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Beyond the Bale : March 2015
ON FARM 31 Ian seeks to not only to pass on technical expertise to the trainee shearers – he trains approximately 50 shearers each year – but also to promote increased professionalism and high standards in the industry. “I love being able to promote the industry to the next generation and teach them the skills and values they need to be successful,” he said. “It’s a great privilege for me, which will hopefully result in an enduring legacy for the shearing industry and the wool- growing industry it serves. “The training of new shearers is vital, not only to increase the numbers coming into the industry, but also to encourage better techniques.” Ian is now frequently called upon to promote the shearing industry as an ambassador by providing shearing demonstrations at events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show (annually for the past 10 years), Australia Day events and other high profile media events. Most notable was his recent demonstration for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2014, along with several demonstrations for the Australian Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce and when she hosted groups of international diplomats. Ian’s contribution to the shearing industry was recognised when he was chosen to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay at the Sydney Olympics. He was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal – a commemorative award within the Australian honours system – by the Prime Minister and Governor- General of Australia in 2000. “Over the years I’ve always been keen to promote the shearing industry and assist community groups and organisations promote their local events,” he said. “There have been so many highlights for me – the Olympic Torch Relay in 2000 and meeting Prince William and Kate last year were very special – but I honestly just love shearing and turning up in the shed every day. Remember the old saying: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’? Well that is true and that’s exactly what I have done – and it’s something that I plan to keep on doing.” Ian will be inducted in the Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame at the Festival of the Blades being held at Shear Outback in the western NSW town of Hay during the Easter weekend – see below. The other inductees this year are the late Mark Conlan of Kyneton, Victoria; the late Maurice Doyle of Dookie, Victoria; Dick Duggan of Maryborough, Victoria; and Kevin Gellatly of Perth, WA. Like Ian, Kevin Gellatly is also an AWI shearer trainer. “I’m really looking forward to the event at Shear Outback,” Ian said. “It’s a great honour for me, and I’m looking forward to catching up with a lot of old friends.” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watching Ian demonstrate sheep shearing at last year’s Royal Easter Show had wide media coverage. The multi-faceted award-winning tourist and educational attraction Shear Outback at Hay, NSW, will host the Festival of the Blades during the Easter weekend of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April, 2015. The Festival of the Blades activities will include the ceremony for inductees into the Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame being held at 10am on the Sunday in the historic Murray Downs woolshed, as well as an open Yard Dog Trial on the Saturday in the Shear Outback yards, plus tours of local iconic shearing sheds, and blade shearing demonstrations. Fees apply. The attraction is aimed at anyone who is interested in the shearing industry and its history, the world of sheep and wool, and the people who continue to work the sheds. The Festival will also include a “Shear Stories” forum on the Saturday which will draw on the experiences of writers who have been successful in the publication of stories about characters and personalities from the shearing industry. A competition for short stories with an industry connection will be part of the lead-up to the Festival. Entries close on 30 March. The Shear Outback Cafe will be open as usual during the Festival of the Blades where you can enjoy smoko, lunch or just catch up with the friends and supporters of the shearing industry. MORE INFORMATION www.shearoutback.com.au SHEAR OUTBACK FESTIVAL OF THE BLADES Ian training shearers at ‘Ravenswood’ near Yass in NSW.