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(generated from captions) SAMUEL JOHNSON: For three weeks, a gruelling shearing school has been run in Tasmania's midlands. Of the original 12 students, two have been selected for a further week of training. Collin Lawrence and Lisa Hansch will be joining an experienced crew of shearers. This will be their last chance to prove they have what it takes to make it in a notoriously tough industry. This week, the learners return to 'Malahide' where the school began. They'll be staying in quarters with the professional shearers. I feel a little bit intimidated. Because, you know, it's a professional shed and the males aren't going to like the females coming in on their domain. But, um, I'm here to show them I'm just as good as them. And I'm going to give it my all, give it my best. I'm 29, and the way I was acting in the first couple of weeks was a bit immature on my behalf really. And I went... Both the instructors told me many a times to calm down and keep cool. And I went to a farm, the first paid shed, the farmer said to me there, "If you weren't so rough on me sheep I woulda had you back." And I thought, "Well, there you go. "If I keep doing it at every shed, I won't have any work." SAMUEL: Trooper Triffitt worked as an assistant instructor in the first three weeks of the course. This week he's working as a paid shearer but has agreed to keep an eye on the learners. If you have any problems, anyone pisses you off, come and see me. Don't go snapping and crapping at them, see me, and I'll sort it - please. I'm a bit hesitant about it all. I've got to look after them and shear as well. I won't be getting the numbers out that I normally would. I'll probably cop a bit of a stirring here and there from the boys, because I know them all, at why my numbers aren't up to where they normally would be. But then they'll understand that after they work out that I'm here to look after them. This will be interesting. All eyes will be on me. I know they will. It feels good, really, to be in a team, especially this big, because there's a fair few blokes here. So, it's going to be full-on once it kicks in. It'll be flat out up and down this board. Just got to remember everything again. Put it all together, and away I go. SAMUEL: A shearer's day is made up of four two-hour runs with two half hour smoko breaks and an hour off for lunch. Lisa and Collin will be sharing a stand. While one is shearing, the other will rouseabout. Collin will shear the first run. Each shearer occupies a stand, and Collin and Lisa share number 10 - the last stand. COLLIN: Come on, shit-for-brains! TROOPER: Come on, Col, calm down, mate. Ah! Keep striving. They start kicking and farting about, think of somewhere nice. Where you'd like to be, you know. Like, with your girlfriend or... I think of me kids, that's a good one, if you've got 'em. Keeps me goin'. Oh, yeah. Like I've got a dog of a sheep here but I'm talkin' to you and I'm calm. Oi, Collin! If I see you do that again, you'll be pulled out and you'll go roustabouting. First and last warning. Hey, Col. You can't go hitting 'em, mate. If the cocky spots you, he's gonna sack you on the spot. That's why I'm warning you, mate. If I see you doin' it, I've got to stop you. I'd rather have you on rouseabout for 10-15 minutes to calm down, get calm, or get the sack. Because they will, mate, they're pretty tough here. Collin worries me. I talk to him and that, but he's not actually listening. I know for a fact if he goes into another shed and goes about the way he is here, that he will not last at the next shed. Because he hasn't got me to, like, back him up. I've already had the contractor overseer come and have a talk to me about him. And, it's gonna come to the stage, because this is their last week with me, and if he goes on with his attitude, he's not gonna last long. Oh, I struggled a bit that run. The sheep were a bit hard. They were pretty hard to shear, the first mob there. A bit more pressure on me this week. But I've been trying to get, try to get 20 a run, but I haven't quite got there. Really good sheep. If I had a full pen, like all run, I could probably do me 20. So, I've gotta try and, sorta, by the end of this week, to do 20 a run so when I do go into a shed I can do 80. Otherwise it's not worth me time goin' on with it. I got 25 out, anyway. That was fantastic. Shoulda got 30, but... Thanks very much for having us here. When you're thinking for two people. It's a bit hard when you're thinking for two. How are you feeling? You right? A few deep