Camp hopes to secure the future of shearing

Bob GarnantCountryman
Geraldton shearing contractor Bobby Pepper and WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
Camera IconGeraldton shearing contractor Bobby Pepper and WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan. Credit: Countryman

Aboriginal youngsters will take part in a shearing and woolhandling training camp to discover new talent and reverse the shearing industry’s ageing workforce.

The Aboriginal corporation Mhunga Whalla, at Geraldton, is collaborating with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Aboriginal Economic Development project function with funding support from Australian Wool Innovation to run the camp from January 6 to 17.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said there was a dire need for new shearers across WA.

“We’re very proud to help support the labour shortages in the shearing industry by providing meaningful training and employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people in the Mid West,” she said.

“Camp graduates will be directly linked to local and regional shearing contractors for future employment opportunity after completion of the camp.”

DPIRD principle business development officer Ashley Talbot said the camp would encourage new entrants into the shearing industry and support training opportunities for young people in the Mid West.

“It is beneficial to the shearing industry that the camp takes place to work with Aboriginal youth who have natural talent and are excellent with animals,” he said.

“The shearing industry is an ageing workforce and needs to bring through new talent.”

Mr Talbot said the project would involve a group of up to 20 young people undertaking a classroom induction program.

“From there, a small number of participants will be involved in shearing training at a shearing shed on a farm north of Geraldton,” he said.

“AWI has provided funding for two accredited WA shearing trainers for the camp and a number of local businesses have also provided their support.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails