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Clare Elizabeth McShane

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Clare Elizabeth McShane

Awarded for service to Agriculture

Born: 1948

Entered on roll: 2008

Clare McShane was born in Sydney and moved to Tasmania with her family when she was 17 years old. She attended St Michael’s Collegiate school before obtaining her Diploma of Teaching and Tasmanian Teachers Certificate. When Clare was posted to Oatlands as a young teacher, she believed it to be a temporary move. Instead, Clare met and married local grazier Allan McShane and they settled at Casaveen, a property farming 11,000 sheep at Lemont. Clare and Allan have five sons.

Clare is now the Director of Casaveen Holding Company and Tasmanian Quality Wool.  She established Casaveen Knitwear in 1989 as an adjunct to the operation of the sheep property. The McShane family recognised the need to take greater control of the market and add value to their wool. When the wool industry collapsed in 1991, this decision meant the family was able to ride out the wool price crash. Casaveen Knitwear was started with one bale of wool producing 130 garments. Clare designed and knitted all the garments and they were sold around Australia at shows and field days.

The business grew from Clare and others knitting the garments in their homes, to an operational centre which was set up in Oatlands in 1996 and a factory built in Oatlands in 1999. At the Oatlands premises, factory tours are available and there is a showroom where garments are on display. The business was extended with the opening of the Casaveen Café in April 2005, the Interpretation Centre in March 2008 and the new Meeting Room. The café sources and showcases as much Tasmanian produce as possible.

Casaveen provides much-needed jobs in Oatlands and now employs 13 people. Casaveen Knitwear is also an award winning company that has received many accolades including the 1994 Tsuneichi Fuji Fellowship Trust Award, the 1999 Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award, the 2000 Australian Family Business of the Year Award and the 2000 Family Business Australia First Generation Award.

Clare continues to design all Casaveen garments, which include skirts, sweaters, cardigans, vests, jackets, scarves, hats, socks, wraps and blankets. Casaveen Knitwear garments are available from retailers across Australia and are also purchased by private customers around the world through mail order or via the internet. The range is also exported to Japan and New Zealand.

Clare has served on many advisory boards and committees. She has been a member of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Tasmanian Quality Wool, an advisor to the Tasmanian Communities Online Advisory Group and an advisor to the Women and Information Taskforce.

Clare has received numerous personal accolades for her achievements including the 1994 Advance Australia Award, the 1996 Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year, the 1997 Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year, the 1998 Tasmanian Rural Achiever of the Year and the 2004 Bruce Forster Laincot Memorial Award for exemplary service to the merino wool and sheep industry.

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