Our team of Shearing and Woolhandling trainers at the recent "Standardisation and R&D Meeting"

Back row (L to R) - Beau Guelfi, Alex Smith, Jack Fagan, Aaron Haynes, Rick Chilcott, Troy Pyper, Mark Herlihy, Brett 'Kornie' Roberts, Russell Knight, Maryanne Baty, Noel Handley, Tama Niania.
Front row (L to R) - Savvy Taitoko (Course assistant), Brittany Tibble, Robyne Murray, Trish Ludlow, Monica Potae, Candy Hiri, Kelly Macdonald, Gavin Rowland, Blair Duffy (NZ Poloce representative), Ringakaha Paewai, Delwyn Jones, Eve Peddie, Tom Wilson.

Absent; Ant Frew, Paerata Abraham, Cushla Abraham, Jimmy Samuels, Dion Morrell, Amy Ferguson, Eli Cummings, Bernadette Forde, Catherine Mullooly, Dean Redman, Phil Wedd, Norm Harraway, La Mer Tohiariki, Ataneta Puna.


Trainer's Research and Development Meeting 2021 - Consistency and high-quality with a mix of undeniable experience combined with young and innovative ideas, is the way forward for Elite. Our team are not just world class athletes, but also a group who have the added ability to deliver a training programme from raw beginner up to the highest level there is. Thanks to you all for your commitment.



Tom has extensive experience working in the wool industry in New Zealand and overseas. He has worked as a shearer, a trainer, and a manager of  training businesses, as well as having owned and run a Recruitment and Labour Hire company in Western Australia. Tom has been involved in qualification development and qualification reviews for the government.
Tom knows what works and what doesn’t and he has extensive experience in developing pathways for people to enter the industry in a managed fashion. Tom has acted as a trainee mentor and advocate. He is experienced in training trainers and managing the delivery of national training programs that produce trained staff capable of performing to a consistent standard.


Gavin has 25 years wool industry training experience as a trainer, former Regional Manager of Wool Harvesting Training; former National Manager of Wool Harvesting Training; former Training Business Owner. Gavin is one of New Zealand’s most experienced Wool Harvesting trainers and managers of Vocational Training Businesses. Gavin has trained in New Zealand and throughout the world and has worked with organizations in New Zealand, The UK (The British Wool Board); Australia (Australian WoolInnovation) advising and managing the establishment and implementation of national wool harvesting training programs in these countries. He has a successful track record in the development of wool harvesting training programs – from course and programme development; training delivery (hands-on); negotiating and managing government training contracts; building high performing training teams; managing the national delivery of training programs and running training businesses in New Zealand and Australia.


Dion Morrell has over the last 14 years owned a shearing contracting business in Central Otago and has a good overview of the industry dynamics and how these impact employment. Dion employs 45 – 50 shearers, 50+ wool handlers and 10 pressers and 6 additional staff, he understands the industry from the trainee supply side as a trainer, and from the employer perspective. He understands what works, where the challenges sit in the trainee/ employee relationships and how to address these. Dion has worked on committees advising government on qualification development and he understands what works and what doesn’t. Dion has 14 years Shearing Training and is highly respected for his ability to tutor shearer's in both strong and fine wool breeds.

KELLY MACDONALD | Creative & Digital marketing Manager / office Manager

Kelly manages the online bookings, course resources, marketing, videography and editing, graphic/ website designing and many other roles behind the scenes.

With 20 years experience in the wool industry - Kelly is a top class woolhandler, woolclasser and competes at the highest level - specializing in harvesting finewool, she also shears sheep during the summer main shear. Kelly, up until recently was the South Island woolhandling representative on the SSNZ Committee and has a real passion for the wool industry.


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