breaths. Relax. No pressure on you, remember that. (Coughs) There's no pressure. SAMUEL: Lisa is nervous. She's had to contend with the widely-held view that women are simply not strong enough to manage such a physically strenuous job. Some of these sheep weigh up to 60kg each. Sit him up a bit higher. That's it. Keep your bottom tooth down, that's the way. I'll go and do one and I'll come back to you. OK. How are you goin'? Good. That's the way. Lisa's having problems with her neck but that's about the only place that she's got any concerns. Lisa's a very determined girl, so I don't think that there's going to be any worry with her. It's just a matter of her getting the work. It is going to be hard for a while, because, you know, there's still a bit of... ..you know, there's some blokes out there that just don't agree on women shearing. After a period of time, you work out little things that make your life easier. But in that process you've got to stick to the traditional rules of shearing until you get the flow of it. But it's good for them to see what it is like in a shed. It's a bit daunting on 'em, too, and it's showing. There's some bloody good shearers in this shed. And the previous shed, they work out who's shorn the most amount. Well, that person will go on number one. Number one is always the quickest shearer. Yeah, Jeremy's definitely the 'gun'. He's doing 200 today - every day. SONG: 'BLACK BETTY' # Whoa, Black Betty # Yeah, Black Betty # Black Betty had a child # The damn thing gone wild # She's always ready # She's all rock steady # Whoa, Black Betty # Yeah, Black Betty Bam-ba-lam # Alright... # All shearers go to heaven because they get their hell on earth. No, I reckon it's alright. Meet a lot of interesting people. Publicans mainly. Oh, you work hard and you play hard, that's what they reckon. Live hard, die young. MALE: Yeah, the life of a rover. SAMUEL: The professional shearers are uncomfortable with Lisa sleeping near their rooms. Mick, the overseer, asks Lisa to move to the other end of the quarters where the female cook and classer are sleeping. Yeah, I was meant to bunk in with Collin so two other fellas could share my room. Like, I'd rather share with someone I know. But they want me to move down to the other end in with the females because they...I think they feel a little bit uncomfortable with me being there. So, I think they're starting to feel a little bit intimidated now, but it's just going to drive me that little bit further. She has to sleep out the back where the wool classer and that are, and the cook, because if they sleep in with blokes, it can cause... ..blokes start rumours up and bullshit. So, it's a bit of a safety precaution, I think. I'm getting treated differently, and I don't like it. I don't like it at all. It's because they're worried... I might see something? No, not... They ain't got nothing I ain't seen before. Either that... What's that? 'Twat House'. 'Twat House' it's called. End of innocence. ALL TALK AND LAUGH It's still rewinding. Oh, we haven't seen the start. You gotta rewind it to the start. This is real shearers in action. This is what usually happens after tea of a night. Why do men sit around and watch pornos? That I don't know. I mean, they only frustrate themselves, I think. I walked in and just went and made meself a drink, and they continued watching it. PORN MOVIE PLAYS IN BACKGROUND Shit happens, I suppose. But, you know, it's male dominated. I'm one female, so. No, not going there. DOOR KNOCK LISA: Troop? Troop? Can you see the blankets moving? Trooper? I don't want to go too close. He'll probably get up swinging Hey, Troop. Troop? Wake up, buddy. It's 7:00am. Oh, I've got the diarrhoea - chronically - and spewing. And a fever. OK. We'll leave him in here, I think. Yeah, mine are sore too. SAMUEL: With Trooper sick, Lisa and Collin are shearing on their own for the first time. Today, they're shearing much bigger and heavier sheep than they have attempted before. Well, where's our bucket? I've got nothing to put me gear in. Oh, I've got it up near the door. Well, that's no good to me up there. Yeah, righto. SAMUEL: Robin Flood, who runs the shearing school, visits Collin and Lisa to see how they're faring. With Trooper ill, Robin's visit is welcomed by the learners. On top of your leg... Ugh! Keep him in the middle of his back, pushed in. Keep that leg in there. That's the idea. You're starting to look as if you know what you're doing there now. You've got a bit of pressure on you with the sheep and everything else. Yeah. It's a lot different coming from merinos to crossbreeds. Yeah. Ah, crossbreeds to merinos. