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Jolie makes shearing history

Bourke’s Jolie Orcher competing in the wool handling competition at the Golden Shears event in New Zealand. Photo contributed

Bourke’s Jolie Orcher wrote herself into history two weeks ago when she became the first Indigenous Australian woman to compete in the prestigious Golden Shears competition in New Zealand.

Jolie placed third overall in the wool classing event, in a field of 33 international competitors.

Her achievement was even more remarkable because Jolie is just 17 years of age and has only been in the shearing industry for 18 months.

Jolie’s career began when she decided to quit school during the COVID disruption. After one day in a shearing shed her fate was sealed.

“I didn’t know anything about the shearing business, but I fell in love with it the very first day when I did a try-out for Stephen Mudford near Mudgee,” Jolie said.

“That first week was all about learning and I just picked it up quickly - and it was good money.

“I moved to Dubbo and then got a call from the people at REDI - the Regional Enterprise Development Institute asking if I could do a three day trial to see if I would make the grade for competition.

“I then got a message that I’d been picked to go to go to New Zealand, so in September I went to the Alexandra Show on the South Island to see how it all worked, and then I came home, and we made up another team for the Golden Shears.

“Tyron Cochrane and I went over at the end of November to train, came home for Christmas and then went back in the New Year, so all up we had two months training and we felt confident enough to go to Golden Shears,” she said. […]

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