There’s a saying ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time’ but for six AWN stalwarts they’ve chalked up 20 years’ service with the company while at the same time having a good time.


Mark Hedley, State Manager NSW/Queensland, Brett Cooper, Regional Manager Central and Western NSW, Harold Manttan, Regional Manager Northern NSW, Helen Knight, Wool Administration Supervisor, Warren Zernike, Wool Technical Manager Queensland and Geoff Fowler have been with the company since 1999 either at the time of conception or joining shortly after.


These dedicated staff were presented with framed certificates to acknowledge their 20 years with the company by Managing Director John Colley at a gathering in Sydney.

Mark Hedley said the company also ensured John Colley’s contribution was recognised with staff in turn presenting him with a certificate.


“It’s been a big ride to think we kicked off 20 years ago. The day I resigned from the company I previously worked for, I secured a core line that afternoon in the wool store which got us up and running,’’ he said.


“Hard to believe it will be 21 years in April. Harold, John and myself all resigned together and Brett joined us a couple of weeks later. We took our month’s annual leave and within that time we had AWN up and running. Helen joined us soon after in the office in Sydney and we were ready to go with Warren also coming on board. Geoff was our
co-ordinator at the rehandle facility in Newcastle.’’


Reflecting on his time with the company Brett Cooper believes in the initial days of AWN one of the ‘secrets’ to success was the dedication of the staff who got the company up and running.


“In those days we didn’t have a credit rating or any finance behind us –

we couldn’t even afford to buy pencils. We started from nothing but everything took hold quite quickly,’’ he said.


“For more than 20 years the board of AWN has looked after its staff and fostered the culture within the company which has led to its success. It has been an innovative company over the years and continues to be and prides itself on having staff who think outside the square and are not afraid to have a go – some things work and some don’t but we’re always trying.

“We are certainly taking wool broking to another level.’’