Young auctioneers put their skills to the test

CONTENDERS: The competition between the nine finalists was "very, very close", ALPA chief Andy Madigan says. Picture: Laura Griffin.

CONTENDERS: The competition between the nine finalists was "very, very close", ALPA chief Andy Madigan says. Picture: Laura Griffin.

A newcomer to the Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition, Toby Newnham, has won the coveted Graeme Lanyon trophy.

Mr Newnham, who has worked with Elders Swan Hill since June, said it was “fantastic and surreal” to win.

The 25-year-old had previously entered in the NSW competition.

Jack Hickey, Elders Camperdown, was named runner-up at Monday’s final. 

ALPA chief executive Andy Madigan said the calibre of the young auctioneers was improving, and the final points given for voice, diction, price and manner were “very, very close” this year.

“Some of them have improved due to being in the competition before, as well as the training and practice they’ve done since the auctioneers’ school (in June),” he said.

“The training we do in Victoria, we’ve honed it down so that we’ve got the formula right and it’s starting to show in the contestants.”

The competition is held in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).

Competitors auctioned three pens of three cattle that had been assessed in the RASV Prime Stock Competition. Finalists were selected at an auctioneer’s school in Bendigo.

Each school is attended by experienced auctioneers and speech pathologists who instruct the attendees on improving their skill.

“ALPA is passionate about the training of young stock agents,” Mr Madigan said. 

“These competitions are a way of investing in the future of our industry and promoting the integral role that stock agents play in the supply chain.”

It is an industry winner Mr Newnham is passionate about.

The stands at Pakenham’s Victorian Livestock Exchange were packed with friends and family of the contestants as well as cattle buyers, sellers and other industry representatives keen to meet the young men coming up the auctioneers ranks.

This year’s judges were Bernie Grant, LMB Linke Livestock Hamilton; Justin Keane Corcoran Parker Wodonga, Bill Egan, SEJ Leongatha.

Mr Hickey, 23, was also surprised to come in second because he said the competition was very tight between good auctioneering performances at the top-end.

He said the competition was a great way to make connections in the industry, improve skills and introduce oneself to other people in the industry.

Mr Newnham and Mr Hickey have also won the opportunity to represent Victoria at the 2017 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition, held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.  

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