Cinny inspires first Beetson all-women’s shearing school

Terry Sim, March 17, 2023

Happy Beetson shearing school students: in the front, Jemma Holmes; middle row, from left, Krystal Weatherall, Christy Schultz, Lucy Sturgess and Keely Hardy, and at the back, from left, sisters Ell and Monica Drumgold. Image – Supplied.

A WOMEN’S shearing school will hopefully be held annually after a successful inaugural event in honour of former shearer Jacinta Beetson in southern New South Wales.

The former Walbundrie shearer Jacinta ‘Cinny’ Beetson died in a car accident last year, prompting fund-raising activities by friends and her contractors Steve and Abby Talbot of Talbot Shearing and Crutching Services, Corowa.

Some “Shear for Cinny” days raised almost $20,000 for Jacinta’s family and the first shearing school was funded by $3800 from the sale of two bales of wool in a Michael Manion Foundation charity auction last year.

The first two week-long Jacinta Beetson All Women’s Shearing School was held in the ‘Cosgrove’ shed near Daysdale in the Riverina this month, with Australian Wool Innovation shearing instructor Richard Leahy. It attracted seven shearers from New South Wales and Victoria.

Abby Talbot said the school went well and the aim is to make it an annual event.

She thanked AWI, Fox & Lillie Rural, Finlay Pastoral and Michael Manion Foundation for helping to make the school happen.

Shearing was Cinny’s passion

Jacinta ‘Cinny’ Beetson has inspired more women to take up shearing.

Rutherglen wool classer and rouseabout Lucy Sturgess, 24, did the school in honour of her former school friend and work mate Cinny, but recognised shearing was a handy skill to have and could see herself shearing a few days a week now.

“I’m loving it.

“I hope it is the first of many (schools).”

Lucy said Cinny didn’t have a passion to do anything until she started rousing and then shearing for the Talbots, attending a shearing school and meeting Richard Leahy in January 2022.

“She lived and breathed shearing, and absolutely loved it – it was the first time I’ve seen her have a passion for something.”

Lucy said all-women shearing schools will help women get into the male-dominated profession.

“We can do what anyone else can do.

“It’s very rewarding business to be in,” she said.

“You drive yourself and other people are driving, you get support.

“It’s becoming a big thing and I would love to see more women shearing, not just in the sheds, but shearing.”

Lucy hoped the school inspired more all-women schools in other states, to give women the opportunity to take up shearing.

Richard Leahy said the school went well and he believed more women would attended if further schools were organised. The 46-year wool industry veteran said more women are starting in it “day by day.”

He said two girls from the school were taking up the shearing after the Beetson school.

He said although the sheep are getting heavier, the catching race and catch-and-drag modules being installed in sheds were making a big difference for male and female shearers.

“Don’t worry, it’s not only the girls that find it hard to get them out.”

AWI shearing instructor Richard Leahy had a ring of attentive students in the school.


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  1. April Rolls, March 18, 2023

    I was wondering if I could get a hard copy of this article. Jacinta Beetson is my daughter and I miss her every single day. Thank you for your support, in promoting her passion and supporting women in this industry.

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