BEING an auctioneer was never something that had crossed the mind of 24-year-old Roma woman Sarah Packer.
But, it's a career she says she's grateful to have fallen into.
She grew up on a family property south of Roma and returned home in 2015, wanting to be involved in the family property, but knowing off-farm income would allow her to achieve her goals.
So she started looking for a career in the rural industry in the western Queensland town.
She was in luck - a TopX livestock agent position came up, and the chance to work with Cyril Close.
"That meant I had to be willing to throw my hat into the selling ring,” she said.
And willing she was.
"It is a privilege to be given every opportunity and have the mentors that I do around me to learn.”
Although auctioneering is a mostly a male-dominated industry, Miss Packer said she didn't really look at it that way.
"I don't look at it as being a woman in a male-dominated industry, I see myself in a position where I need to prove myself like everyone else does in the industry.”
And she's definitely proved herself worthy. She's the first woman to be selected to compete in the 2017 Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Queensland Young Auctioneers Competition at this year's Queensland Royal Show.
Entrants were chosen after competing at ALPA school in Rockhampton, which Miss Packer said was "a great couple of days”.
She said she was a bit nervous about heading to the competition in August, where she would have to sell three steers and would be judged on a number of factors such as clarity, diction, manner and the accuracy on valuing the animal she was selling.
"It will definitely be out of my comfort zone, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity to sell alongside my peers,” she said.
Miss Packer said she was still learning "the art” of auctioneering and it just came down to "practise, practise and more practise”.
"The great thing working within TopX Roma is the weekly sales and the opportunity to sell and the feedback you receive,” she said.
"I enjoy the challenge of being an auctioneer and it is a great way to finish off the marketing process.
"Here in Roma, Cyril holds a high standard for how we conduct ourselves to market our clients' cattle.
"So it is a great feeling after you spend hours drafting and presenting cattle for sale and then get rewarded by being able to stand up and auction the clients' cattle.”
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