The Conlan brothers – John and Mark were a force to be reckoned with in the Australian Shearing Competition circuits. Both brothers won the Golden Shears (two and four times respectively) and had an intensely competitive spirit. You could bet your bottom dollar when one came in first the other would follow closely in second.
They competed for fun and were bloody good at it too. While other shearers were knocking back a few coldies at the end of the day, Mark and John could be found working on their fitness. They loved it and had a thirst for being the best.
Nothing could stop the Conlan brothers, not even threats from the Union to be blacklisted from competition shearing if they took part in the 1986 wide comb international shearing comp in WA, shearing alongside non union members. They competed and copped the ban.
Staying true to their competitive spirit, they didn’t just walk away from competition shearing, instead they started something that would change the history of the Shearing industry. Along with David Ryan (also blacklisted from shearing by the union), Mark and John started ‘Sports Shear Australia’.
Mark passed away in 2012 and his legacy still lives on today.
John is still active in the wool industry and runs his shearing contracting business. Now living in Lancefield with his faithful kelpies, Toby and Churchie, retirement is on the horizon from the sheds but he isn’t retiring from the industry. He is taking his love of wool further down the pipeline and is now manufacturing his own garments.
With past experience in manufacturing (he is the brains behind Euroa Shear Wool), he now has singlets and his hugely popular ‘Rambo Wool’ socks keeping him busy. All of his years as a shearer has given his clothing line an edge – not only are they wool blend fabrics but the designs keep woolshed workers comfortable and just a little less sweaty with his ‘cool mesh’ shearing fabrics.
To check out his range, visit www.rambowool.com.au