Above: The first all-female wool classing graduates to complete Certificate IV qualification at Cowra TAFE (l-r) Samantha Redpath, Cass Doig, Melanie Cooper, Simone Chalker and Mary Wright.
WHAT is thought to be the first TAFE class comprising five young women has sat the final practical test to become fully qualified wool classers.
The Cowra TAFE students have completed their Certificate IV Stage Two exams.
Wool-classers sort fleeces into industry-accepted lines and are responsible for shearing shed administration.
After students pass the practical exam completed this week, they can apply to the Australian Wool Exchange for their industry-recognised professional stencil, which is used to brand each bale of wool they class.
The students are from Cowra, Grenfell, Dubbo, the New England region and Victoria.
The course requires attendance at TAFE each week to study theory as well as practical assessments and practice sessions in working woolsheds.
It can take up to two years to finish but can be completed over a shorter period, depending on a student’s experience.
One of the current students has already received an attractive job offer in Victoria, which, she says, she’s considering seriously.
Others intend using their qualification on their own family and surrounding properties, should the opportunity arise.
The women spoke with CCN Editor, Garry Starr, when they finished their exam this week, explaining why decided to take up wool classing and what they enjoy most about the work.
Click the PLAY icon ►on the audio panel below to hear the interview.