New Westcoast representative "at home" in Wickepin
IT’S been a diverse career path for Matthew (Slim) Davey, but he has never felt more at home than in his current role.
Based in Wickepin, Matthew recently joined Westcoast Wool & Livestock as the livestock representative for the Upper Great Southern region.
Growing up at Miners Rest in Victoria, he cut his teeth in agriculture on the family’s beef cattle property, where he developed a particular interest in working with livestock.
Matthew attended school locally, leaving to pursue an apprenticeship as a boilermaker before he seized the chance to work as a farmhand as soon as he obtained a driver’s license.
From there, he drove a beer truck in Ballarat, worked again as a farmhand and then travelled to the US with a friend to work over the harvest period, driving grain trucks for a contractor.
On his return to Victoria, a phone call from a friend beckoned Matthew to a Mingenew farm for work over harvest in September 2008, and he’s been living in WA ever since.
He ended up working on that farm for two-and-a-half years and meeting Emily, his now wife.
Following Emily to Perth, Matthew worked in maintenance for the Water Corporation over a five-year period that also involved marriage, building a house and the birth of their two children.
“I came over to drive a header for the 2008 harvest and haven’t left yet,” Matthew laughed.
“Three years ago, Emily said to me, how about you try for a farmhand job again? She didn’t have to ask me twice.”
The family headed to Yealering, where Matthew worked as a farmhand for Dave and Veronica Stacey for three years before the opportunity arose to work with Westcoast Wool & Livestock.
“While I was working for the Staceys, Barry Gangell was our Westcoast stock agent, so I became familiar with the company through him,” Matthew said.
“I’ve been around sheep a long time and I’m passionate about sheep work – I really do enjoy it.
“I’m learning the ropes on the market and everything else, with the support of the experienced team at Westcoast.
“Barry in particular is helping me out quite a lot, which has been extremely valuable and I’m really enjoying the role so far.”
The Westcoast Wool & Livestock business, which is locally-owned and operated, has continued to strengthen, with wool receivals up another 12 per cent year-on-year and further signiﬁcant growth in sheep and cattle numbers handled by the company.
The continued success has been attributed to increasing synergy between the company’s wool and livestock operations, providing beneﬁts to growers, as well as its thorough approach with all clients.
The Westcoast team delivers the same strong, personalised service and support to smaller through to larger growers and looks at speciﬁc plans with them to achieve the best marketing returns.
With their children, Wyatt (6) and Paisley (4) attending the local primary school, Matthew said both he and Emily were loving living and working within the Wickepin community.
“We have been so warmly welcomed by Dave and Veronica, the Yealering community and now the Wickepin community,” he said.
“It’s like coming home. We feel like we’re exactly where we should be – you just don’t get the same community spirit in Perth.
“The livestock industry is challenging, but the challenge is what I enjoy the most.
“The fact that from day-to-day it’s always changing keeps things interesting, and while there are difficulties, it’s also extremely satisfying.”