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. It's good experience, though, isn't it? Oh! What an experience! Oh, I feel like I wanna throw up. How you going, Col? Not bad, Robin. How you going? Alright, mate. How are you finding them? Oh, yeah. Had some rough ones yesterday, but I been going alright at 'em. Bloody ears. Here, Lise. Phew. See you haven't taken his topknot off properly. Yeah. He'll be wool-blind before the six months, you see. Take particular note to trim that off. But, for these two sheep you've shorn... Thank you. Good on you. I've shorn the skin down pretty well. Yeah, no, you're going good. But just around the head, around the eyes, trim her off. Righto. Yep. Just take a bit more time on it. I'm better to tell you now. Yeah. Yeah. Than go away.

Are you happy with the numbers they are putting out? Oh, Rob, I don't really care how many numbers they do. I couldn't care if they did five a run as long as they did a good job. Collin got 12 for the first run and Lisa got eight, so they're pretty consistent. Yep. Speed and everything, that'll come eventually. It's an awkward time for both of them at the moment. Because, in the winter time, there's not a lot of shearing going on. I mean, there's shearing going on, but it's pretty much tied up. There's not a lot of extra shearing going on. But come the springtime when the bulk of the work fires up, they'll be shearing, there's no risk about that. I'm gonna make a track now, Col. So, thanks very much. Thanks, Robin, for everything. Yep, not a worry. It's been good. Thanks, Lisa. Thank you, Robin. Good on you. Thank you. So, um, all the best. And I'll see you around the traps. You certainly will. And I'll make a few phone calls on the weekend and see if we can't sort up some work for you... That'd be good. Thanks. ..for next week. Alright? No worries. Thanks for everything. See you later on. Thank you. See youse later. The sheep have got bigger and rougher, stronger. Cut more wool. This team of blokes here, 10 or 15 year ago, would've been shearing 1,600-1,700 sheep instead of 1,200-1,300. You go back 10, 15 years ago, you had to shear 150 sheep to get a job, didn't you? That's right. I hate it. If I could be somewhere else, I'd be somewhere else. No, it's alright, it's not a bad job. You get to travel about a bit. That's the good thing about it. And you're away from your old woman. LAUGHTER These camp-out sheds, they're good, aren't they, Joe? You're away from your old dragon. LISA: Love you. No worries. Alrighty. Right. I gotta go, babe. See you. Love you. Bye. Um, it's difficult when my partner doesn't realise that, you know, I'm 110% behind me job. Like, me heart and soul's into it. And, like, he normally rings me every day at 12 o'clock, and I'm trying to stuff me face with, you know, me lunch, and get back over here and get all me gear cleaned up ready for the next run. And he gets shitty with me 'cause I can't talk to him. Same thing at night. Nine o'clock. You know, if I'm too tired, I just go to bed and he cracks the shits with me. But, I don't care, because, you know, this is my life now. Like, I'm going to be in this industry for a very, very long time yet. Go deep. There's not much there to sew into. I used to be an open heart surgeon so I reckon he'll live. You was? Yeah, before I took up shearing. They're starting to get a little bit pissed on the table with me because I'm still having trouble picking up me fleeces and throwing them properly. But, I'm working on it. They'll get over it because I have. You know, I'm not going to get it overnight. They've been at it for years and years and years and this is only me fourth day, so I think I'm doing really, really well. I find that I get on better with males than what I do with females because you haven't got the bitching and shit. I mean, like, as I was saying before about having trouble throwing the fleeces and that, the woman up on the table's starting to get a bit shitty with me. I mean, I can't help it. I'm not a professional. I can't work miracles overnight. See youse tomorrow. MALE: Looks good. Right. That's me. See you. I'm outta here. CHATTER It's a shame there's not more female shearers around, really. You know, like, you're the only one. You must feel, sort of, stuck out in the middle, you know. "I'm the only female." (Laughs) Yeah. My brother was shearing with a girl last year. Yep. She was blowing him away. She was doing 100 a run on these ewes. Crossbreed ewes. Jesus. Yeah, it's a true story. Yeah. I'm struggling to get 