Graham goes back to his roots in the Mid North
7 August 2017
THE opportunity to return to wool buying with an Australian-owned business in his home region was simply too good to pass up for Quality’s newest wool representative Graham Duffield.
After a diverse career in wool spanning five decades, the Booleroo native has returned to his roots to take over from the retired Dave Kelly in Jamestown in South Australia’s Mid North.
Having grown up on a sheep and wheat farm north of Booleroo Centre in a generational farming family, Graham said the opportunity to return to the area was part of the attraction to his new role.
“Many of Quality’s current customers I know very well, either as a result of going to school with them or playing sport, despite it being decades ago,” he said.
“I still have some ties with the area as my wife is also the daughter and sister of Booleroo farmers”.
“I have still have a lot of friends and family within the district”.
After originally completing a wool classing course at Marleston TAFE in the late ‘70s with the intention of returning home to the family farm afterwards (which never happened), Graham’s career in wool has taken him on an expansive journey spanning different states and continents.
Upon completion of his classing course, he was offered a wool buying position in Sydney with the Australian Wool Corporation (AWC), looking after the northern centres such as Brisbane, Newcastle, Goulburn and Sydney.
Graham is also in the rare position of experiencing working in the industry overseas, having served as Managing Director of H Dawson UK from 2014-17, based in Bradford, Yorkshire.
He said it was an eye-opener dealing with a huge range of different wools with wide-ranging uses.
“As a wool trader, we were buying from 35 different countries and selling to 45,” he said.
“The wool ranged from superfine to carpet types, exotics and other noble fibers such as cashmere and alpaca”.
“The largest volume of wool originated from the UK and Ireland, and the largest markets were the UK and China”.
“I found that much of the business practices were very similar to what I was use to in Australia, but there were some differences which were interesting”.
“From a personal point, it was a great experience for my wife Leanne and I to live in the UK and play tourist throughout Britain and Europe”.
An avid outdoorsman, Graham’s extensive list of interests outside work include running sheep on his hobby farm at Sampson Flat, camping, four wheel driving as well as the customary South Australian passion for Australian Rules Football.