Inverell Elders stock agent wins national auctioneers title

Sheep Central, March 25, 2024

NEW South Wales stock agent Justin Oakenfull from Elders Rural Services at Inverell has won the 2024 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition from a top field of contestants from five states.

2024 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition runner up Michael Purtle, left, and winner Justin Oakenfull.

Mr Oakenfull won the event from fellow state competitor Michael Purtle from Purtle Plevey Agencies at Manilla, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show last week.

The other national competition finalists included Dustyn Fitzgerald from Queensland Rural Pty Ltd, Charters Towers; Queensland’s Simon Kinbacher, GDL Pty Ltd, Rockhampton; South Australia competitors Jack Guy, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Bordertown, and Josh Pahl, Southern Australian Livestock, Naracoorte; Victorians Ned Balharrie, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Ballarat, and Harrison Cozens, Elders Rural Services, Albury, and; Western Australia’s Austin Gerhardy, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Manjimup.

The Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association said 10 NSW competitors and nine national competitors showed great flair, personality and determination in selling three show steers, diligently prepared by proud school children as part of their curriculum. The competitors were judged on their diction, values, voice and manner, as well as their presence and unique style, by a panel of respected and experienced auctioneers.

The night before the competitions, a crowd of 350 ALPA members, industry professionals, competitors’ families and friends from all corners of Australia gathered at the annual ALPA NSW and National Young Auctioneers Dinner to celebrate the talent and achievements of the young auctioneers. A highlight of the night was the charity auction which raised a record amount of close to $62,000 for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Ltd. Donations continued to flow with many cash donations made subsequent to the auction, ALPA said.

NSW competition

Forbes agent Darcy Howard from MCC Chudleigh Dobell sold up a storm to win this year’s ALPA NSW Young Auctioneers Competition, ALPA said, earning himself the John Weekes Memorial Shield and a place in the 2025 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition. Coming in second was Jaiden Burke from Nutrien Ag Solutions at Wagga Wagga, who will also represent NSW in the 2025 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition. The Max Bailey Encouragement Award went to Ryan Browne, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon & Co, Forbes.


ALPA’s 2024 New South Wales Young Auctioneers Competition runner up Jaiden Burke, left, and winner Darcy Howard.

he other NSW finalists were Matthew Campion, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Dubbo; Hamish Fauchon, Davidson Cameron & Co, Coonabarabran; Joshua Fenech, Jim Hindmarsh & Son, Moss Vale; Jack Harper, Allan Gray & Co, Cowra; Jacob Kerrisk, Elders Rural Services, Wagga Wagga; Henry Pitman, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Bathurst, and; Jack Whitty, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon & Co, Forbes.

ALPA said history was made at this year’s competition with four finalists competing who are the sons of previous ALPA Young Auctioneer Competition finalists. These were Henry Pitman (father Andrew), Michael Purtle (Patrick), Ned Ba;lharrie (Bruce) and Jack Whitty (Luke).

ALPA said those with the foresight to create this great competition will be full of pride to know that this event has now become one for the generations with the proliferation of sons and daughters excelling in the profession.

With a strong representation across the states the NAB Agribusiness Team Shield was hotly contested. The shield is awarded to the state with the highest aggregate score. This year, New South Wales represented by Justin Oakenfull, Elders Rural Services, Inverell and Michael Purtle, Purtle Plevey Agencies, Manilla won the team shield.

ALPA chief executive officer Peter Baldwin said livestock auctioneering is a time-honoured and specialised skill and ALPA takes great pride in the fact that not only did these young auctioneers deliver highest and best price outcomes for their vendor, they provided inspiration for the next generation.

“This is living testament of the importance of selling livestock in saleyards and our unstinting commitment to professional development and education of our up-and-coming young women and men in this great industry.”





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