• West Cloven Hills Woolshed

    There are many legends of the shearing industry, past and present. Some receive accolades and some just quietly putt along on their course. They come, they go, but there are some that just aren’t going anywhere – the mighty woolshed. They are built tough, to stand the test of time. Some have had a rough life and stand only as shells of their former glory. Then, there are some that still stand proudly, holding Australia’s history within their walls.   Just a few kilometres out of Camperdown, Victoria sits the West Cloven Hills woolshed. Nestled among the rolling green hillsides, it houses over a century of local history. It tells…

  • Crutching Trailers

      Crutching trailers are well known across Australia for making a repetitive and laborious job, just that little bit easier. A mobile plant that has been used in the far reaches of rural Australia, it goes wherever sheep need to be crutched. Parked near a set of yards, the sheep are first brought in from their paddocks and wait to be moved up the line for their turn on the trailer. Helped along by a penner-up-er and their trusty sidekicks, it is a full action, non stop job. Front of the line brings them to the trailer, up the ramp and to the catching pens across from the crutchers. From…

  • Patrick O'Brien 2

    PATRICK O’BRIEN

    Patrick, 23 wants to be a shearer, plain and simple. But, he knows that you can’t just start at the top so he’s working his way up there. In September 2016 he started working for N K Shearing out of Benalla, Victoria as a woolhandler and knew straight away that this wasn’t the life for him. He had his sights set on something bigger, more personally challenging. He knew after a week and a half that he was going to be a shearer. Putting in his time as a rousy and presser, Patrick enrolled himself in a shearing school in March 2017 to gain more experience and get those basic…

  • Nathan Van Elk

    VAN ELK BOYS

         The Van Elk boys are walking in their dad’s footsteps and determined to carry on the family’s name in the wool industry. (Pictured: Nathan Van Elk) Nathan and Aaron have grown up in the woolsheds with their shearing contracting parents, Karen and Nick Van Elk. Based in the small rural Victorian town of Benalla, these boys have inherited their parents tenacious work ethic. (Pictured L to R : Aaron, Nick & Nathan Van Elk) Aaron, like most shearers started his career as a woolhandler. Moving on quickly, he graduated from a shearing school and onto full time shearing in June 2016. Since then he’s been chasing numbers and (when I…

  • Jess Parker 3

    JESS PARKER

    Jess Parker, 20 has just started her wool industry career and she plans on staying. While working at her local pub in August 2015, a woolhander walked in and offered her a job with NK Shearing, Benalla VIC. There was not much hesitation from Jess and she threw herself right in the thick of it. She already had a little bit of woolhandling experience from her highschool days – taking a day off here and there to lend a hand in the sheds. She now works full time and is one of her teams most valued woolhandlers. Her sights are set on becoming a woolclasser and she is already well…

  • Bolinda Vale Stencils

    BOLINDA VALE, CLARKEFILED VIC

    The majestic woolshed at Bolinda Vale, Clarkefield Vic. Running 48 stands in its glory days, today is still in operation. 102,000 sheep were once shorn here in 12 months and a railway built to mainly just cart the wool and livestock produced by this property. It was a huge operation and created many jobs in the industry (the shearers quarters housed 100 workers). Bolinda Vale is a direct link to not only our industry’s but Australia’s past. If only these walls could talk.  

  • Naomi, Audrey, Kenny & Paddy

    Naomi McLennan

    Watching Naomi walking around her Terip Terip property, ‘Arrabri’ with her three dogs, Audrey, Kenny and Paddy, you can almost hear the land under her feet talking to her. She has a spiritual connection with the land, like they were meant to be. It’s the land she has known her whole life and the land that she has made a life from. Her parents, Bruce and Denise live just around the corner at Taradale. They too are running their own farm and still work closely with Naomi on a daily basis. While the general rule is, never work with friends or family, Naomi and her folks are a refreshing exception…

  • John Conlan

    John Conlan

    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…

  • Jess Parker 5

    N K Shearing, Benalla

    Picture the stereotypical shearer, what do you see? An older worker closer to retirement than to the peak of their career? N K Shearing are setting out to change that. (Nick Van Elk & his shearer sons – Aaron & Nathan) Nick and Karen Van Elk are the respected name in shearing contracting around the Benalla district and beyond. Walk into their typical working day and you’ll see a professional team with their heads down and bums up (literally for some of them). But, there is something different about this team that will serve the future of the shearing industry well. Of the 28 shearers, woolhandlers, pressers and woolclassers working…

  • Wendy Beer

    ‘Beersheba Farm’, Moorngag VIC

    Australia’s only registered Drysdale Stud – Beersheba Farm, is nestled comfortably in the rolling green hillsides of Moorngag, Victoria. It’ just one of those places that make you want to pack up your life and get lost there forever. There is an air about it, it’s calm, kind and inviting. Much like business owner, Wendy Beer. Take a walk through the paddocks with Wendy and she is the modern day Snow White –   to her sheep and border collies that is. They follow her wherever she goes. There is a mutual respect between Wendy and what could easily be described as her ‘pets’.   A mix of Drysdales, English Leicsters…

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