President’s Report

AUSDS Inc. President’s Report 2019/2020

During the last 12 months there has been little event activity within the Australian Utility Stock Dog Society Inc. It was disappointing that the ‘Stock Dog Challenge’ scheduled early in October 2019, at Holbrook NSW, had to be cancelled due to the lack of entries, also other proposed and scheduled events were postponed due to the wide spread drought and Covid-19 virus. However, the Society is looking forward to a bright road ahead, holding future events when conditions improve.

The AUSDS Inc. has made some great advances nevertheless. The Committee received ‘feed-back’ from Members and competitors, and have been pro-active to many requests:

                Backing and Barking are now only assessed, and aren’t counted as trial points given

                More emphasis is now placed on general work (stockmanship)

                Uncompleted sections/obstacles are now only assessed, and aren’t counted as trial points given

                More achievable obstacles are now in place

                Encourage, Novice, and Open are now named Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 trials

                Workers who win a Level 1 trial are now ineligible to compete in another

The loyal support given by the Committee and Office Bearers during the past year has been much appreciated. Both Tully Williams and Melissa Harper resigned from their respective positions which regrettably caused some concern. But, Mitch Bennett and Darren Harcoan have ably filled vacancies on the Committee; Lawson Gulliver took on the role as Vice President; and Naomi White is now the Secretary – thank you all.

Welcome to new Members: Kathleen Reid, Towong Vic.; Stephan Bullas, Lara Vic.; Michelle Wilkins, Winmalee NSW; and Annette Cavanagh, Camberwell Vic.  However, a few membership renewals didn’t eventuate. The Committee is grateful for the appointment of other Judges; Craig Ogier, Gisborne Vic.; Mitch Bennett, Wandsworth NSW; Roland Pell, Undera Vic.; and Fred Rains, Muttama NSW.

Other Happenings:

The AUSDS Inc. Facebook page continues to be popular with many ‘likes’ of some excellent photos of stock dogs at work, that Naomi White has been trickling through. I encourage others who may have other suitable photos, and ideas for Facebook, to contact Naomi.

The website continues to be updated.

An attractive AUSDS Inc. Banner, designed by Amy Cutler, along with roadside corflute signage, will be displayed at future ‘Sock Dog Challenges’. They were kindly sponsored by Alan Beckett, Balmoral Park Angus, and I. and G. Peterson.

The idea of having a Paypal account in order for payments to be made on line, has been disbanded.

A conflicting debate occurred for a period re holding some ‘sheep only trials’, but there was no conclusive outcome other than to leave things as they are.

A copy of the AUSDS Inc. Database for Assessments of Registered Dogs for Holbrook NSW, Reids Flat NSW, and Mansfield Vic. ‘Stock Dog Challenges’, is now available to Members upon request.

The Society, through the Australian Federation for Livestock Working Dogs, has helped with the portrayal and recognition of the working stock dogs’ important role to the livestock industry.

The Australian Stock Dog Magazine featured an AUSDS Inc. article and advert. in the December 2019 issue.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Society over the last 12 months. In some ways it hasn’t been easy, but I am confident that if we are loyal to the slogan “Fostering Excellence in Breeding Practical ‘Utility’ Stock Dogs”, along with a clear and transparent attitude to all, the Society can only gain greater heights.

With Respect,

(Rod Cavanagh)         30/6/2020

AUSDS Inc. President’s Report 2018/2019

Once again, during the last 12 months, there have been some significant forward advances of the Australian Utility Stock Dog Society Inc. I am honoured and privileged to report on the 2018/2019 happenings.

Membership has grown steadily. Welcome to new Members: Mitch Bennett, Wandsworth NSW; Erolyn Blythe, Beaufort Vic; Rod Cavill, Alexandra Vic; Catherine Cheney, Bothwell Tas; Brad Clark, Pyalong Vic; Ben Coster, Yass NSW; Paul Flanagan, Moama NSW; Darren Harcoan Glenaroua Vic; Adam James, Coolac NSW; Craig Ogier, Gisborne Vic; Garry Ostini, Orange NSW; Campbell Smedley, Alexandra Vic; and Nick Walker, Bothwell Tas.

