Hansard – House of Representatives: The Member for Wannon’s reference to The Footy Almanac

Dan Tehan is the member for the federal seat of Wannon which includes areas of the Western District around Hamilton. [Map]

I have met Dan Tehan a number of times. He is always good company, and he never mentions his boss Tony Abbott.

Dan has a lifelong involvement in sport – he especially loves horse racing, cricket and Australian footy, and has an appreciation of all sports.

I recently met up with Dan at a Melbourne breakfast celebrating Australian Wool Innovation’s Fibre of Football campaign, of which we have been part. Of course, in representing the Western District, he has among his constituents many involved in the wool industry.

He has also taken an interest in the Best Ever Wool Team that we’re heading towards in conjunction with AWI. At the moment we have substantial lists of nominees (which reminds me, I better get those squads named and out there).

Anyway, yesterday Dan Tehan mentioned wool and footy and the campaign in a speech to the House of Representatives.

The Footy Almanac is in Hansard!


Mr TEHAN (Wannon) (13:31):  This year, the fibre has been put back into football! Thanks to the efforts of Australian Wool Innovation, AFL teams have begun to sell jumpers and other merchandise made from Australian Merino wool. The campaign started with Bill Bailey, a sheep farmer in my own electorate, who fondly remembers playing in woollen jumpers in the sixties and seventies. His old club of Coleraine was the first to test these new jumpers in 2014, to great success.

This restored connection between our native game and the sheep farms of Australia is only natural: AFL was invented on a sheep station in Victoria. In fact, John Harms of The Footy Almanac has begun to collate teams of current and former AFL stars who were born or bred on sheep farms. The list currently includes Geelong great Tom Hawkins, Adelaide champion Shaun Rehn and Fremantle star Nat Fyfe. Tellingly, the same Riverina farming town that gave us that great pastoral painting Shearing the Rams also gave St Kilda Justin Koschitzke. Australian wool belongs with Australia’s game, and I congratulate all involved in helping put fibre back into football.

I also note that this weekend is the annual Dreamtime round, recognising the enormous Indigenous contribution to Australian Rules, with Essendon and Richmond playing the signature game of the round. I encourage all members to celebrate these games, whilst respectfully saying, with my woollen jumper on: go, Tiges!

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. We’ve made it!

  2. Neil Anderson says

    I like Dan the Man our local member. Not only because he doesn’t mention his boss, but he sent me a letter of congratulations after I won a play competition. He spotted the story in the Mortlake Dispatch apparently.

  3. Peter Fuller says

    John, Congratulations.
    Perhaps Peter B’s teasing appellation, Pastor Harms, is merited for your worthy evangelical activity in spreading the Almanac gospel.

  4. Yeah, Pastor Harms sounds OK!

  5. Matt Watson says

    Great work John.
    Recognition of great support for the wool industry.

  6. Dan Hansen says

    I now feel challenged to get Bob Neil in the Hansard.

  7. Martin Copelin says

    Don’t forget the greatest game of all Rugby League Football. I am certain they also had some woollen jerseys in earlier times because the earlier jerseys were tough and durable. Later they became lighter but more flimsy.

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