A group of shearing teachers from TAFE NSW – Western Institute, based at the Wellington Campus, have achieved impressive results in the 2006 National Shearing and Wool Handling Championships.
Ross Thompson, Peter O’Hara, Phil Balcolmbe, Jason McGaw, Frank Roberts, Matthew and Eileen Philipson, all TAFE teachers, took part in the two day competition which was run in Hay by Sportshear Australia.
All the participants were placed very well in the competition, including a fifth place for
In addition to participating themselves the teachers also acted as mentors for their students who were taking part.
Lindy Wellsmore, Acting Director of Educational Delivery for Primary Industries and Natural Resources, said that the Institute is very pleased to have such high calibre shearers working as teachers.
“We have been working for several years to train new people to enter the shearing industry and to give them skills to make a long-term career in the wool industry,” she said.
In 2003 the Institute commenced a training program to address the industries needs. Approximately 300 shearing or wool handling trainees took part in the first year with close to that number around NSW trained each year since.
To improve the chances of people working in the wool industry as a long-term career the Institute teaches the programs using a coaching approach which treats the shearers and shed-hands as elite athletes as much as they are professionals.
The coaching program commences with an initial two-week intensive training program at the Dubbo Rural Skills and Environment Centre.
The next shearing school will commence 13 November and there are still a few vacancies. People interested in taking part should contact