I would like to thank Melissa Harper for taking on the role of Secretary, upon Lesleigh’s inability to continue. Also, to Pam Vickery the Treasurer, and the Committee for their ongoing commitment.

There will be a Committee Election at the AGM. Both Les Hall and Kevin Wilson end their 3 year term. Les has agreed to re-stand, but there will be a vacancy on the Committee due to Kevin not standing. I sincerely thank Kevin for his dedication – you have given much support to the Society as a Foundation Member.

Two new and successful ‘Stock Dog Challenges’ were held during the year. Thanks to David Crawford for the venue, and sheep and cattle at Reids Flat NSW, and thanks to the Manning family for the venue and cattle at Mansfield Vic., and also to Stuart Fox for the sheep, and to Shaws Transport for the cartage. Sponsorship for the two trials was excellent, and all volunteers put in a great deal of effort – non more than Robert Henderson and a couple of his mates. Nigel Brazier won the Encourage with ‘Bella’ at Reids Flat. At Mansfield, Campbell Smedley with ‘Tundabardi Mick’ won the Novice, and Ben Coster with ‘Coopendale Lucy’ won the Encourage – Well Done!

Hopefully, another two ‘Stock Dog Challenges’ will be held during this coming Spring; again at Holbrook NSW, and Reids Flat NSW. The AUSDS Inc. would be grateful to obtain other suitable venues that have both cattle and sheep available.

‘Trialling – a Different Approach’ featured as an article in the Australian Working Stock Dog Magazine, and a full page report with photos of Mansfield, appeared in The Land and Stock and Land rural newspapers. You Tube videos of the final of the Novice at Mansfield can also be viewed on the website. The AUSDS Inc. Facebook Page has also been popular.

Other Happenings:

Score cards have been updated and have a coloured format.

Rod Cavill and Lawson Gulliver were appointed as Judges, and have officiated at trials.

AUSDS Inc. badges were designed and are available at $10 each. Full Members receive a complimentary badge.

AUSDS Inc. car stickers were designed and are available at $2 each.

A Registered Breeders listing is now on the website, and any new registrations can be added.

Dog Registrations and payments are available on line, as an option, through the website.

All scores given in any section of any aspect (a), (b), (c), and (d) at a trial, are now retained (apart from disqualifications).

For transparency, all scores given for any section of any of the 4 aspects, are displayed on a large spread sheet at trials.

In (c) Yard Work (sheep), more emphasis has been put on general work, and less on backing and barking.

*NB The Committee is working upon the dilemma of backing and barking as a necessity.

Numbered competitor vests, donated by Joeycan (Aust) P/L, add to the prestige of ‘Stock Dog Challenges’.

Some Trial Rules have been updated during the year, and can be seen on website.

Tully Williams has worked tirelessly on an extensive computer program that records Dog Registrations and breeding, which can also incorporate trial results and other data – thanks Tully.

*NB The overall trial results may be displayed publicly on AUSDS Inc. communications, but all assessments given at trials are retained within the data base, which are only available to all Members upon request.

AUSDS Inc. ‘Try-Out’ days have always been enjoyable. They are low-key days where dogs don’t need to be registered, and any handler is encouraged to participate and work their stock dogs in a relaxed trial situation. It can be a cattle or sheep only day, or a mix of any aspects of stock work, providing good stockmanship is taken on board. I encourage any Member to run one, but approval from the Committee of the date and venue, to enable notification of the Society’s public insurer, is essential.

The last, but possibly the most important item, is the necessity of ANIMAL WELFARE. Handlers are encouraged to be practical and use ‘hands-on’ – to intervene during trials in order to prevent any abusive, or detrimental effect to stock, especially sheep. If not, regulations and the public, not to mention radical animal activists, may well force the Society to discontinue.

Thanks for all the support I have received, and may our Society grow from strength to strength.

