Talented, enthusiastic, skilful, dedicated and hard-working are just some of the superlatives used to describe young up-and-coming Cowra shearer and TAFE Western Certificate III Shearing trainee Brody Tiyce.
In fact, ask some of his mentors and colleagues, many of whom have been in the industry for more than four decades, and they’ll tell you he’s one of the most committed young shearers they’ve worked with.
That’s quite a compliment for a 17-year-old who has only been shearing for seven months. But it’s certainly one that’s well deserved, after he successfully managed to shear more than 200 sheep in a day for the first time in early January.
“It’s a really big achievement for a young fella to shear 200 sheep in a day at his age because most of the shearers who manage to do it have been on the farm for four or five years already or come from a farming background,” Brody’s boss Tim Chalker, of Tim Chalker Contract Shearing said.
“But in Brody’s case, he didn’t have any farming background and has only been shearing for seven months, making the achievement even more impressive.”
TAFE Western teacher Wayne Hosie, who works in partnership with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to provide structured training for the Wool Harvesting Industry, believes the key to Brody’s success is his willingness to take advice and his eagerness to learn.
“It’s pretty rare these days to have a young trainee who possess the right attitude and is really eager to get better all the time,” Wayne said.
“When I first came to see Brody at the Lachoona Merino Stud in Darby Falls he wasn’t the most natural or gifted shearer, but his willingness to watch, listen and learn saw him get better really quickly.”
Brody admits TAFE was a key factor in his decision to pursue a career in shearing, and he now has his eyes set on even bigger milestones.
“I attended a one-week Shearing School with AWI before getting a two-week scholarship to attend TAFE Western in Dubbo,” he said.
“I really enjoy going to TAFE. Teachers such as Ian Elkins and Wayne (Hosie) really go out of their way to help you and the learning is really hands-on. I hated the idea of being stuck in the classroom, but it’s not like that at all.
“After the scholarship I moved in with my Auntie Shannon and Uncle Gavin Taylor in Reid’s Flat and gave Tim (Chalker) a ring and asked for some work. He said come down and try it out for a week or two, and here I am seven months later.
“Tim’s a great boss and I feel like I’m always getting better and better. I’m now striving to shear 300 sheep in a day and make the most of this experience.
“One day I’d like to be able to buy my own property and I’d also love the chance to go over and shear in New Zealand. But for now I just want to complete my traineeship and learn as much as I can.”
Both Wayne and Tim agree the young shearer has what it takes to become elite and forge a successful career in the industry.
“If he keeps doing what he’s doing I think he’s going to be very successful,” Wayne said.
“Brody’s a great listener and I have no doubt he’ll keep getting better and become an elite shearer.” Tim added.