Nicole Oliver grew up in the Waikato region and developed a passion for the agriculture industry, drawing from a sheep and beef background. Her favourite memories as a child were at Christmas time on her grandparent’s King Country farm, and at shearing time and knowing the wool produced was ‘magically’ turned into fibre used in clothing, carpeting and furnishing. Nicole's inspiration for her study and involvement in the industry, in particular strong wool; is from her Grandfather, who always believed in doing things differently. His views on the world always challenged traditional thinking and from an appreciation of an industry he was involved in, Nicole would like to help ensure it has a long term and viable future.
Nicole's journey has included completing the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, a Masters and undergraduate degrees all while working in the primary sector. The Masters degree in Agribusiness from The University of Waikato, was completed with a thesis on the “Future of the Coarse Wool
Industry”, and involved research on strong wool production in New Zealand, with a focus on adding value to strong wool and the wider wool industry.
"I am incredibly passionate about the future of strong wool in New Zealand. Globally, wool makes up less than 1% of the fibre market, mainly due to the impact of synthetic fibre. If something drastic is not done about the strong wool industry, I firmly believe that in less than fifty years the industry may not exist. The desire to see a viable, sustainable future for the strong wool industry is what has driven my current and future research. I am about to begin a three year journey as part of a doctorate (PhD) to find what the future of fibre and the role of the strong wool industry could be through the University of Waikato."
Nicole, the wool industry is extremely lucky to have you on their side and looking out for future sustainability. All the best for your upcoming research.