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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
ON FARM 47 Australian woolhandlers Sarah Moran (Vic) and Tara Smith (SA) beat a strong New Zealand pair in the Trans-Tasman test at the Golden Shears in Masterton, New Zealand, in March. New Zealand went into the test with wins in 25 of the 33 tests since Trans-Tasman woolhandling internationals started in 1998. Australia had only won twice previously in New Zealand, in Masterton in 1999 and Christchurch in 2011. Industry trainer Sarah Moran and international rookie Tara Smith said they were confident about their job during the test in which each team handled four Merino fleeces and four standard breed strong wool New Zealand fleeces. They won, 400.022 points to the Kiwi’s 501.488 points. The Australian shearers of Shannon Warnest (SA), Daniel McIntyre (NSW) and Damien Boyle (WA) made it a double win for the Aussies, beating the three Kiwi shearers in the Trans-Tasman shearing test. Australia has now won eight of the countries’ last nine Trans-Tasman matches, and has 29 tests to the Kiwi’s 28 since regular Trans-Tasman exchanges began in 1974-75. Australia won 260.679 points to the Kiwi’s 281.845 points. Shannon Warnest finished in first place (79.380 points), with Daniel McIntyre in second place (87.017 points) and Damien Boyle in fourth place (94.282 points). Shannon Warnest won the Joseph Paewai Memorial Trophy for best ‘quality’ points. AWI provides funds for the Australian team’s travel, accommodation and uniforms. This support of the national team complements AWI support for shearing competitions at local and state levels, with the main aims being to promote excellence and professionalism within the Australian shearing industry, and to encourage young people to join the industry. If you’re planning a local or regional shearing and wool handling competition based on Sports Shear Australia criteria, you may be eligible for support from AWI. Contact Jim Murray at AWI on 0427 460 007 or email@example.com to find out more about what support might be available for your event. Shannon Warnest of South Australia competing in the Trans-Tasman shearing test. Sarah Moran of Victoria competing in the Trans- Tasman wool handling test. Under the guidance of Ian Elkins, the young shearers learnt the basics of the trade with an emphasis on position and footwork. As well as shearing, the students learnt other shed skills including wool handling. The Australian team. Back: Shearing judge Richard Hein; Shannon Warnest; Daniel McIntyre; Damien Boyle; Tara Smith; Sarah Moran; wool handling judge Raelene Laidlaw; team manager Jim Murray. Front: Support crew: Mark Weis; Tracey Collins; Jamie McIntyre; Tara Hadley-Smith; Tom Brewer. AUSSIES PULL WOOL OVER KIWI STARS detrimental impact on Australia’s wool industry. With fewer young people learning the skills to start a career in the wool industry it will be harder for woolgrowers to find shearers and wool handlers to do the job. “The courses supplied by the BWHA, with support from AWI and the local business and the community will help fill this gap and encourage students to think of the wool industry as a viable career choice. “Our course is covering all the subjects that TAFE does, with more hands-on experience than TAFE provides, for young people from age 15, and at no cost to them. While there is no official accreditation, the students receive a certificate of attainment with Ian’s signature on it, which I reckon is as good an endorsement as any trainee can get!” Leanne says the wool industry is important for bringing economic balance to local rural communities. “We really need to support students in the bush, and this initiative gives a real opportunity for them to kick-start their career. While we mainly take students from Boorowa, we are happy to receive enquiries from as far as Yass, Young, Goulburn, Cowra and Crookwell. “The wool industry is a major employer and driver for economic growth in these areas – and it’s important for the wellbeing of these rural communities to help promote and ensure the industry’s sustainability in the region.” Leanne thanks Noel and Debbie Lawrence, owners of Top Gun Shearing Supplies in Western Australia, who provide the BWHA with a discount on all shearing equipment and also donate a lot of products for the students at the end of the shearing school, plus the Encouragement Award each year valued at more than $200.