The Lobethal Woollen Mill Collection

Preserving and providing an important context for this Australian Icon.

An initiative of Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum Inc

The unique collection of the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill is under threat as the the premises in which it is housed have been sold to the private sector. Vision and a future direction is now required!


  • To preserve the current collection of the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill’s artefacts in a secure relevant location
  • To preserve the stories of the Mill and its workers
  • To establish a “cottage” enterprise to produce bespoke woollen products
  • To display the Collection and its stories within an exciting audio-visual environment that will attract the tourist visitor and enthuse a younger generation to become a part of the wool industry
Early Blanket Ad

Major tasks to achieve the Vision

Establish Sponsorship, Partnerships and Champions and a Grants/Funding framework

  • Investigate opportunities that exist within the Private Sector.
  • Investigate opportunities that exist within the Public Sector.

Promote the preservation and prepare presentation material for the broader community and the business community

  • Establish social media resources, prepare press releases and a media interface.

Relocate the Collection to a relevant, secure location which allows for expansion

  • The Project recognises that the collection cannot remain in its current location and it is a necessity that it be moved as soon as practicable.
  • The collection consists of some sizeable heavy machines that will require suitable transport logistics.
  • A possible site which should be to a location that has a strong relevance for the early days of the mill and the wool industry.

Prepare interpretive displays/Oral Histories and a succession strategy

  • The Woollen Mill workers have been a resilient group of people and have been directly involved in the custodianship of the Mill but with each passing year their numbers dwindle and their wealth of knowledge is lost.
  • There are fascinating stories to tell and a programme to encompass the collection of the unique narrative is essential. The sound of the loom and the smell and touch of the wool is a tactile environment that can be a dynamic that would fascinate the current generation through film and computer generated imagery.

Incorporate the collection into an educational and skill development network to inspire the future participants in the woollen industry

  • Promote the Youth interest in the wool industry.
  • Youth training in the woollen industry would benefit from the displays of products, the technical nature of the Collection and the cutting edge training techniques of a professional Virtual Reality programme.

Investigate SME interest and small “cottage” bespoke woollen products

  • The Mill collection is a resource of creativity and can provide examples for SME participation in creating unique/bespoke wool products.
  • The creation of a working Museum out of previous industrial property has brought about some exceptional examples, in the UK and Europe.