10. But you're only starting, too. Like, she's been shearing for a long time. You think you might go on shearing, Aaron? Yeah, thinking about next year. While you's young, there's plenty of money to be earned. You can come out with a fair bit in 10 years...later. Like, just the labouring jobs about, I found meself, over the last 12-13 years, working in a lot of labouring jobs, they're low paid. And you sorta seem to be just bloody tiding yourself over all the time. But with the shearing game, a lot of blokes end up buying their own farms and having a few of their own sheep, or breaking in sheep dogs. They make plenty of money out of it. (Whinnies) These are your dungas. They're usually double-pleated there. And down the front, so you don't tear the crotch out of them, you've got padding in there. They're better than jeans, cost around about 80 bucks. You can have either zips or them. See, your singlets come right down to there. SHOUTING And there's your kidney belt. Wear that up around there. So, yeah. So, the longer your singlet, the better. You want it down so... Because when you bend over you see... That big tall fella, you have a look, his shearing singlet's right up around there. I looked down there, and it just made my back ache looking at him. If he doesn't start buying long singlets and look after his back he won't last 12 months. How'd you two go yesterday when I was crook? I went alright, yeah. Got me blades in pretty good yesterday. Had all your footwork right? Yeah. Oh, yeah, went alright. Let a few necks slip, but it wasn't too bad. What about you, Lisa? Yeah, not too bad. It was different looking back, and if I was, you know, in trouble, and I couldn't yell out to you to give me a hand. But, that's the real world. You're not going to be there forever, so. Exactly right. Well, see how youse go today. You're going alright so far, Col, so... Just slow your hand up, try and slow that hand up a bit. You're jabbing. You might want to tip back a bit. Coming here at the start of the week there was a lot of pressure there, because being in with nine professional shearers. We can't just call out to someone and say, "Come and give us a hand." But, like over the last week, they've really, really helped me. They've come and pulled me out of gear and said, "Right, you're doing this wrong. "You're holding your handpiece wrong. "You've got to grip it further down. Got to keep your bottom teeth down." So, yeah, sort of, me attitude has changed a little bit towards them over the last week. Listen to him, Lisa, he's got a few good tricks up his sleeve. My oath he has. The bloke running this shed, he's actually said to me that, "Oh, you're doing a good job." And I thought, if the contractors are saying that, they say it because they mean it and that made me feel pretty good about meself. Built me confidence up. And made me shear better, actually. UPBEAT MUSIC I'm happy with this one. Look at my neck. Isn't it fantastic? Go, girl! I'm going, mate. SAMUEL: With the shed finished, the professional shearers move onto other jobs and other sheds. The learners now face an uncertain future. Collin and Lisa will have to convince contractors to give them a go on a learner's stand. Keep that footwork going. Don't lose your cool, and you'll be shearing numbers before long, mate. Good. Thanks for all your help, mate. You're a bloody champion. I'll catch up with you before long. Yeah, yeah, have fun. See you, Lise. Thank you, very, very much. Be good. Always. Don't let these professional shearers get it over you. Mate, I'll go round them. She's all over. Bar the shouting. Collin. Pleasure working with you. Yeah, thanks, darlin'. Take it easy. I'm gonna miss you now. Halfway through the course, I thought there one night, I thought, "Oh, bloody, is this worth it or not?" Anyway, I kept going with it and it's made me think about things a bit, and change me ways a bit, really. Pretty proud of meself that I've been able to do it and go on to paid work. So, that's made me feel good about the whole thing. I loved it. Yeah, it was... I recommend to anyone who was looking to get into the industry to go through the shearing school. Absolutely. Really looking forward to getting out there. I'm just hoping someone's gonna help me and give me some work. I think because I'm female I'm going to have a little bit of difficulty. I suppose, because I'm not real big, people are just going to look at me and think, "Jesus, she can't do anything." But I've got news for them. I can do it and I'm gonna do it. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd