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The Australian Wool Testing Authority was established in 1957 by the Commonwealth Government in response to requests from the Australian wool industry, and was created as a Statutory Authority reporting to the Minister for Primary Industry. The first meeting of the Authority was held on 12th December 1957.

Following the formation of the Australian Wool Board in 1962, AWTA was established as a separate division within that organisation on 1st July 1963. AWTA retained the same status within the Australian Wool Corporation when it was formed by the amalgamation of the Australian Wool Board and the Australian Wool Commission on 1st January 1973.

AWTA Ltd was established as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 14th May 1982 consequent to an Australian Government decision to transfer the functions of the statutory Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) to the public sector. After almost 25 years of operations, the government and industry considered that there was no on-going requirement for AWTA to continue to have links with the government, particularly since it was controlled by the wool industry and funded by the commercial services it provided to the industry, not by the Government or any levies.

In April 1982, the same wool industry interests that comprised AWTA as a statutory body formed a public company limited by guarantee, to acquire all assets and liabilities of the statutory body.

AWTA Ltd commenced operations on 1st July 1982, when it took over all the previous functions of the AWTA.