Growing up in Pukerau he became a shearer at the age of 16. Shearing is his passion and his experience stretches over all sheep breeds in both the North and South Island, Australia and parts of Europe, with his speciality being Merinos.
He successfully competed in shearing competitions for many years and shore various 8- and 9- hour records, both on Merinos and Cross Bred sheep.
He continues to be involved in the industry as a shearing contractor and shearer trainer, but also as the president of the Merino Shears in Alexandra. His role in the business is very hands on in the sheds, organising of the teams and in-shed-training of staff.
Was born and raised on a farm is Switzerland, worked as a Primary School teacher for a few years, but finally ended up in Australia and New Zealand on her OE, working as a woolhandler and farm hand, meeting Dion while working in the sheds. Her role in the business is mainly administration, Health and Safety, and organising of kitchen and accommodation.
The pair have 3 children and run the home-based business together. They started contracting in 2006, purchasing Snow Quinn's run. In 2009 they extended by buying Mt Ida Shearing and Blair Johnston Shearing in 2014. Their work is based around Otago and Southland, and consists of Merinos, ¼ Bred and Half Bred as well as Cross Breds.
The business has had a robust Health and Safety System in place for a number of years and has a strong Drug and Alcohol Policy. Dion and Gabriela have a strong belief in the importance of sustainability practices for the industry and invest yearly in staff training and recruitment. They support their staff to compete in shearing competitions, a great way to lift the quality standards in the work place.
Each team is made up of:
- The team leader (ganger), who generally drives the van and receives extra health and safety and leadership training. He is the go to person in the shed.
- The Lead Shed Hand, who organises the wool flow, the wool handling team and the pressing.
- The Presser, who may have a penner upper working with him.
- A team of shearers and wool handlers.
We employ local staff from Otago and Southland, but also seasonal and casual staff from Canterbury, the North Island, and overseas staff from Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Falkland Islands, and Switzerland.
Each new team member receives Health and Safety induction and on the job training if necessary.
Health and Safety Officer
Tamihana Karauria: He is the liaison person between management and staff in all Health and Safety matters.
Tamihana has worked in since 2009 and knows our working systems, employees and clientele very well.
Outside the shed we have a team of cooks, cleaning personal for our shearing quarters and last but definitely not least; The right-hand man...
Jensen Brooking: Responsible for moving presses and general work around the work places. He has been working in our business since 2008 and knows the area and the industry well from his long shearing carrier beforehand.