Inspiring Our Youth
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Wool Works Shearing School

Watch the Wool Works feature video
Watch the Wool Works feature video

Wool Works is a new shearing and wool handling program for secondary school students that has just been trialled by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. Organisers and students declared the trial a success with many organisations working together to make the initiative a reality. There is hope by those involved that it could become the most consistent and ongoing shearing school approach in Northern NSW.

The one-day intensive school was a team effort between RDANI, the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW DPI, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, TAFE New England, Glen Innes Severn Council, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Heiniger. The Wool Works trial day saw Year 9 and 10 students from Guyra Central School learn about animal husbandry, biosecurity, workplace health and safety, wool and sheep handling as well as trying their hand at shearing.

RDANI Chair Russell Stewart said the Wool Works Shearing School trial was a great opportunity to showcase this exciting industry to the region’s up and coming workforce. “Keeping quality young people in the bush, providing them with opportunities to learn and work where they live should be top priorities for all communities across the region,” he said.

Thanks to Australian Wool Innovation, experienced shearers Ross Thompson and Leo Fittler instructed, instructed and demonstrated for the trial day. “If you can shear a sheep and do some crutching, you’ve got handy skills for the rural industry. It’s also a great profession to consider for travelling and even students going on to university can use shearing shed skills to pay their way,” Mr Thompson said.

“Providing introductory skills in shearing and wool handling to high school students and nurturing their interest is a unique approach and one that is important for the future of the industry,” he said.

The Wool Works Shearing School trial was a big step forward, according to RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson.

“We particularly appreciated the contributions of NSW DPI, Nigel Brown LLS District Veterinarian, Pauline Smith at TAFE New England, John Newsome of Elders Glen Innes who kindly provided the sheep, the Lions Club of Glen Innes for catering and especially Guyra Central School”.

“The Wool Works trial demonstrated that the shearing school can work at the host venue, the Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, which is a tremendous asset to the region.”

Mr. Axelsson is now optimistic that the successful trial will see school groups from across northern NSW flocking to Glen Innes for the Wool Works Shearing and Wool handling School into the future.

To find out more or express an interest on behalf of a school, please call us on 02 6771 0700.

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