With Respect,

(Rod Cavanagh)             30/6/2019

AUSDS Inc. President’s Report 2017/2018

Undoubtedly, the most significant happening over the last 12 months was the running of the AUSDS Inc. ‘Stock Dog Challenge’ at Holbrook NSW on 8th April 2018. Apart from being successful, it was a consolidation of what the Society is about. A special thanks to Hamish and Abby Paton for the venue and stock used. Congratulations to Adam James from Coolac NSW in coming 1st and 3rd working ‘Myamba Moss’ and ‘Yarrabee Scout’ respectively, and to Jake Nowlan from Bigga NSW in coming 2nd working ‘RM’. Thanks to all competitors for their support, to the volunteers and sponsorship. Without the help and the contributions made, the event would not have been the success it was. Due to there being no stock cartage costs, a small profit of $17. 34 was made.

The AUSDS Inc. Facebook page and the website have contributed greatly to the Society’s wider coverage and acknowledgements – the majority being positive ‘likes’.

Welcome to new Members: Melissa Harper, Tooborac Vic; Robert Henderson, Cowra NSW; Deborah Maxwell, Guyra NSW; Hamish Paton, Morven NSW; and Greg Walton, Mulgoa NSW.

Thanks for the continuing support from: Secretary Miss Lesleigh Wright; Treasurer Pam Vickery; and the Committee Members – Lawson Gulliver, Les Hall, Andrew Newell, Tully Williams and Kevin Wilson. It is through these dedicated people that so much has been achieved throughout the year.

Other Achievements:                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Secretary’s email address; Registrar’s email address; ‘One Drive’ cloud back-up for computer documents; AUSDS Inc. Certificate of Stud Prefix Registration; Differentiate between verified and unverified in the AUSDS Inc. Dog Registration Application Form; AUSDS Inc. Rules (Constitution) changes and approved by the Department of Justice and Regulations (CAV) for: i) Replace Rule No 15. Disciplinary Action; and ii) Rule No 26. delete the word Senior, only retain Vice President; Delete evaluations from all documents as it is considered too subjective (assessments are more definitive and accepting); Establishment of documents for AUSDS Inc. Office Bearers Roles ; Added description of: i) ‘Green Group’ with Force and Hold Obstacles (sheep); ii) ‘Red Group’ with Heading Obstacles (sheep); and iii) ‘Blue Group’ with Force and Hold with Pen Obstacles (sheep); Descriptive document AUSDS Inc. Judging System for Facebook and website; Descriptive document AUSDS Inc. Trials – Summary for Facebook and website.

Being a member of the Australian Federation for Livestock Working Dogs, I as a delegate of the Society, attended a meeting that discussed the national concern of LWDs being connected to the ‘Puppy Farms Pet Shops’ regulations. Towards the end of 2017, the Vic. State Government released a statement of reprieve that; ‘Farm Dogs’ are exempt – hoping this outcome will spread nation-wide?

‘Try-Out’ days have not eventuated during the last 12 months. I consider they can be beneficial in various ways by giving inexperienced dogs and handlers ‘a-go’ during an enjoyable and social day, and for recruiting and obtaining experience for Judges. There is a newly proposed format for Score Cards on the agenda which, hopefully, will ease the concept of giving a score out of a maximum allocation. It should also help in educating and recruiting Judges – which is critical.

Committee Meetings held during the last year have involved Committee Members being present with phone hook-ups at times. Amongst many of the discussions and decisions made, some Trial Rules have been added and others upgraded. I encourage everyone to look at the website from time to time to keep abreast of Society documents and issues.

*NB Foundation issues can only be changed by an ‘absolute majority’ of the Committee Members, but any Member input is welcomed.

Animal Welfare and Biosecurity continue to escalate as major threats to running trials, so the Society must remain vigilant. It is important to run another ‘Stock Dog Challenge’ in the near future in order that enthusiasm remains high. A venue with stock, and major sponsorship is required. The Society needs your help and positive suggestions.

I have been privileged in being the President for the AUSDS Inc. over the last 12 months – thanks.

Once again: The Society is for the betterment of the working stock dog.

With Respect,

(Rod Cavanagh)                      30 /6/2018

AUSDS Inc. President’s Report 2016/2017

Once again, I am privileged and honoured to report on the yearly activities of the Australian Utility Stock Dog Society Inc. “Fostering Excellence in Breeding Practical ‘Utility’ Stock Dogs” is such a great challenge. The Society’s foundation blocks are solid, with the Aim, Purpose and Objectives progressing at a pleasing and achievable rate.

