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(generated from captions) I'm gonna really give it my best. I'm going with all guns a-blazing. I know it's very hard yakka, but so there was my opportunity. wanted to learn to shear And I've always of young shearers in the industry. and how there's a shortage about the shearing school And I heard him on the radio bringing in a mob of sheep. when I was at work through 7LA radio station I heard about the course Out the leg. Big blow, down the last time. they're wild animals. and they're not pet sort of sheep, to remove all the wool and you've got a machine in the other hand a wild woolly animal in one hand I mean, you've got physically and mentally. So, it is demanding is equivalent to running a marathon. that's shearing 200 sheep a day They say a bloke that are in the industry shearing. and now I've got two sons It's just followed on, and me grandfather. was involved in the industry Before that, me father in the industry for 35 years. and I've been from Cressy in Tasmania Robin Flood's my name, will have what it takes to survive. Only a few toughest physical jobs in the world. to one of the will introduce the students former champion shearer Robin Flood Over four weeks, a new generation of shearers. to train set up nationwide And schools have been set up nationwide And schools have been for the industry. has become a major problem experienced shearers in Australia A lack of in a gruelling shearing school. 12 students participate in Tasmania's Fingal Valley, NARRATOR: Every year THEME MUSIC

that have come into this school here There has been students So just help yourself. and eats over there. tea and coffee and water You'll find get paid for the sheep they shear. will go onto another shed and to the next stage of the course The top five who make it through of a professional shearer. and living the life They'll be working the hours in quarters on the property. The learners stay He'll be back. (Sobs) Dad... Bye-bye, mate. 'Bye. so my kid's lives are a lot better. to bust my arse, for the next 20 years so this is my opportunity that I never had when I was a kid, and not having the things I don't want them struggling of their futures. And you've got to think in another couple of weeks. that's gonna be even bigger I've got a small family apart from being a shearer. as any sort of thing that paying really good money of me getting a job So, there'll be no hope I'm not real good at. but the spelling and maths, that's put in front of me I can read anything but not education-wise. Street smart, I'm not real smart. without the sheep giving you hell. shear the wool off it and hopefully you can the sheep as best to your ability And you've got to make or hold sit there and be shorn. they don't want to got the mind of their own because the sheep have that will make you chuck it in well, that's the type of job that's gonna chuck it in easy, If you were the type of person and it makes you a good person. It's a hard game, hard industry and families and good cars. They've got houses and mortgages have all been successful in life. All the shearers I know have a go at the shearing. Currently gonna around properties all me life. I grew up on a farm and worked I'm 29 years old. I'm Colin Lawrence, as a shearer. is to get on to the Palmerston team So, I'm... My achievement Palmerston, and that's paid work. go on to another property called, the two weeks, the top five shearers I know there's, at the end of

He would have been strong enough. Yeah, he should have, I suppose. (Laughs) A wrestler. He should have been a wrestler. doing this wool pressing" "You waste your time I used to say to him, Yeah, he was a very big fella. He was a good wool presser. with Colin's Dad. I worked in the sheds and finishes at 5:30. The day kicks off at 7:30 and an hour off for lunch. Two half-hour smoko breaks, is made up of four two-hour runs. A shearer's day (Laughter) It'll be 'shear blitz'! Just going to be plain sailing. there on the board. when you get down not going to have any troubles If you get it right here, you're he doesn't answer you back. Be careful Yeah, just have a word to him. Like he's just sitting there? sheep feel comfortable? Does everyone's Are you right, Colin? a flat comb on the skin. allows you to get for the position you're shearing Knowing where your feet are They're heavier than the wethers. go through it in positions. and we'll get in a big arc 'round here drag him out and maybe to do, is all select a sheep Now, what I want you Get over! Get over! Go back. DOGS BARKING going to treat you as equals. and the ladies are going to treat them as equals and blokes you're There are some ladies on this course connotations in it, or anyway, etc. And finally, there will be no sexual if he finds you kicking a sheep. anybody out of this course and Robin will throw Bad language is not tolerated, sent off the property immediately. you will be of any drugs or dogs or guns And if Robin finds the least trace are not permitted. that guns, dogs and drugs general rules and those are We have some has the same opportunity. So, everyone that starts here today England and America shearing. but they've gone to Italy, shorn not only in Australia that have now gone on,

