Pint-sized shearer has future mapped out at five

Programs
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

Photo:
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.

Markets
Mining

Grains

Home
Weather
Livestock
Horticulture

Map:
Culcairn 2660

(ABC News) Email

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.

Fibre