HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : Dec - Jan 08
PROFILE Debbie Chandler Wool classer and wool-handling trainer and mentor Competition hones champion of the boards Australian Wool Innovation Limited AWI, GPO Box 4177, Sydney NSW 2001 On his website, Dwayne Black says he would never attempt a record without Debbie due to her "awesome ability". It was during these competitions and record attempts that Debbie was spotted by AWI and approached to become a wool-handling trainer and mentor, not only to help other wool handlers, but to advise on training program curriculum and assessment. These days her schedule is filled with training wool handlers in sheds across WA through the C.Y. O'Connor College of TAFE, travelling to NSW to provide input for the AWI train-the-trainers program, competing as a member of the WA shearing team, and working in sheds for Dongara- based contractor Mike Henderson, who was profiled in the October edition of Beyond the Bale. "The six years of classing was a great stepping stone in the industry and I was looking for the next challenge, which may have been wool broking, but along came this opportunity," Debbie says. Generally, the 120 accredited shearer and wool- handler trainers in Australia work closely with beginner and experienced workers by working alongside them in sheds. Debbie says her style is to observe the workings of a shed for a while to establish who is who and where problems might occur. She then starts working alongside the wool handlers, giving advice along the way.This focuses on the four pillars -- teamwork, timing, technique and temperament. "The first rule of the shed is a good set-up to maximise work flow and to make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities," Debbie says. "Training people in a half-hour rotation throughout the run gives them a chance to improve in all job roles.Then, by about the third run, I like to give them a few challenges and push them to increase the pace. "Wool handling, like shearing, can be treated as a sport: you need to be consistent and pace yourself, but always be trying to improve." It is for this reason Debbie encourages wool handlers and shearers to take up competitive shearing and wool handling. In her first competition, Debbie won the novice wool-handling event, then two years later she entered her second show and won her place in the WA team, which took her to Roma, Queensland, in 2004 where she came third in Australia. With close competition in this year's Australian National Woolhandling Championship, held in Warrnambool, Debbie narrowly beat Tasmania's Mel Morris, with both making the Australian team bound for the world titles in Norway in 2008. "Wool handling for Dwayne Black in his record attempts were career highlights for me," she says. "You push yourself to see how far you can go and it improves your confidence and ability greatly." Her other piece of advice for wool handlers is to avail themselves of the training and courses available. Debbie says new tools, developed with the support of AWI, such as an interactive training DVD on wool handling, an introductory training flip-book for beginners and also the tool-box guide for wool handlers to upskill those who have been in the industry for a while, provide lots of opportunities for self improvement. "Some say they don't need a certificate for a job they are already doing, but many people are more confident about a job if they have a ticket of recognition. It could become their ticket to work in sheds around the world." -- KELLIE PENFOLD More information: www.wool.com.au When Debbie Chandler rattled off her schedule for the rest of 2007 you could be excused for wondering whether you were talking to an elite athlete or a high-flying business executive. Debbie talked of training and competing one minute and then mentoring and lifting levels of industry professionalism the next. But then, as now, when anyone asks what she does, she simply says that she works "in the sheds". And "in the sheds" is where the 29-year-old West Australian has become one of the country's poster girls for wool handling, illustrating the career path and the challenges of working in wool harvesting. Leaving school before completing year 12, after having missed three months due to knee reconstructions, Debbie was keen to take a job that was physically challenging, but allowed her to travel. Her cray-fisherman father had been a shearer, so the shearing sheds beckoned. "From day one I enjoyed it," she says from her home base at Port Denison on WA's mid-west coast. "When I was at school I thought I'd be a PE teacher, or something that involved physical activity, but wool handling was the challenge I needed." After six years of wool handling, Debbie gained her wool- classing certificate and spent another six years classing. Along the way she further developed her skills through competitions and being a member of champion shearer Dwayne Black's team when he made his nine shearing record attempts, including those in 2005 when he set records by shearing 513 Merino ewes in nine hours and 519 crossbred lambs in eight hours. Debbie Chandler: in the business of lifting industry professionalism. PHOTO: EVAN COLLIS
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement