WASIA stalwart steps down

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Cally DupeThe West Australian
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WA Shearing Contractor Association executive officer Vikki Gates with WAFarmers wool council vice-president Kim Henderson.
Camera IconWA Shearing Contractor Association executive officer Vikki Gates with WAFarmers wool council vice-president Kim Henderson. Credit: Countryman

It’s been 14 years since Vikki Gates stepped into her role at the WA Shearing Industry Association to represent an industry she loved.

The industry stalwart will step down from her role as executive officer at the non-for-profit later this month.

Ms Gates was responsible for day-to-day office activities at the non-for-profit as well as co-ordinating its shed safety assessment and training programs.

She was also involved in award negotiations and represented the organisation at safety, training and other key industry consultations.

Taking on her role, albeit with a slightly different focus, is Perth-based strategic consultant Valerie Pretzel.

She was appointed to the new role of administrative officer by the WASIA executive committee and will bring a technological focus to the organisation.

WASIA president Darren Spencer said Ms Gates had played a vital role in the organisation during the past 14 years.

“Vikki has been a great support over the years and has initiated and carried out a number of key initiatives and projects,” he said.

“We thank Vikki for her dedicated years of excellent service.”

Ms Gates and Ms Pretzel were in the midst of handover this week, with the change set to be officially made at the WASIA AGM on June 24.

While relatively new to the shearing industry, Ms Pretzel said the role presented a new challenge in an ever-changing environment.

She has worked as a strategic consultant for more than 30 years with extensive experience in marketing, technology and management.

“I’m new to the industry but have a lot of experience in associations and boards so this is a bit of a different role,” Ms Pretzel said.

“My role is more to support the committee, people with a lot of skill and knowledge in the industry.”

Mr Spencer said he felt confident in Ms Pretzel’s ability to take up the role.

“Valerie brings a broad range of expertise that will serve the association well,” he said.

“We are moving into a future with improved use of technology for member and industry communications and expanded member and industry benefits.

“This is an exciting time for WASIA and we all look forward to a strong future.”

Mr Spencer said the organisation had reviewed its strategic planning activities late last year and wanted to place more focus on its members.

“The executive committee has charted a road for the future to ensure members are informed with meaningful member benefits,” he said.

WASIA will hold its AGM at Perth and Tattersalls Bowling and Recreation Club in East Perth on July 24.

The agenda includes general business, the treasurer’s report, information about Ms Pretzel’s new position, guest speakers and more.

To find out more, email admin@waisa.com.au.

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