Commitment to Education–2018 Jackaroo Program

Avington has welcomed two new jackaroos to our Jackaroo Education Program, Grace Teate and Sophie Buntine. We recently conducted a ‘Q + A’ with them both to gain an insight into life on the farm for our jackaroos.


Grace Teate

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Tell us about your background

I grew up on a large sheep property near Naracoorte in SA with 4000 cross-bred ewes. There’s a photo of me as a two year old on a wool table playing with wool.

When did you decide you wanted to be a Jackaroo?

After I finished school in 2014 I worked at home on the farm with dad and also at Landmark in Naracoorte for a year. In 2016 I joined ‘Hay inc.’ (a group of enthusiastic Hay District community members who are focused on providing an opportunity for young people to gain new agricultural skills, education and experience: www.hayinc.com.au).
As part of the program I participated in the Jackaroo program, which among other things furthered my fencing and stock handling skills. 

In 2017 I attended Marcus Oldham where I studied farm management. I soon discovered that I didn’t like sitting at a desk and saw the ad for the Avington Jackaroo Position and applied. I was interested in merinos and knew I wanted to work on a farm.

What is life like at Avington?

Pretty cool, friendly, accepting of girls and they look after us really well.

What is your work day like at Avington?

Working together with Sophie on our daily jobs.

What are your career aspirations?

I would like to own my own sheep and breed 1st cross ewes (Merino x Border Leicester). There’s a high demand for them at the moment.


Sophie Buntine

Sophie.jpg

Tell us about your background

My father was an Australian equestrian who came from a sheep farm in central victoria. He moved to the UK to pursue his equestrian career and met my mother. We lived on a farm in Nottingham with cattle and horses. Three years ago I travelled to Australia to study a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University, majoring in Agricultural Science. 

When did you decide you wanted to be a Jackaroo?

After completing my degree, I was looking for the next step in the agricultural industry and to get contacts. I decided to get a foot in the door and learn more about Australian farming. I also wanted to get out of the city and back on a farm again.

What is life like at Avington?

Always busy, good fun and something different. I’m always learning as this is my first time working with sheep.

What is your work day like at Avington?

We start at 7:30 and finish at 4:30-6, depending on how long we have worked the day before. We look after the show rams in the morning and afternoon, they need lots of love and scratches! We also handle fencing and other odd jobs.

What are your career aspirations?

I would to work in agriculture on sustainability, pasture management and with sheep. Avington is a great farm for me to experience all of this.