Wool Processing

Women’s shearing workshop overwhelmed by interest

Sheep Central, May 10, 2024

Catherine Mullooly in full flight on her way to a new world solo women’s eight hour strong wool ewe shearing record of 465 today. Image – SSNZ.

 

WORLD record shearer Catherine Mullooly has helped fill a two-day shearing workshop in Victoria within 24 hours, highlighting the growing role of women on the handpiece in Australian wool sheds.

SCAA Shearer Woolhandlers Training Inc chief executive officer Glenn Haynes said the Shear N Gear women’s shearing workshop near Kaniva on 28 and 29 May attracted its maximum 20 participants within 24 hours of being advertised on Facebook.

“And I’ve probably got another 15 or more shearers on a waiting list.”

Mullooly is one of New Zealand’s most successful female competition shearers and in January this year the 34 year-old set a new solo women’s eight-hour strong wool ewe record of 465 ewes.

Mr Haynes said Catherine has proven her talent for quality shearing in record and competition events.

“Her eight-hour record was probably one of the best I’ve seen as far as its doing it easy, her accuracy and the way she conducted herself, so she will be a really good role model for these shearers on the quality side of it.”

Also instructing at the workshop will be two-time world champion Shannon Warnest, SWT advanced trainer Peter Oster, gear expert Klynt Correll and Mr Haynes.

Catherine and Shannon will cover their preparation regimens as well as their journeys to setting records and winning world championships, Mr Haynes said.

The workshop at A.J. & P.A. McBride’s Eureka property at Telopea Downs in north-west Victoria has attracted shearers from Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and across Victoria, plus international shearers in Australia from Sweden and France.

Promising Australian junior shearers attending include Victorian Sigourney Williams and Queensland Sports Shear team shearer Grace Schoff, who won the junior shearing event at the New Zealand Gore Southern Shears this year, will also attend.

“There are at least three women in this group that all want to have a crack at a record somewhere along the line and some who are keen on the sport shearing side of it who will go a long way,” Mr Haynes said.

He said the number of women shearing in Australian sheds has increased dramatically in recent years and he wasn’t surprised the workshop filled so quickly.

“There are so many good women shearers now,” he said.

Me Haynes said the involvement of women shearing has gone “full circle” from the situation in 2016 where many were attending learner schools and struggling to get jobs, to where many were at the senior and open level and shearing hundreds a day.

He said the workshop sessions will be run in the property’s new shearing shed complex, that includes worker accommodation featuring 28 single rooms, some with ensuites.

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