Clare McShane Patron - Profile continued........
Clare has known the Missionary Sisters of Service ever since she married Allan. The sisters have regularly visited the parish of Oatlands from the 1950s, and from 1984 to 1993 first Nancy Doyle mss and then Alice Fox mss were entrusted with the full-time pastoral care of the parish in the absence of a priest. The sisters became part of the lives of the people. Allan and Claire also came to know Fr John Wallis. Clare tells the story of her twin boys being prepared for confirmation by the late Barbara Hateley mss. Barb was talking with them about different saints’ names when one the boys asked, “What about St Kilda!” It is easy to guess where that young lad’s passion lay.
The McShane family recognised the need for some stability of income amid the ups and downs of the wool market. Clare started to design and knit garments and sold them at shows and field days around Australia. Casaveen Knitwear was was born. One bale of of fine merino wool from their sheep could make 130 garments. As the business grew, Clare involved other people in knitting the garments. At first they worked in their homes. In 1996 an operational centre was set up in Oatlands, and three years later a factory. Always concerned about the wider community, the McShanes opened Casaveen Café in April 2005. This was followed by an Interpretation Centre in March 2008 and the new Meeting Room. The café sources and showcases a great range of Tasmanian products.
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. Clare was entered on the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women in 2008.
The John Wallis Foundation is honoured to have Claire as one of its patrons.