2007 marks the 200th anniversary of sheep breeding and growing wool in Australia. In November 1807, Rev Samuel Marsden, owner of the third largest flock in Australia, arrived in England with his barrel of Australia wool. In the same year, John Macarthur sent 400 pounds of his wool to England aboard HMS Buffalo. See www.merino200.com for an impressive timeline and more details.
Like wool, silk dates from colonial times in Australia. The Victorian State Library has a wood engraving from 1874 of the Rearing House for silkworms at South Yarra.
In the world of alpaca, the World Alpaca Conference will be held at Darling Harbour, Sydney on March 28-30, 2008. In the meantime, there will be alpaca fleece judging at the National Field Day, Borenore via Orange, October 16-18 and the Queanbeyan Show, Nov 17-18. Early next year, watch out for more things alpaca at the Canberra Show, Feb 22-24 and the Bathurst Royal Show, Feb 29 to March 2.