AWI Graduate Training Program Welcomes New Intake

Australian Wool Innovation’s highly regarded Graduate Training Program is back in 2022 with two outstanding graduates starting an intensive eighteen-month program.

AWI acting CEO John Roberts says the program provides a thorough understanding of the wool supply chain from fibre to fashion.

“The program began in 2018 and we have had six outstanding new graduates through the program in that time.

The AWI Graduate Training Program is based primarily at the AWI office in Sydney, where the graduates gain exposure to many areas of the AWI business from on-farm and off-farm R&D through to marketing. The graduates are also given the opportunity to gain a global exposure to the wool supply chain through international rotations.

The program is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry. It provides them with professional training and development opportunities to further enhance their career within the industry”.

Four of the graduates who have already completed the program are still employed by AWI, in the following roles:

  • Ellie Bigwood – Industry Relations Officer (based in her native Western Australia
  • Miles Barritt – Business Analyst, Risk & Recovery
  • Emma Murphy – Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • George Lehmann – Project Coordinator, Training & Education

After a competitive recruitment process for the 2022 program, AWI has selected two new excellent graduates to start their journey with wool at AWI in March next year.

Tom Hersee


Originally from Bowning, NSW, Tom’s family have been producing wool for three generations throughout Southern NSW.

He recently graduated from Marcus Oldham College in Victoria, with a Bachelor of Agribusiness.

Tom joins the graduate program with some unique experiences already under his belt, having been a qualified carpenter, a farmhand, and project manager, before setting his sights on furthering his knowledge and expertise within the wool industry.

Tom is interested in Merino and livestock production and management (Genetics, innovation and Agritechnology to name a few) and how they can further drive the success and promote the benefits of the Australian wool industry “The best thing about wool fibre is the history and the opportunities it provides as a sustainable fibre that is biodegradable, renewable, natural and unique”.

Chris Watt


Hailing from Central West NSW, Chris grew up on a mixed enterprise farm, where he spent many a season assisting in the sheep yards and shearing sheds.

Currently residing in the ACT, Chris will graduate this year from the Australian National University with a double degree in Commerce and Science, majoring in Marketing and Psychology.

Chris is looking forward to gaining even more essential experience to complement his university learning and home-grown knowledge to thrive within the industry.

“Having spent a lot of my childhood and teenage years helping out around the farm, I’ve always had a connection to the agricultural industry. The majority of this time was spent doing sheep work, which has fostered a strong interest and connection to the wool industry. I am super excited to continue developing this connection and learning more at AWI”.

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