Wagin Woolorama names Lucilee Iles young rural ambassador

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenGreat Southern Herald
2022 Wagin Woolorama young rural ambassador Lucilee Iles.
Camera Icon2022 Wagin Woolorama young rural ambassador Lucilee Iles. Credit: Wagin Woolorama/Facebook

The 22-year-old daughter of a Wagin shearing family is set to make her mark on the State’s biggest sheep and wool show after being announced as this year’s ambassador.

Lucilee Iles will be the 2022 Wagin Woolorama young rural ambassador as the show celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Ms Iles is a lifelong Wagin local, having been born at the former maternity ward at Wagin District Hospital.

She comes from a family of wool lovers, with two generations of her family owning a shearing business.

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“I’ve been in the shearing industry since forever really,” Ms Iles said.

“It’s just part of my blood.”

Ms Iles has a strong connection to Wagin, after completing most of her schooling at Wagin District High School and getting her first job at the local dentist.

She said she “absolutely loved” the town’s community connection.

“You walk down the street, you know everyone,” Ms Iles said.

“The endless amount of support we have in this community is just outstanding and as we’ve seen with COVID and all these fires lately, (the community support) has just been outstanding and that’s one of the main things why I really like Wagin and why I really enjoy living here.”

She said her recent work at the Wagin Community Resource Centre had given her a greater appreciation of the town.

“I thought I knew a lot about Wagin, but working at the CRC was just so amazing,” Ms Iles said.

“I learnt so much more about the town and I had much more of an involvement there.”

Unsurprisingly, her family has strong links to Wagin Woolorama, with her grandparents originally being involved in the 1980s.

“My grandparents Dave and Londa Iles did the woolhandling and I think they also did the shearing,” Ms Iles said.

“After that my mum and dad took over, so I was there every morning.”

Even in childhood, Ms Iles and best friend Laura Abbott would often spend Woolorama weekend helping out with prizes and anything else they were able to do.

When her cousins Koshie Taipari and Londa Finlayson took over the fashion parade, Ms Iles stepped up her involvement.

“We would have weekends where we would have hair and make-up trials. That was fun. I’m always the guinea pig for those two,” she said.

Ms Iles was one of the models for the fashion show in 2020 and 2021, but she will be giving up the catwalk in her new role.

Despite the change, she wants to continue playing a part in the parade.

“I definitely want to get behind backstage, help out with any of the dressing and any other things I can help out with,” she said.

Ms Iles said she was looking forward to her new role and would value the personal development that comes with the ambassadorship.

“I know I’ve been brought up in (the Woolorama) but there’s also so much that I haven’t been exposed to,” she said.

“I’m just really keen to just go to every section possible, meeting all the head stewards in all the areas, being able to present awards, just really learning so much more about the Woolorama.”

Ms Iles will be running the Young Farmers Challenge at this year’s event.

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