The Woodfull Family

Constitutional change to honour a man who transformed the society

Colin Woodfull OBE

Such is the legacy of Colin Woodfull OBE, when he retired from the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in 1972, the council changed the society’s constitution to crown him as an Honorary Life Councillor.

Mr Woodfull’s association with the Melbourne Royal Show began as a dog exhibitor before he was elected to the council in June 1950, appointed secretary in 1953 and director in 1963.

In his 1972 annual report, president G.P.H Wilson declared Mr Woodfull’s “sound advice and guidance responsible for the most progressive period in the long history of the society.”

Mr Woodfull is credited with ensuring all aspects of the show were balanced for the community – no one section took more space than the other. He made reforms that led to happier, more efficient staff, and oversaw the introduction of the journalist tour and guided excursions for students, the family ticket, lot feeding trials, farm management competition, Thoroughbred horse show, Showgirl Competition and the ever popular animal nursery. 

In 1962 Mr Woodfull convened a conference of country agricultural societies, welcoming 80 delegates from more than 50 societies to share their thoughts on show matters. It proved to be the forerunner to the formation of the Victorian Agricultural Societies Association, subsequently launched in 1964. Mr Woodfull was instrumental in the success of that new association.

The history of the Melbourne Royal Show and the society is also eternalised in Speed the Plough, largely thanks to Mr Woodfull. In 1968 Mr Woodfull shared his desire for an official reference of the society with Fred Noble, a well-respected, retired journalist with The Age, who had covered every Melbourne Royal Show since 1923. 

In June 1968 Mr Woodfull was honoured with the Order of the British Empire for service to agriculture. Sadly, he passed away on 11 August 1976, just four years after retiring from the society.

Mr Colin Woodfull OBE

Mr Colin Woodfull OBE

Frank Crawford, editor of the Weekly Times, makes a presentation to Colin Woodfull OBE on his retirement.

Frank Crawford, editor of the Weekly Times, makes a presentation to Colin Woodfull OBE on his retirement.

Ken Woodfull

Ken Woodfull was a revered figure within the Fleece Committee's ranks.

He earned a stellar reputation as a seasoned expert, particularly in his mastery of lambswool. He was both a distinguished buyer and renowned for his meticulous preparation. 

Mr Woodfull trained many junior judges on the intricacies of lambswool preparation, an artform he truly mastered. The legacy of his family was also interwoven with the Dog Pavilion, a testament to his father's influence.

His dedication to the Fleece Committee spanned an impressive four decades. As retirement beckoned, Mr Woodfull entrusted the responsibility to Paul Ferronato, a successor he personally nominated and recommended.

Mr Woodfull leaves a legacy of selflessness, willingness to devote ample time to mentoring new stewards, engaging curious exhibitors, and fostering greater participation at the Melbourne Royal Show.