Pint-sized shearer has future mapped out at five

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Charlie Dunn may only be five years old but his passion for shearing means his future career is already mapped out.Living on a sheep farm at Culcairn, in the Riverina region of New South Wales, means the shearing shed has been part of his life since birth.So it is no wonder he began shearing his teddy bears at the age of two after watching his dad Clint shearing and his wool classer mum Donna at work. He’s going to be gone and shearing pretty young.” (ABC Rural: Cara Jeffery)
Mr and Ms Dunn admit both were keen on shearing when they were children, but doubt they were ever as eager as their son.”I don’t think my passion started quite as young as his,” Mr Dunn said.”When dad was away shearing, us kids would be pretty keen to shear the pets [but] I think I would have been 12 to 13 when I first held a handpiece.”And while he may have only just started school, the Dunns anticipate shearing will be Charlie’s career of choice.”I can’t see him doing anything else,” Ms Dunn said.”I don’t think I’m going to keep him at school very long. “A lot of people are pretty impressed with how he knows all the blows that you are supposed to do.”His mum said Charlie was desperate to start using a mechanical shearing handpiece.”I think it’s a bit dangerous to be using one by himself, so he’s taken up using a pair of blade shears,” she said.”We always cut the dots off them with the blade shear, so I think he has seen that and thought I can shear with a pair of these and away he’s gone.”Charlie has got the shearing shed banter down pat too and likes to compare his runs on the board with his colleagues..”He’s a character, he stirs up the shearers [and] will let them know if they’ve cut one,” Ms Dunn said.”He’s always asking how many they have shorn and they like to see how many he’s done.” School a temporary stop on journey to shearing shed

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Charlie’s teddy collection in the shed, ready for shearing. You take all the wool off and not cut them,” Charlie said.Watching and learningAnd as soon as school is over for the day, it is back to the boards for Charlie.”I have to get changed, I then run down to the shed and draft them and get them in and shear them,” he said. Photo:
Charlie is desperate to use a mechanical handpiece. Photo:
Charlie heads straight to the shearing shed when school is out for the day. (ABC Rural: Cara Jeffery)
The Dunns shear all their own sheep but with Charlie starting kindergarten, they have had to restructure their program so that Charlie doesn’t miss a thing.”We are not allowed to shear during the week while he is at school now, so it looks like there’ll be more weekend shearing,” Mr Dunn said.On some days, Charlie has already had a busy morning drafting his lambs even before hopping on the school bus.”I love shearing the long blow [from the sheep’s tail to its neck] and the belly. (ABC Rural: Cara Jeffery)
Ms Dunn said her son’s shearing technique was very good for a five-year-old.”Basically he spent a lot of time with us; we shear all our sheep so we shear a fair bit,” she said.”He’s picked it up from watching Clint and from us taking him out when we did wool classing, roustabouting and shearing jobs and he’s just become crazy about it.

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Click go the shears for pint-sized shearer with future mapped out in the shed

ABC Rural

By Cara Jeffery

Updated

February 10, 2017 14:34:15

Video: Meet future professional shearer, Charlie Dunn, aged five.

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Youth crime rate down in Tasmania

Tasmanian offences in numbersActs intended to cause injury decreased by 22 per cent (516 offenders).Theft and related offences decreased by 36 per cent (472 offenders).Illicit drug offences decreased by 32 per cent (630 offenders).Public order offences decreased by 15 per cent (593 offenders).Number of offenders proceeded against by police declined by 27 per cent (3,984 offenders).Figures from Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015-16 compared to 2008-09. During the same time period, however, Tasmania’s population rose by 0.5 per cent.Assistant Commission Frame said he believed crime was falling across the state thanks to positive relationships police and community groups were developing.”It’s a positive reflection on the hard work of our staff, but it’s also a positive reflection on the support we get from the community,” he said.”It’s about working with the community and the community realising that our staff are out there every day holding people to account.”Our goal is to reduce crime, make the roads safer and make people feel and be safe in the community.”Assistant Commission Frame said efforts to work with young people at risk also appeared to be paying off.”A very small percentage of young people have real issues and go off the track,” he said.”It’s about trying to engage with those at an early stage to identify them and work with other government agencies.”Sometimes success is they only commit two offences this month instead of 10, but that’s eight less victims and that’s a good thing.” Tasmania’s youths are less likely to commit a crime today than they were in 2008, according to Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) numbers.The latest ABS report show crime rates in Tasmania for the 2015-16 period were down by 55 per cent among people aged 10 to 17, as compared to the 2008-09 period.Glen Frame, Assistant Commissioner with Tasmania Police, said the statistics may come as a shock to some.”Often young people get blamed for a whole range of things,” he told Ryk Goddard on ABC Radio Hobart.”The reality is that crime’s down 50 per cent as to where it was 15 years ago in Tasmania.”I think young people of today are fantastic and they’re probably better than I think I was at that age.”The median age of offenders in Tasmania has risen from 27 years in 2014-15 to 28 in 2015-16.This was up four years from 2008 when the median age for offenders was just 24.The total number of offenders in Tasmania for 2015-16 was 10,842 — an increase of 0.5 per cent from 2014-15.
Calls to close Ashley youth prison, where staff outnumber inmates by more than 7 to 1
(Supplied: Australian Bureau of Statistics) ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

February 10, 2017 14:32:42

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Crime rates are in serious decline among Tasmanian youths, ABS report shows.
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