She’s had her sights set on a career in the wool industry since she was a kid, and now, at 23, Amy Carpenter is living her dream, working at the Melbourne woolstores.
As Elders technical support officer, Ms Carpenter has a lot to do with getting the sale catalogue ready for the company’s weekly wool auctions on a Thursday.
“We do everything from typing all of the samples, inspecting bales, and liaising with Australian Wool Exchange for different audits,” Ms Carpenter said.
In recent months, on sale days, she’s also had a go at auctioneering, which she said was nerve wracking at the start.
“Most of the junior staff do learn to auctioneer eventually, and it was something I wasn’t 100 per cent sure about at the start, but I’m glad I’ve given it a go,” she said.
Before taking on the role at Elders in October last year, Ms Carpenter was a jillaroo at Avington Merino stud, Sidonia, for 12 months.
Day-to-day, she had a wide range of responsibilities, from looking after the show team, feeding them and training them to lead, to completing general sheep and property husbandry.
She learned a lot from the stud, particularly about the fine wool industry, and stud stock industry.
“I hadn’t really been exposed to stud stock before then, or showing sheep for that matter,” she said.
“I also learned lots of general skills, like how to drive a tractor.”
Having studied a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Ms Carpenter said she learned plenty of transferable skills that have been applied in both of her post-study roles.
“Even learning how to talk to producers about things was really helpful, I think it’s important to know what you’re talking about, so you can relate,” she said.
She believes these skills will particularly come in handy as a district wool manager, which is the role she hopes to fall into down the track.
“I’d love to get out and about with clients in their shearing sheds, helping them sell their wool clip all the way through,” she said.
“I’ve always wanted a job where I was helping growers, whether it be in an animal production role or a wool broking role.”
She said she has got used to relocating, having moved around a fair bit, to NSW to study, Sidonia to work on-farm, and now to Melbourne.
Ms Carpenter said being a young woman in a male-dominated industry hasn’t presented many challenges, thanks to the strong women who came before her.
“We’re quite lucky nowadays, I think there are a few older women who did the hard yards and made it a lot easier for young girls coming through now,” she said.