Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jorja McDon­nell jorja.mcdon­nell@west­ern­

PRINCE Harry and the Duchess of Sus­sex were pre­sented with a small and cud­dly piece of the out­back on their visit to Queens­land: a fa­mous Tambo Teddy for their first child, due in April.

The bear has be­come a tra­di­tional gift for heads of state, with a Tambo Teddy also given to the chil­dren of Prince Wil­liam and Kate.

Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk said the gift was also a way for Harry and Meghan to re­mem­ber their time in Aus­tralia, learn­ing first-hand about how peo­ple here have been cop­ing with the drought.

“Tambo Ted­dies are proof pos­i­tive of the re­silience of Queens­lan­ders and how they over­come tough times, back­ing them­selves and an Aus­tralian made prod­uct,” she said.

“Twenty-five years ago, the tiny com­mu­nity of Tambo was again in the grip of drought and lo­cals came up with the idea of mak­ing teddy bears, crafted from 100% woollen sheep­skin, to cre­ate more em­ploy­ment in the town.

“The cot­tage in­dus­try ven­ture has been an out­stand­ing suc­cess. Or­ders come from all over to pur­chase a cud­dly gift, lov­ingly hand­made in out­back Queens­land.

“All my nieces and my nephew love their Tambo Ted­dys,” the Pre­mier said. “The lit­tle woollen bears can take a lot of cud­dling and wear and tear and I’m sure Harry and Meghan’s first child will give it just as much love and af­fec­tion.”

Co-owner of Tambo Ted­dies, Ali­son Shaw said it was an in­cred­i­ble priv­i­lege, not just for her busi­ness, but for the en­tire town.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for us, be­cause we couldn’t be­lieve a Tambo Teddy had been se­lected again as a gift for the roy­als.

“One was given to Will and Kate a num­ber of years ago, and again, the pro­file it has given to Tambo and to out­back Queens­land this time is ex­cel­lent.

“The cov­er­age re­ally has been fan­tas­tic.”

Ms Shaw said the whole process of mak­ing an­other royal bear had been a thrill.

“The Pre­mier called us and or­dered this one specif­i­cally for Harry and Meghan, and it was a real hon­our.

“We name each bear af­ter a farming prop­erty in the Tambo dis­trict, and this one for the Duke and Duchess has been named Stir­ling Downs Sus­sex,” she said.

More than just a cute and cud­dly friend, Ms Shaw said ev­ery Tambo Teddy car­ried a mes­sage.

“This busi­ness started out of ad­ver­sity in the drought and now, 25 years later, we are still go­ing strong, pro­vid­ing lo­cal jobs, and are grow­ing to take ad­van­tage of the dig­i­tal age.

“Through our story, we show the re­silience we’ve had as a town, through wool crises and drought,” she said.

Since 1993, around 45,500 hand-made ted­dies have come out of Tambo.


ROYAL GIFT: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sus­sex re­ceived a Tambo Teddy (in­set) as a gift from Queens­land.

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