So much has happened during the last 12 months including three enjoyable ‘Try-Out’ days at; Mike Deppeler and Jude Houghton’s property at Condah Vic.; Lynda Gedde’s property at Maindample Vic.; and Andrew and Wendy Newell’s property at Woorndoo Vic. Such events are critical in formulating a proposed official trial later on this year.

A warm welcome is extended to new Members; Pam Vickery, Jeff Glover and Lawson Gulliver; and appreciation is extended to newly appointed Secretary, Lesleigh Wright, and Treasurer Pam Vickery.

I thank the Committee for being so zealous with activities – following is a list of achievements:
AUSDS Inc. Dog Register (and Rules)
AUSDS Inc. Trial Rules
AUSDS Inc. Assessments and Evaluations for Practical ‘Utility’ Stock Dogs
AUSDS Inc. Judging Guidelines                                                                                                                                                                                    Website
Public Liability Insurance
AUSDS Inc. Template for Trial Courses and Scoring
AUSDS Inc. Score Cards
Email address
Fees set for; Dog Registration, Dog Transfer, Stud prefix Registration, Trial protests, Memberships etc.
AUSDS Inc. Dog Registration Application form
AUSDS Inc. Dog Transfer forms
Delegates appointed for the Domestic Animal Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shop) Bill 2016
AUSDS Inc. joined as a member of the Australian Federation for Livestock Working Dogs(AFLWD)
AUSDS Inc. Dog Lease Agreement form
AUSDS Inc. Dog Certificate of Registration
AUSDS Inc. Dog Pedigree form                                                                                                                                                                                        AUSDS Inc. Dog Service Certificate
AUSDS Inc. Stud Prefix Application form
How AUSDS Inc. Trials are Run and Conducted
AUSDS Inc. Group Obstacles

The Committee has also adopted and confirmed:
Another Trial Rule to curtail any viciousness towards sheep (public accountability)
Foundation Issues can only be changed or finalised by an ‘absolute majority’ of the Committee
AUSDS Inc. Strategies 3. the word ‘allocating’ was changed to ‘giving’ for differentiation
AUSDS Inc. Template and AUSDS Inc. Score Cards have been amended by various degrees
Judging of Society Trials to persist with allocating/giving points for accreditations (as is in place)

However, not all things go to plan. Two foundation Committee Members were unable to continue in their role, and the Society miss both Lauren Hooper and Mike Deppeler’s valued opinions and contribution. Thanks to Andrew Newell for fulfilling a vacancy and to Lauren for her short term fulfilment.

I consider that 2016/2017 has been extremely productive for the Society and is excitingly close to offering purpose and stability to those stock and stock dog men and women who depend on livestock working dogs for their livelihood. With confidence, the Society should continue towards a successful future.

We must always be mindful – the Society is for the betterment of the working stock dog.

With Respect,

(Rod Cavanagh) 27/7/2017

AUSDS Inc. President’s Report 2015/2016

Out of serious concern for the future of the ‘all-round utility stock dog’, came the inception of a national body – the Australian Utility Stock Dog Society Inc. The inaugural meeting was held on the 24th June 2015 at Creswick, Victoria.

Foundation Members, Committee and Office Bearers could not be a more appropriate and finer group of people. Thank you for working so cohesively together – it has created much good will and enjoyment.

A great deal has been achieved during the Society’s first year:

Incorporation was granted with the backing of a solid and sound Constitution
Essential Natural Traits for High Quality Practical Working Stock Dogs
was adopted for its comprehensiveness, as the premise and bench mark for stock dogs working cattle and sheep – Aiming at ExcellenceStrategies were sorted out as a base to launch achievements from                                                                                                              Code of Conduct has been implemented
The Logo was designed and adopted and the Slogan “Fostering Excellence in Breeding Practical ‘Utility’ Stock Dogs” is so applicable
Information Leaflets are available and are being distributed
The Letter Head/Cover Sheet, along with Membership Application forms, Membership Renewal forms and the Register of Members, have all been established
‘Utility’ sheep trials and ‘cattle handling’ trials are under experimentation with optional designs to suit various degrees of difficulty for different categories of dog and handler ability
A couple of ