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Beyond the Bale : March 2012
19 SELLING MORE WOOL R 19 ON-FARM March 2012 BEYOND THE BALE AWI funds training for novice, improver and professional shearers and woolhandlers within its regional coaching program. The aim of the AWI shearer and woolhandler training program is to: l attract and retain new entrants into the wool harvesting industry l build the capacity and longevity of existing staff l increase returns to wool producers through improved clip preparation practices. To find out more about the AWI training program and/or government-funded training initiatives, please contact AWI’s preferred training provider in your state. AWI’s preferred shearing and woolhandling training providers SHEARER AND WOOLHANDLER TRAINING Kacee since 1997. As co-organisers of the amazing North Tuppal Station shearing re-enactment in mid-2010, the pair became well known across the media and in shearing circles in both Australia and Kacee’s native New Zealand. But it is the move to breakdown the cultural barrier between the woolgrower and the shearer that also unites the entire Artridge family. “I think there is a big role for education from both sides to promote respect and understanding of each other, it is definitely getting better,” Peter says. “To have professional shearers you must also have a professional workplace and treat everyone as professionals. The old days of a big cultural difference between farmer and shearer have to fade away, we rely on each other too much.” To help this, modern shearer training can also involve how to manage finances, how to dress and behave more professionally. From a farmer’s perspective, providing a more pleasant workplace is important; raised board sheds are more common as is access to a shower and a clean lunchroom. “Things have clearly come a long way from many points of view and that is a good thing,” Stan adds. “When I started in 1947 I earned three pounds two and six per hundred sheep and in 1954 I earned enough and spent so little in outback Queensland that I bought a Holden ute, it was worth a thousand pounds and at 22 I was pretty happy with that.” Kaleb smiles as he gets into his new ute; looks as though history is certainly repeating and if this means more young people finally coming into shearing, long may it continue. Despite its iconic nature and mesmerising effect on many people, competition shearing and wool handling is not officially recognised as a sport in Australia. Official shearing competitions have taken place in Australia for 127 years and the sport has been recognised in the UK and New Zealand, where there has been a recent push to make shearing an Olympic sport. The main reason the Australian authorities have refused to recognise competition shearing as a sport is because it does not have 5000 members. While it is hard to imagine trampolining or synchronised swimming with this many members, Sports Shear Australia will continue to push its case and AWI looks forward to helping. Walk into any shearing shed in the country with more than one shearer and you’ll soon see how shearing is most definitely competitive and this has translated to the sport of competitions shearing and woolhandling. TIME TO MAKE IT AN OLYMPIC SPORT Peter Artridge, the only shearer known to have represented Australia at world championship level in both blade and mechanical shearing. Peter represented Australia at blade shearing at the World Championships in Masterton, New Zealand, 1-3 March 2012 (see page 20). STATE PROVIDER CONTACT NSW TAFE NSW – Western Institute Jim Murray - 0427 460 007 TAFE NSW – Riverina Institute Graeme Anderson 1800 441 244 Queensland Australian Agricultural College Corporation (AACC) Rick Whistler - 0428 778 430 SA TAFE SA Bob Reid - 0427 604 255 Tasmania Primary Employers Tasmania Richard Leahy - 0438 265 753 Victoria SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc Darren Templeton 0427 435 244 RIST - Rural Industries Skills Training Marjorie Carpenter 1800 883 343 WA CY O’Connor College of TAFE (Northern Region) Stephen Madson 0409 080 243 Great Southern Institute of Technology (Lower Southern) Peter Young 0427 989 848