They share the same first name and a passion for shearing, and now Ethan Gellatly and Ethan Harder have a shared goal as well. The pair — who have been sharing for more than 20 years between them — were announced as the inaugural WA Wool Harvesting Ambassadors at the Perth Royal Show on Saturday, September 23. The will spend the next year promoting the industry by visiting young people at schools, agricultural colleges, events, training schools and competitions across WA to try and attract more people to the trade. WA Shearing Industry Association president Darren Spencer said he hoped the new program would provide positive, young role models to attract quality workers and raise the standards of those working on the boards. Applications were open to shearers and wool handlers aged between 18 and 25, with Mr Gellatly and Mr Harder nominated by trainers and shearing contractors before being selected by WA’s WoolTAG sub-committee. Mr Spencer said both had been selected for their presentation and maturity both in and outside the shearing shed. “It is about young people encouraging young people. Both are great role models for industry,” he said. Harder, who was born in Katanning and lives in Bruce Rock, is well known as one of Australia’s best shearers — with the 24-year-old notching up his first world record on September 18. He shore a whopping 624 lambs in eight hours at Williams that day, adding 20 to an eight-hour Merino lamb record set by New Zealand-born Australia-based Koen Black in WA in October. Six days later, on September 23, he also won the Perth Royal Show’s open clean-shears competition for the first time after shearing 10 full-wool adult Merinos in the fastest time of 16 minutes and 45 seconds. Inspired by his father Trevor, Gellatly first picked up a handpiece at the age of seven and a decade later launched an alpaca shearing business after seeing the opportunity to capitalise on a job many sheep shearers don’t like to do. Born in Pingelly, Gellatly moved to Perth with his family when he was a child but continued to tag along when his father Trevor would travel to shear sheep across WA. Now in his early 20s, the WA College of Agriculture — Harvey graduate is now a valued part of Alex Gilmour’s contracting Gilly’s Shearing, which is based out of Boyup Brook. One of Gellatly’s fondest memories was when, at the age of five, his grandfather helped him to shear a sheep at a shed in Corrigin. “Pretty much from that age I wanted to shear,” he said. His great-uncle Kevin Gellatly is well known in the industry as a sheep-shearing legend, an Australian Wool Innovation shearer trainer and a member of the Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame. As ambassadors, the pair will receive new shearing outfits from Heiniger, personal mentoring from AWI shearer trainers, media and presentation training, and flights and accommodation to New Zealand to compete in the Golden Shears from March 2-4 next year. As part of that trip, they will also be able to attend the Golden Shears’ pre-shears week-long course. WA WoolTAG chair Chris Patmore said the purpose of the program was to attract, train and retain staff, while AWI director David Webster said the program would be rolled out nationwide. The WA Wool Harvesting Ambassador program was launched by the WA WoolTAG committee, the WA Shearing Industry Association, Australian Wool Innovation, Heiniger and West Coast Wools.