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CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Incoming TAFE NSW Hay wool teacher Kayla Garner without outgoing long-serving teacher Tim Carroll.
Hay’s burgeoning wool industry has received a boost with news local girl and former national wool handling champion Kayla Garner will train the next generation of wool classers at TAFE NSW Hay.
Ms Garner, who was crowned Australian National Wool Handling Champion in 2013 and has 15 years’ experience as a wool classer, recently took over from long-standing teacher Tim Carroll to deliver the Certificate IV in Wool Classing.
It comes as IBISWorld predicted Australian wool production would jump by 5.9 per cent in 2021-22, to 375.4 kilotonnes. Hay is at the centre of what is regarded as one of the best merino wool-growing regions in Australia, with 26 studs found on the Riverine Plains.
Ms Garner said she was passionate about wool classing and excited about arming future wool classers with the practical skills and industry contacts to make their mark.
“I’m excited about training the next generation of home-grown wool classers and helping support Hay’s most important industry,” Ms Garner, 34, said.
“It’s a great industry to be a part of and qualified wool classers are currently earning close to $500 a day in the sheds.
“It’s such an interesting job: you’re in the great outdoors, every day is different and it’s fast-paced, healthy work.”
Ms Garner also manages her family’s shearing contracting company Willshear, where she oversees 24 staff.
She said the industry was currently experiencing a shortage of wool classers, meaning TAFE NSW graduates were even more in demand.
The Certificate IV in Wool Classing is currently open for enrolments and is an 18-month course that qualifies graduates to work as wool classers. Units in the course include preparing wool for sale; classing fleecelines and documenting wool clips.
Ms Garner’s appointment at TAFE NSW has won the support of local industry heavyweights, with Shear Outback deputy chairman Ian Lugsdin describing it as a “coup” for the community.
“This is a huge positive for the local wool industry and for the next generation of wool classers who will learn under Kayla,” Mr Lugsdin said.
“To have someone who’s represented Australia bringing her unprecedented knowledge to our young people is brilliant.”
To explore the range of courses available at TAFE NSW and via TAFE Digital, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428