An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

Wool Works nurtures interest in shearing trade

07 November 2017

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.

The one-day intensive program was a team effort between RDANI, NSW DPI, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS), TAFE New England, Glen Innes Severn Council, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Heiniger. A recent trial of the Wool Works program saw Year 9 and 10 students from Guyra Central School learn about the industry as well as trying their hand at shearing. Guyra Central School agriculture teacher Scott Miller said that Wool Works was an important experience for his students.

RDANI Chair Russell Stewart said the trial of the Wool Works program 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.

RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson said, “This event demonstrates just how effective rural and regional communities can be when industry, community leaders, schools and government work together to achieve a common goal. The contributions of NSW DPI, LLS District veterinarian Nigel Brown, 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 are particularly appreciated.”

Mr Axelsson is optimistic that the successful trial will see school groups from across northern NSW flocking to Glen Innes to participate in the Wool Works program into the future.

For more information on the Wool Works program, please visit the RDA Northern Inland website.  

Image caption: Guyra Central School students and those involved in the Wool Works Shearing School trial at Glen Innes.