OPINION: Plenty of opportunity for school leavers to ride the sheep’s back

By Chris Oldfield

IT IS 7.15am and “Stubbie” walks up the steps of a South East shearing shed.

Along the shearing board, he stops at number three stand and clicks his handpiece onto a down tube connected to an electric motor.

Stubbie checks the tension of his comb and cutter.

With a greasy little oil can, once silver but now covered in grime, he dribbles lubricant across the razor sharp 88mm width of steel.

Flicking the handpiece in and out of gear, he inspects it again, ensuring it is ready for the day’s first 2.5 hours of shearing known as a ‘run’.

“Sleep in?” Stubbie says to the shearer on number one stand who is usually the first to arrive at the shed, but not today.

Stubbie is one of four shearers who between them will shear around 800 sheep a day, until


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