Speed shearer from Willalooka

Local shearing expert Shannon Warnest received a great honor in his home town of Willalooka at Thursday’s Australia Day Ceremony.

The local speed shearing expert was at the event to do a shearing demonstration, and had no idea that the small town had constructed a brand new monument for his loyalty and commitment to the community. 

Shannon and his wife Catherine were once precious owners of the Willalooka Tavern and are well known throughout the community of Willalooka and the whole Tatiara.

Shannon has achieved great things with his expertise that have taken him around the world winning national challenges with his skills.  

Jamie Jackson presented him with the honor with after advising the crowd of his background in his shearing career and his community commitment.

“Shannon, this is the Willalooka community’s tribute to your success and involvement within our little community here and we are pleases that you and Catherine have chosen Willalooka to be your home and will be bringing up your children here.”

Shannon’s three children Charley, Jerry and Lilly were all present and extremely proud of their Dad. 

Shannon currently teaches shearing to young people and in his demonstration at the ceremony, he explained the need for shearers and the benefits of the role.

"I've learned a lot from teaching young kids because if they have a problem learning something, I have to figure out what the problem is and how to solve it.

"The day you think you know enough about shearing is the day you give up and I don't know enough about it yet."

Catherine is also a wool handling tutor and between the couple, they have a lot to offer for young farmers.

"Some of them realise how important the preparation of the fleeces is because they've had some prior experience with the wool market, but a lot of them have come here wanting to learn to shear and they are not that interested in anything else."

She said that if she can make the youngsters aware of what the wool handlers do to sort the wool, the would-be shearers may realise they are part of the team working for the producers, rather than just one person working for themselves.

Click here to read more and check out all the photos from the Tatiara’s Australia day ceremony.