Carlton Hill start of 2014 – Training hard and playing even harder

Host: Carlton Hill Station
Written by Clinton McCarthy – Overseer, Carlton Hills Station.

Well the 2014 season at Carlton Hill is upon us once again, with a lot sweat and some small tears there has been some great opportunities for our staff! With the return of one of our past Jackaroos as the new Head stockman (Joe Maher), 10 new recruits and three returning staff members in the Carlton Hill stock camp this year we have been lucky enough to put together a great team so far.

The year kicked off with all the first years attending the Katherine rural college for two weeks, which the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) holds every year to induct our new employees and start them off with some valuable training required for the year ahead. This year we had Cameron Kruckow the Manager from Manbullo conduct a horse school to get all employees started on the right foot with horse safety and horse riding course. We then had Tom Sheppard our manager from Newry station hold a cattle handling and working in yards school which benefited our new people greatly. All of our employees are given the opportunity to complete a Certificate II in Agriculture while undergoing on the job training as well.

With CPC investing a lot of time and effort in training, we kicked the year off with all new recruits attending a Junior Management conference in Katherine which was held over three days. The focus of this conference was aimed at our returning staff members who have signed up for a Cadetship with CPC. CPC offers cadetships to all employees with a focus on staff retention and training offering a number of skills to better prepare our staff members for a career in the pastoral industry.

On a personal note I believe that the conference was a huge success as it enabled a large group of people to come together and discuss any issues or ideas that we as a team have and see within our industry, it is a credit to our General Managers for allowing the time and organising the conference.

In the beginning of April we saw Bill and Mum (Robyn) Hutton journey up to the East Kimberleys where they held an advanced Shoeing school at Newry station, two of our cadets, our Head stockman and myself attended the school over two days which was a huge benefit for both our shoeing skills and our own personal development with many thanks to Tom and Camellia Sheppard at Newry for their hospitality during the Shoeing School . . .

Billy Hutton's Shoeing SchoolBilly Hutton’s Shoeing School.

Billy Hutton’s Shoeing School.

Following the advanced shoeing school at Newry we held a two day shoeing school at Carlton Hill for all of our Jackaroos and Jillaroos, we also had the Head stockwoman (Sally Fletcher) and a Jackaroo from Kirkimbie Station attend. With Bill’s excellent sense of humour and his wealth of experience and Mum’s guiding hand they ensured that everyone that attended the school left with a great appreciation and knowledge about hoof care and the importance of correct shoeing.

I would like to extend a great thank you to Bill and Mum Hutton for the time and effort they put in to every individual that attends their schools. With the some new skills and some knowledge from the shoeing school, Katherine college, Tom’s cattle school and Cameron’s horse school it’s time to prepare for the start of the first round of mustering.

However before this all begins there is an annual event held each year which is bragging rights for the year ahead. The Easter weekend is Newry cricket weekend which is held every year and unofficially marks the start of the mustering season. With teams gathered from afar the completion kicked off at 8am Good Friday morning. There was some serious completion to be had, plenty of laughs, a cold beer or three and a great chance to catch up with friends, neighbours, and rivals for a great day before the start of the mustering season. Carlton Hill ended up missing out on the Final with Auvergne taking home the prize after a strong fought out final against Newry.

Newry CricketNewry Cricket.

Newry Cricket

After a good wet season and a great team of people at Carlton Hill this year, some old faces and lots of new ones I am sure the remainder of the year will be filled with many long lasting memories.

2-1The awesome 2014 crew.