Yvonne encourages women to 'have a go'

Yvonne encourages women to 'have a go'


Life & Style
GIVE IT A SHOT: Drover Yvonne Scoles, Bayles, is encouraging other women to take up a job in the cattle industry.

GIVE IT A SHOT: Drover Yvonne Scoles, Bayles, is encouraging other women to take up a job in the cattle industry.

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Drover Yvonne Scoles is encouraging other women to join the cattle industry, describing it as a welcoming environment.

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People visiting the Victorian Livestock Exchange south of Melbourne would know Yvonne Scoles for her friendly personality and familiar face.

For almost a decade, Ms Scoles has worked as a drover for the VLE at its Pakenham and Koonwarra yards.

She's responsible for everything from weighing to scanning and painting the cattle on market day.

But in an often male-dominated industry Ms Scoles was one of only a handful of women at the fortnightly cattle sale at Pakenham on Thursday.

"There is more women now than what there was when I started," Ms Scoles said.

"When I started it was very hard because it was a male-dominated area and they sort of looked at you and said 'you're a women, you can't do it' so you had to work really hard to prove yourself."

But nowadays - and almost 10 years on since she started - Ms Scoles said the industry had changed dramatically, describing it as a welcoming and encouraging place for experience and emerging women.

"It's very hard for young women to get into cattle, unless they have a background in cattle. I didn't have a background in cattle so for me it was exceptionally hard to show them that I could do the job," Ms Scoles said.

"Stand your ground and show them that you can do the job ... but at the same time learn about what to do and listen to the experts."

Outside of work, Ms Scoles runs a small-scale operation at her Bayles property, south of Nar Nar Goon, where she hand-rears young, immature and often malnourished calves.

"I buy all the scrappy little calves, anything that's underweight," Ms Scoles said.

"I worm them, I immunize them and give them a multi-vitamin injection and of course feed them.

"For me, that's the easier way to make a bit of money and because I'm by myself, the smaller cattle are easier to handle."

Her mixed 100-odd-head of cattle include a variety of Angus, Charolais, Fresian, Red Angus, Jersey and Wagyu calves.

"Working with the cattle in the outdoors is the best thing about the job, it's not about being in an office. Everything's different and learning about the cattle is very interesting," Ms Scoles said.

"I had a liking for cattle growing up. My parents used to send me to a Murray Grey farm when I was a kid, they did holidays for children, and we were always there two-to-three weeks of the year.

"These days I like taking skinny things that are underdone or or underweight and making them look beautiful, it's a rewarding experience."

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