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Beyond the Bale : June 2012
31 ON-FARM Juine 2012 BEYOND THE BALE she said. The 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Agricultural Census put national shearer numbers at 4173, and 97 of these were women. TAFE Western shearing trainer, Jim Murray, Wellington, said more women were showing an interest in joining the shearing industry, and it should be encouraged. "Every novice shearing school we conduct always has a few girls in it and we've just run an all girls' novice shearing school at Dubbo," he said. "Trainers around the world are all focusing on a shearing technique that takes the weight off the shearer and allows the shearer to keep their spine in line. "It's about technique and is no longer about bulldozing through an animal and overpowering it. "Because it's so much about technique and balance, it allows girls of all shapes and sizes to jump into the industry." Mr Murray said there were plenty of women doing very well in the industry because of their focus on technique, and 130 to 140 sheep a day were realistic figures being achieved. "I think the all-women shearing team in February was ground breaking to the extent that, to the best of my knowledge, it's never been done before," he said. "It opens up a whole lot of new possibilities for women in the industry. "The main thing that the day demonstrated is the great opportunity for young men and women out there in the shearing industry, and that women can also do all the jobs in the shed. "If you turn back time to when the first ladies became doctors, there was a big issue with that." Mr Murray noted that the demographic of shearers had changed a lot in the past couple of decades. "When I was a shearer, shearers were shearers," he said. "Now, a lot of shearers have a small Shearer trainer, Jim Murray, TAFE NSW Dubbo, gives some training to Shireen Monds, Bathurst. Katherine Syrch of Enngonia. block of land and use shearing as a source of off-farm income." The all-women shearing team was supported by hosts, Don and Pam Mudford, Parkdale Merino Stud, Dubbo, Steven Mudford, Narromine Hotel, Troy Briggs. Helen and Craig Barber (singlets), and Lister (equipment). AWI funds training for novice, improver and professional shearers and woolhandlers within its regional coaching program. STATE PROVIDER CONTACT NSW TAFE NSW -- Wester n Institute Jim Murr ay, 0427 460 007 TAFE NSW -- Riverina Institute Graeme Anderson, 1800 441 244 Victoria SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Tr aining Inc Dar ren Templeton, 0427 435 244 RIST -- Rur al Industries Skills Training Marjorie Carpenter, 1800 883 343 WA CY O'Connor College of TAFE (Northern Region) Stephen Madson, (08) 9881 9000 Great Southern Institute of Technology (Lower Southern Region) Peter Young, (08) 9892 7551 SA TAFE SA Bob Reid, (08) 8303 7822 Queensland Australian Agricultural College Corporation (AACC) John Leeson, 1800 888 710 Tasmania Primary Employers Tasmania (PET) Keith Rice, (03) 6343 2244 Shearer and woolhandler training 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.