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Thao Nguyen wins Wool4Skool competition
May '11
The winning Wool4Skool uniform designs have been presented at the schools that created them.

In its pilot year, 65 schools from across Australia registered for the Wool4Skool competition where Australian Wool Innovation offered year 9+10 students the opportunity to redesign their school uniform using innovative wool fabrics. The competition was designed to fit the Design and Technology syllabus of schools and a number of teachers took the opportunity to place the competition within the structured learning of the classroom.

1500 students from Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Melbourne cheered as Thao Nguyen was presented with the winning cheque for $1000 while her winning uniforms were paraded at a school function. Meanwhile, Tempe High School in Sydney will have their second prize winning uniforms from Michelle Xiang and Nancy He on display at the school to create discussion.

“My design was inspired by the Dalton Academy Warblers from the TV show Glee. Through the competition I learnt a lot about fabric innovation and the different types of wool and used the MerinoFresh, MerinoSet, some wool-blend and anti-odour fabrics,” Ms Nguyen said.

The two entries won because of their detailed understanding of how wool garments transformed the current uniform according to the judging panel, which included RM Williams executive designer, Jonathan Ward, Australian Wool Fashion Awards manager Liz Foster, AWI knitwear product development manager Roy Kettlewell and Wool4Skool creator Marius Cuming.

Liz Foster added “Jonathan Ward and I both agreed this was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do as there were so many great ideas. Many students went the extra mile and one school even redesigned a new uniform to parade livestock in.”

“I was very impressed by the way the students used the versatility of wool across wovens and knits in many different items. Together with the lightweight next to skin fabrics it makes for a great opportunity for students to interpret this great Australian natural fibre,” Mr Ward said.

Design and Technology teacher at the winning school, Katrina Wheaton-Penniall said she had placed Wool4Skool within her teaching program as it fitted neatly within the curriculum.

“Students were well engaged and drawn to the project from the start, not just because of the generous prizes but because it empowered them to create their own uniform. It worked well for the 17 students of mine that entered,” she added.

Once schools registered online, a sample pack of fabrics, funded by the Australian Wool Education Trust was sent to allow students to touch and feel different wool fabrics. The competition was also run in partnership with the Education Department of NSW and the Australian Wool Fashion Awards which paraded the winning entries at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Planning is now underway for the 2012 competition.

Australian Wool Innovation

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