Sarah is Australia’s top wool classer graduate

Sheep Central, April 19, 2022

2022 AWEX-TAFE National Graduate Cool Classer Competition place-getters, from left, Grace Jones, VIC, 3rd; Sarah Haynes, SA, 1st, and; Emma Pearson, NSW, 2nd.

SOUTH Australian classer Sarah Haynes has won the first AWEX/TAFE National Graduate Wool Classer Competition in three years, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Sarah is a graduate of the registered training organisation SCAA and was trained by Alie Tuinder of Kingston, South Australia.

As the competition’s 2022 winner among graduates from New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria, Sarah won the coveted ‘Golden Stencil’ and $500 in prize money.

Second place and the ‘Silver Stencil’ with $300 in prize money was won by Emma Pearson from Grenfell in New South Wales and third place with $200 in prize money and the ‘Bronze Stencil’ went to Grace Jones from Ballarat in Victoria.

SCAA, SA and trainer Alie Tuinder received the 14th Dennis Teasdale Perpetual Trophy awarded to the training organisation and trainer of the competition winner.

Emma Pearson was the winner of the DAS Campbell prize for the top NSW graduate. This is the 48th year of the DAS Campbell award.

The AWEX-TAFE National Gradiuate Wool Classer Competition finalists, from left, Lewis Abby, WA; Sarah Haynes, SA, 1st; Heather Walker, NSW; Helena Fischer, NSW; Jacquie Thompson, NSW; Darby Tremain, NSW; Emma Pearson, NSW, 2nd; Grace Jones VIC, 3rd, and; Rosina Te Maipi, NSW.

Sarah, 20, said she was now focussing on her wool handling and working under good classers. She has classed five small Merino clips since graduating and is looking forward to getting into some big clips from May onwards. She is also looking into competing in wool handling competitions.

Sarah said having SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training chief executive officer Glenn Haynes as her father has made her work twice as hard for her achievements in the industry.

The 2022 AWEX/TAFE National Graduate Wool Classer Competition is the industry’s premiere event for classers and was held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on 12 April after a three-year COVID-enforced hiatus.

AWEX chief executive officer Mark Grave said 2022 event was the ninth running of the national competition and it has firmly entrenched itself as a key event at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

“The competition showcases the best of wool classing and is a platform for new and emerging wool classers.

“What is particularly pleasing is that we have some very talented (& younger) people coming into the industry,” he said.

“This is something we should celebrate.”

All finalists completed the tasks of classing fine Merino, medium Merino and crossbred wool as well as exercises in AWEX-ID, valuation and an oral presentation to the judges.

AWEX said Sarah demonstrated her all-round ability to class wool and perform under the unique pressured environment of the competition.

“TAFE organisations across the country should be congratulated for training and nominating classers of such high calibre.

“To be nominated is an honour that has to be earned,” Mr Grave said.

“Each finalist gains valuable experience and in many ways this is as good as a job interview for prospective industry personnel.”

The judges of this year’s competition were Andrew Mills, MacDonald & Co Wool Brokers; Evelyn Archer, TAS TAFE and AWEX wool classer registrar Fiona Raleigh.

The aim of the competition is to recognize excellence in wool classing and education and to lift wool classing’s profile as a profession and career opportunity.

“AWEX has been a proud sponsor of the national wool classing competition since it commenced in 2012, Mr Grave said.

“The national competition is the pinnacle competition for graduates and has created additional enthusiasm and profile for wool and the skills of wool classing.”

The AWEX/TAFE National Graduate Wool Classer Competition finalists


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  1. Edward H Wymer, October 5, 2022

    Unfortunately, wool classing can no longer be seen as a permanent occupation. The so called Master Classers are only working average life thirteen weeks per year, based on AWEX’s figures.

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