While many of the other Victorian cities like Ballarat and Bendigo were built on gold, Geelong was built on the Golden Fleece. Wool gave Geelong its identity, its wealth and has built this great city with a proud and lasting legacy.
During the early 1900's virtually the entire Geelong waterfront was devoted to the wool trade with huge woolstores lining the foreshore and lower part of the city close to Geelong's port. Today many of these woolstores remain and form part of Deakin University, Westfield Shopping Centre and the National Wool Museum.
Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Australia's Bicentennial Year of 1988 the museum traces the wool industry in this country and the importance part wool has played on Geelong.
The National Wool Museum offers an amazing journey tracing the first European settlers to our country through more than 200 years, right up to the current day. It really is an incredible story the displays depict all facets of the Australian wool industry and its importance to our culture, economy and national our identity.
Gallery Hall One is titled "The Wool Harvest" here visitors can experience life on the farm, how sheep are raised and wool is harvested. There accounts of the hardships, successes and challenges facing farmers over more than two hundred years of agriculture in Australia.
Gallery Hall Two is titled "From Fleece to Fabric" and is dedicated to the final product, wool. See interactive displays and learn how the textile industry has changed to the high tech science it is today. See working knitters, looms and machinery used in production and hear firsthand accounts of what it was like working in the Geelong woollen mills, including wartime stories, when wool was such an important fabric to protect our service men and women.