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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
ON FARM 63 TRAINING IS A SHEAR DELIGHT When Deputy Premier of NSW John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall visited the Wool Works Shearing School at Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands of NSW at the end of June, their reaction was one of shear delight. The school was facilitated by the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and held at the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. AWI supplied the shearing gear and funded experienced shearers Ross Thompson and Leo Fittler who instructed and supervised the students. Experienced TAFE trainers Pauline Smith and Kim Jenkins showed what working the shearing shed floor entails. Wool Works was initially trialled in 2017 and was also held last year, with support from AWI. It introduces high school students to the skills of shearing and wool handling and the political leaders recognised it as a measure of inspiration that the industry needs. “This is fantastic! This school is about introducing young people to the skill of shearing and a possible future in agriculture,” Mr Barilaro said. “I saw kids here who were smiling, they were engaged and they wanted to be there. I think this particular program, with all the stakeholders coming together, has touched on something that gives us hope for the future of agriculture and our kids in the bush.” This year, the school was attended by three students from Glen Innes, three from O’Connor Catholic College in Armidale and 18 from Inverell’s Macintyre High School. Mr Barilaro commended the approach of inspiring young students by giving them practical rural skills early on. “If you plant a seed early, you can nurture their interest and see it grow. This is really hands-on; they can see, hear, smell, feel, experience and respect the shearing and wool handling skills in the shearing shed,” Mr Barilaro said. As Agriculture Minister and Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall also praised the Wool Works Shearing School, after both politicians had rolled up their sleeves and had a go. “Look, it is tremendous. It was great to see the number of girls turn up. That is reflective of the trend in agriculture, generally. Women are playing an increasingly important role in our agricultural industries and I think that is brilliant.” AWI Shearing Industry Training Development Coordinator Jim Murray said AWI funds training for shearers training for novice, improver and professional shearers and wool handlers across the country – see opposite page. “The Wool Works school is particularly good at promoting shearing and wool handling as a desirable profession and we hope it attracts new workers into the wool harvesting industry,” he said. “Ultimately our funding of shearer and wool handler training aims to improve returns to woolgrowers by increasing the value and quality of their wool clip.” The Wool Works Shearing School is possible through collaboration between RDANI, NSW DPI, AWI, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, TAFE New England, Glen Innes Severn Council, GLENRAC, Prime Super and Heiniger. Sheep were supplied by John Newsome of Elders Glen Innes. Project Coordinator and RDANI Executive Director Nathan Axelsson said that there are three more Shearing Schools planned for 2019, with one locked in for October. “We want to hear from any interested high school teachers or students from years nine to 11.” MORE INFORMATION RDANI 02 6771 0700 The AWI-supported Wool Works Shearing School held at Glen Innes in northern NSW – attended by 24 students, the NSW Deputy Premier and NSW Agriculture Minister – has helped raise the profile and status of the shearing industry. The AWI-supported Wool Works Shearing School in June 2019 hosted 24 students, Deputy Premier of NSW John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall. Deputy Premier of NSW John Barilaro was under close supervision as he had a crack at shearing. Inverell’s MacIntyre High School Year 10 students Jessika Coakes, Alison Sims, Sara Johnson and Sophie Kasteltan with AWI-funded shearing instructor Ross Thompson.
In the Shops - September 2019