The Wool industry is a vital component of the Australian economy. The Royal Australian Mint
has issued this one dollar
piece to celebrate the long history of the Australian wool trade. The reverse
was designed by Vladimir Gottwald and shows a sheep being sheared. There is also an outline of Australia and the wool emblem
along with the denomination. The reverselegend
states "RIDING ON THE SHEEP'S BACK - AUSTRALIAN WOOL". The obverse
features an Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, right-facing and crowned with the
"ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2011".
Sheep were first imported to Australia in 1797 by John Macarthur and Reverend Samuel Marsden. By 1840 a thriving wool
industry had emerged with over two million kilograms of wool was being produced annually. The wool business quickly became
essential to Australia's economy eventually supporting the establishment and growth of local shipping companies and consignors.
Today the Australian wool industry continues to be significant and has won numerous awards for the quality of its product.
The worlds largest sheep and wool show, the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, is held annually in the regional Victorian town
of Bendigo. First run in 1877 the show today displays the finest Australian wool with hundreds of woollen fashions on display.
Competitions and smaller attractions are also held at the event with sheepdogs, speed-shearing, and animal nursery's. Australian
merino is considered among the worlds finest. The reason for its exceptional quality can be traced to the knowledge and proficiency
of Australian wool farmers. Their knowledge of breeding and their understanding of how to utilise Australia's harsh climate
allows for the creation of natural fibres that are fine but exceptionally durable.
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