Clean the pizzle. And we're gonna full crutch 'em. Under the eye, right? Crutching, is taking the wool off the sheep's head and backside. It's done a couple of times a year and stops the sheep becoming flyblown. Come across that... It will start everyone off. Right? 'COWS' BY SPIDERBAIT PLAYS Can you feel that doing you good? It's a good resting position. All top footballers do it like this. St Kilda have been doing it a lot this year. LAUGHTER Dave and Mabel were going into town in the horse and buggy. They go down past Old Bill Smith's place and there's a cow out in the paddock. And there's a bull mounted up on this cow. And old Dave looks across at Mabel and he says, "Can I do that, Mabel?" She says, "I don't care, it's Bill Smith's cow." LAUGHTER We're gonna do the pizzle. We're gonna wig these, right? He died very young. 47, yeah, no, it was bad business. Nah, he was 47. And he wasn't very old. Yeah. a heart attack, didn't he? He ended up having Yeah, it was a shame really. when he was a young fella. He'd pick them up pretty easy

You right? Yeah, big one. Yeah, you've picked a little one. (Laughs) There you go, you'll be right. Gonna cut the quail a little bit. Does it help when you put your leg in behind? Oh, you can do that. You can do that if you want. Yep, just keep it in there. Yeah, that's better. Turning the handpiece around under like that in your hand. That's good, Col. What's that stuff dripping off your head there, hey? It's water, I reckon. Condensation. Very good, that's good. Think I've got it? Yeah, you know it's only 10 degrees outside? It's not a hot day. (Laughs) Well done, mate. You better draw another one. They're at the end of their first day today. We didn't get really started until lunch time but their progress is just astronomical, actually. I'm quite surprised. Even the girls are doing it, like, spot-on. So, yeah, they're going really well. It'll just be interesting to see how they all are tomorrow morning, though, first thing. MAN: Get out of it! Come on. (Laughs) I bet you don't go and do that in the women's showers. Yeah. Oh, can I come? Bet he does. (Laughs) I'll tell you a little story - I was shearing in a shed in NSW, going back, oh, it'd be 1971-72. Showing your age now, mate. Yeah. Anyway, like, the boss come in and lined us up before we started and this was a 10-stand shed, right. He said, "What I require is all the wool, "and the sheep requires all its skin." And this little old bloke down on the stands, stand 10, piped up and he said, "I'm sorry, mister, "but you're both gonna be a little bit disappointed". (All laugh) It's in here. In here and in here. You've gotta have the heart and you've gotta have the mind. More heart than mind to keep going. I guarantee you, one day, every one of youse are gonna have that go through your head. All want to pack up and go. I can guarantee you, it will happen. I went for seven months doing 80 a day. And then just overnight came into the shed the next day and went up to 90. Couple of days later - wow, I got me 100. You know, I was stoked. It's big thing to get your first 100. It is. Don't ever get 99, though, because you owe the rest of the crew a carton. LAUGHTER If you get that 100, that's your main, main, big feat. KNOCK AT DOOR Come on, boys. Come on, Ryan. KNOCK AT DOOR Yeah... Hey, she's morning time. Sean. Yeah. Come on, mate. Hands off snakey - wakey wakey! What, do you think it's Saturday? No. Hey. I'll tell you what, there's some big woolly hoggets over there waiting for youse. A very important aspect in the shearing industry is the keep yourself flexible. Just loosen up the shoulders. There's nothing worse, you go in, you grab the sheep and pull a muscle or something in your shoulder. You've gotta put up with a bit of pain for the rest of the day. Right, ready? Down we go. Everyone down? Hold it. I'll shear him to the long-blow for you. And then that will be the easiest for you to take over. Same again, shear over to that ear, right? Bend this one away. See how I'm pulling that wrinkly skin back? With 30 years experience, Robin makes shearing look easy. But the learners soon discover how hard it really is. Even professional shearers occasionally cut the sheep. The learners do it frequently. You've got to be so careful when you're sewing up a gut. You can't go too deep, you can sew up their intestine. Each sheep's got its own personality so, as I say before, you've got to hold them in the same position every time otherwise, one sheep will give you more trouble than the other. And you can't make your blows properly, as you can see. Oh, sheep, you are...! Arsehole. You're a bastard of a sheep. Come on, give us a break. I just saw you lose you cool there a while ago and it looks bad. So, I just thought I'd address it now before Robin spots it because Robin might be a little bit harder and forceful on you. So, I thought I'd just pre-warn you just to calm down a bit, mate. If the cocky walks in and sees that, well then, the Cocky can turn around and say, "Well, we don't want you." It's all a mind game, mate. This game. She's all in the mind. So, you got a farm, do you? Oh, I work on Viewpoint. How long have you been working there for? Oh, only a couple of months. I can only get bloody two days a week. No one else wants to give me a go and put me on. I don't know whether it's because I ain't got nuts or what. I'm getting sick of it. I'm getting sick of it. It's pretty hard. Very hard. Gonna go over to the mainland? Well, me plan is, I was gonna finish this shearing course and they've got a shortage of young shearers up in Queensland. I was readin' in the paper, so I was gonna head up there. Yeah, I'll see how I go at the end of this. Least I know, I'll make a crutcher. What's wrong, dear? I can't cut down in here. I'm having a lot of trouble. Right, turn the sheep around. This way. I asked Robin to help Lisa because I haven't got the full-on experience yet to teach. And it's a gender bender. There's some positions that you have to get into. Now, a woman as we all know, has got different genitalia to a male. You have to get them positioned, and you're hitting, you know, a lot of one-on-one contact. It's a perception of what people see, too, you see? You can have