Past Scholarship Stories

Jack Walker
Heiniger Scholarship Report

To SA Sheep Expo Committee,

My name is Jack Walker and I was the recipient of the Heiniger Learner Scholarship at the 2018 SA Sheep Expo. The Heiniger learner scholarship has been an excellent experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The scholarship not only came with the learner shearing kit, but it had several requirements to fulfil which I met and greatly enjoyed. These requirements were:

Attend 1 Learner or Improver shearing school
Compete in 1 Learner shearing competition
Attend a day with a Heiniger representative
Submit a written report on the experience

In early October I joined Lachlan Holmes, the South-East Heiniger representative, and went with him for the day as he visited shearing sheds and conducted repairs on various shearing equipment. This was a very interesting experience because I learnt about the parts and inner-workings of shearing equipment such as handpieces and down-tubes. We travelled around the South-East from Lucindale through to Kingston and visited several farms along the way. I thank Lachlan for dedicating some time to take me and I enjoyed learning new things and meeting new people.

From October 29th through to the 2nd November I attended the TAFE SA learner shearing school at Furner. This shearing school was an amazing experience where I not only learnt to shear but I also learnt about all aspects of the shearing and wool industry. Over the course of the week, we were taught how to shear a full sheep by practicing on shorn sheep, marking the blows with chalk and practicing individual sections at a time until it was all pieced together on the final few days. While attending the school, we also learnt about grinding, wool handling and preparing the equipment for shearing. I thoroughly enjoyed the learner shearing school and would highly recommend it to anyone in the sheep industry. By the end of the shearing school I could successfully shear a sheep in 6-7 minutes which I have gradually refined down to 4-5 minutes. The school had very experienced and world-class instructors that taught us and refined our skills to try and perfect our techniques.

After attending the learner shearing school I entered the Lucindale shearing competition which was another requirement of the scholarship. From the heats I came third overall and I was placed fourth in the final. I really enjoyed competing in the 2018 Lucindale shears so much that I decided to enter the Edenhope shears a week later which I came third overall. Although this was a requirement for the scholarship, it did not feel like it because I was having fun and meeting new people.

Following the shearing school and competitions, I have been shearing at school with Dave Brooker and also at home on the family farm whenever it is needed. I am currently really enjoying my shearing and always excited to pick up the handpiece and shear a sheep.

Throughout my experience with this scholarship I haven’t had any problems, so I have no suggestions for improvement. This scholarship is excellent for kids who seek to work in the wool industry particularly shearing and creates a great pathway into the industry. This scholarship has motivated me to shear sheep and improve my skills particularly through the shearing school
which I have been recommending to many kids that are in the sheep industry. I believe that the Heiniger learner scholarship is an excellent experience for anyone who wishes to enter the industry.

I would finally like to thank the SA Sheep Expo, Heiniger and Darren McEvoy for providing this scholarship and this wonderful experience. I have enjoyed every moment of this scholarship and would recommend it to any participants of the 2019 SA Sheep Expo.

Jack Walker

William Thomas
Show Day Experience

Arriving at the show grounds at 0730 dad and I walked to the sheep shed to meet Brenton for my show day experience with Corriedales.

Firstly we talked about what I would be doing, and then shown what sheep I would be holding for the day. Next I was asked to hop into one of the sheep pens to hold a difficult sheep to calm it down in the pen before judging. After holding the sheep, Brenton and I went along and washed all of his sheep’s faces to make them look nice and clean ready for judging.

Next I was told I had about half an hour to go get some food for breakfast. We came back at quarter to nine ready for judging.

Judging went on for three hours and in that time I helped get sheep ready for the show ring and held about five different sheep in the judging ring and holding them in a number of different classes. After judging had finished I saw that with all the sheep I held there was 2 firsts, 4 seconds, 2 thirds and also one reserve champion ram.

After judging had finished I spent the rest of the day walking around the show and later going to the Corriedale dinner night at the Arkaba hotel for dinner and presentations.

The experience was fun and enjoyable, it was great holding the sheep in the ring and getting to talk to different breeders from the Corriedale society. It also introduces you to other sheep breeders in Australia and can be handy to know in the future.

I would like to give a big thanks to the RA&HS for donating this Scholarship to the SA Sheep Expo and a big thanks to the Lush family for excepting me for the scholarship and another big thanks to the SA Sheep Expo for teaching me lots of what there is in the sheep industry in South Australia and abroad.

Will Thomas