The bloke next door!
FOR those of us with the XY chromosomes, Mike Henderson could very nearly be the admirable “bloke next door’’!
While as a young New Zealander he may have had early sights on being an All Black, Mike’s talent shone through in other areas that he has put to good use and his positive, caring attitude, zest for life and focus on enjoying the trappings of home and family is infectious.
A great people person, Mike knows he’s on the right track to growing old and happy with no regrets, especially when there is a guitar on hand, a line to wet, beer in the fridge, the scent of a seasoned barbecue and old mates around to share it all with.
He originally journeyed across the ditch and decided to come shearing in WA in 1981. Four decades later and he is still here, settled at Dongara on the Batavia Coast.
In 1997, Mike took the mantle of Australian Shearing Champion and continued to represent Australia and WA as a shearer, with the 1998 world shearing championships in Gorey, Ireland, a major highlight.
Chalking-up 40 years in the wool industry, Mike commenced a shearing contracting business in 2001 and is building towards a decade as an agent for Westcoast Wool & Livestock. Along the way he has achieved other major milestones – 25 years with his wife, Rachel, whom he shares five children with.
He loves talking up the industry, making things as hassle-free as possible for growers, and, as Westcoast continues to grow, he will remain focused on always recognising its roots and “keeping it local’’.
While Mike’s caring and consistent approach is a trademark, it doesn’t stop superstitions – yeah, many of us know bananas on boats is taboo, but the idea of green jelly making it rain has been put to the test in recent seasons.
Of course, the All Blacks still get a keen following, probably matched by the tuning into Bloomberg on the telly, but Mike is happy with the fruits of the local industry, especially when it comes to enjoying a favourite lamb chop and Badgingarra Pie.