were shorn in Australia in 2011-12 but Australia had as many as 180 million sheep in 1990. Up until the 1960’s it was often said that “Australia rode on the sheep’s back”. While today the number of sheep is dramatically less than in the 1950’s, the quality of the wool and sheep meat Australia produces today continues to make this industry an important part of the Australian economy. Fluctuating prices and droughts makes sheep husbandry difficult and many farmers have sold their stock and moved off the land.
I feel it’s important to document a job and a way of life that has been so important to Australia’s past but struggles to keep pace with Australia’s mineral driven future.
These images represent the start of a project that documents the wool & sheep industry as it is in Australia today. Discovering the whole chain, the people, the practice, the product. From the shorn sheep to the tailor made suit.
The Glenhaven property has been in the Laurie family for over 100 years and has been passed down through the generations. In 2012 I spent a few days with the Laurie’s when they were shearing.