NCWSBA Centenary

NCWSBA Centenary 1920-2020 

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The Australian wool industry is an iconic part of Australia’s history and its economy. Wool broking companies have played a vital role in that history and the industry’s contribution to the Australian economy. The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia was established in December 1919 and held its first meeting in January 1920. The National Council therefore celebrates its centenary in 2020.

NCWSBA replaced the Federation of Wool Broker Associations following discussions to form a national body between the various state wool broking organisations. The state bodies were concerned about the significant stockpile of wool which had been paid for by the British Government under the compulsory war acquisitions scheme but had not been delivered. They feared it would cause wool prices to fall as the new seasons production became available. The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia was formed, with the articles of association agreed in December 1919. The intention was that the National Council would only operate for 2 years to negotiate with the Australian Government on the war wool stockpile. Yet, we now celebrate the Centenary of NCWSBA, with two major events.

Over years, the National Council has been actively involved in the major issues in the wool industry in Australia, including:

  • the compulsory acquisition scheme for the Second World War and then the sale of the stockpile at the end of the War
  • the establishment of the Australian Wool Testing Authority in 1957
  • the debates through the 1960s about setting up a price scheme to stabilise wool prices
  • the establishment of the Australian Wool Commission in 1970 and of the Australian Wool Corporation in 1972
  • the introduction of sale-by-sample in the 1972-73 season
  • the introduction of the Reserve Price Scheme in 1974
  • the establishment of AWTA Ltd in 1982, with NCWSBA being one of the member organisations
  • the collapse of the Reserve Price Scheme in 1991
  • the sell-down of the stockpile by the various bodies in the 1990s and early 2000s
  • the establishment of AWEX in 1992
  • the various reviews of the industry in the 1990s, including the Garnaut Review and the McLachlan Taskforce Review
  • as well as a host of other industry issues.


The Events

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Centenary Auction

NCWSBA held its first meeting in January 1920 in the Melbourne Wool Exchange, 120 King St, Melbourne. The building now houses the Melbourne campus of the Australian Institute of Music. NCWSBA will hold a fully commercial Centenary Auction on Thursday, 20th February 2020 in the Peter Calvo Auditorium at the Australian Institute of Music. There will be 1,358 bales offered in 201 lots from woolgrowers around Australia with 12 of the NCWSBA members auctioning the wool.

The samples for the wool were on display at the AWH Wool Auction Centre in Brooklyn, Victoria on the Centenary Showfloor.

The sale will be attended by the Melbourne-based wool buyers and observed by leaders from all sectors of the Australian wool industry, past Presidents and Executive Directors of NCWSBA, wool broking company staff and wool growers. The first lot will be offered no earlier than 4:30pm.

Cocktail Reception

The Centenary cocktail reception will be held at the Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto beginning at 6pm.

The two buildings which make up the Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto have had a long association with the wool industry in Melbourne. One of the two buildings which make up this hotel was previously known as the Wool Exchange Building and was the location of the first amalgamated wool exchange and incorporated an auction hall which brought together all the Melbourne wool sales. The other building housed offices for wool warehousing and broking companies, including Strachan & Bostock. For a period in the early 1900s it housed the offices of the Melbourne Woolbrokers’ Association. In 1904, the Wool Exchange Sale Room was housed on the fourth floor of the Rialto building.

Charity Auction

There will be a charity auction of various items donated by sponsors, including lengths of  wool fabric from Ermenegildo Zegna and Reda, a wool throw and gift vouchers from Merino & Co, as well as gift vouchers from ioMerino, Elders and United by Wool.

Money raised through activities related to the NCWSBA Centenary events, including the charity auction, will be donated to the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation.



All Sponsors updated 10Feb website


NCWSBA members

Arcadian Wool  •  Australian Wool Network  •  BN Proud & Co  •  Dalgety Wool  •  Dyson Jones  •  Elders  •  Goddard Wool Marketing  •  HC Wool  •  Jackson of Geelong  •  Jemalong Wool  •  Landini Wool  •  Landmark  •  Macdonald & Co  •  Michell Direct Wool  •  Monaro Wool  •  Primaries of WA  •  Rhodes Wool  •  Roberts Wool  •  Rodwells  •  Schute Bell Badgery Lumby  •  TWG Wool  •  WISS Wool  •  Wool Auctions Australia  •  Wool Solutions


Supporting the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation



Participating companies and lot ranges


Lot range





Stephen Keys

Ted Wilson, Shannon Crowe

Rhodes Wool


Russell Frew

John Sugars, Michael Sugars



Robert Ellis

Michael de Kleuver

Roberts Wool


Robert Ellis

Stewart Raine



Robert Ellis

Michael de Kleuver

Michell Direct


Cherie Mordue

Emma Reynolds

Wool Solutions


Cherie Mordue

Alistair Calvert, Robert Calvert



Elliott Lindley

Samantha Wan



Gerard Buchanan

Robert Ryan



Rowan Woods

David Quirk



Kelvin Shelley

John Colley, Jeff Denny

Macdonald & Co Woolbrokers


Don Macdonald

Ian Sharp

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National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia



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