someone walk in the shed and I'm there with me hands on this girl's hips going like this, you know, rock your hip that way. That person don't know that I'm on the straight. She's probably thinking I'm down there feeling that girl up. Hello, mate, how are you? You being a good boy? That's the way. You being good for Mum? That's the way, mate. Bye-bye, mate, I love you. You be good. I love you too, mate. You be good for Mum. Bye-bye, mate. (Wife speaks indistinctly) Breaks me heart, when he tells me he loves me over the phone. How was that, Colin, alright? That run? Yeah, I find today I've been a lot calmer. The other day I got wild with the sheep that I was shearing and when I walked into the catching pen, I barged in there fast. Yep. And I stirred them all up. And when I brought that one out, he played up. That's exactly right. What you've got to do, you've got to outsmart them. Not outmuscle them. You'll find if you go out into the shearing sheds with a contractor, he doesn't want you there knocking the sheep about. And it looks bad, and if other people see you doing it and they don't like it. So, this is the time to get it out of your system and get on with the job. If you do that, you'll always be able to get a job. I'll keep that in mind, Robin. Good on you, mate. Thank you. Can't wait to get home. Missing me family big time. It's the first time Friday morning that I've seen nearly everyone out of bed nearly at 6 o'clock in the morning. They're all keen to get the day out of the road and get home. This is the time that will really test them. Today, because they were sore yesterday. By lunchtime they're gonna be really sore today. And it's just getting... breaking that pain barrier. Sometimes, some people are a bit, I wouldn't say weak, but the pain just gets you that way that you don't want to do it. Basically. We'll just see who's gonna have the willpower and the heart to keep going and who's gonna, like, stop. Alright. CLANG Lisa is...I think she might be coming down with the flu. But, she's just a bit of overexertion. I mean, she's trying really hard to hang in there. I think she'll have to, well, she's gone to the quarters now to lay down for a while. But, I'm sure she'll be back, but she very near passed out. Now, of all times. I'm really disappointed. Really disappointed. And you just want to get back over there? Yeah, I do. I want to get back in to it. Make that your last sheep for the day. She's been a pretty long day. Have a look at the sheep. You can see where there's wool hanging on. You might have nicked an ear. And it makes them look bad. I got a few, a bit of rough around the neck and the head. Yeah, just a few little fribbies under the neck and that. I had a bit of trouble with that wrinkle. Yeah, well, when you're learning you're frightened to get hard down on them because, you know, you're frightened of cutting the sheep. Let 'em all out. Let 'em all out. Just before everyone dodges off. I'd just like to thank you for the week. You've done a good job. It's very good the way you're helping one another. So, have a good weekend and we'll see you on Monday morning. Thanks, Robin, from all of us, mate. Thanks, Robin. Thanks, Troop. Much appreciated. Not a worry. See youse all later. Ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta. I'm just going to call in on me mother. I'll just make sure she's OK. She's had a stroke so she's a bit disabled I can tell her the news about what's happened at work this week. It's a pity me father passed away, because me mother and father have taught me a lot in me life and they're great people. G'day. How're you goin'? That's the way. CRACK Oh, cracked it. Stiffening joints. You're like an old sheep. (Both laugh) The food's been awesome down there. We've had sausages, eggs, bacon and a hot meal for lunch. Hot meal, like, desert, and soup. Well, they all work hard. Hot meal and desert for lunch. Tea loaf, no, it's just been good. Serious, cook, I said, "I'm coming home to you this weekend." And she says, "Well, I ain't cooking." (Both laugh) I don't plan on having any children. I don't have a maternal bone in my body. Marriage, I...well I can't really say, I mean, I have to find the right person to settle down with who doesn't want kids. Because I don't want kids. I mean, I suffered from cervical cancer back in 2001. And, you know, I had me operation and I more or less told them to take everything. Like, do a full hysterectomy and they laughed at me. My mum passed away of cancer in 1996. She had cancer of the liver and the bowel. She passed away, six days before Christmas which was really, really hard. I wasn't really that young but it was still pretty hard. Very hard, actually. Especially not being up, you know, not being there when I need female guidance. You know, I never had anyone there for me. I was a wild child. You ask anyone in the community. I was a worry. A lot of people were saying that I wouldn't last in this job. I think because of my past and the way I was that I've proven a lot of people wrong. Because I've taken it on with a passion. My parents split up when I was very young. Not having a father around in some stages of my life was a very confusing and painful time. My kids, they are not gonna go without. And it's hard being away from them but if you want them to have these things in life you won't sit at home, you'll go to work. Have you been good? Uh-huh. That's the way, mate. Next week - Robin and Trooper will decide which five learners will make it into the third week of the school. They'd make good roustabouts... They'll be watching closely to see who has the guts and determination needed to survive in a notoriously hard industry. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd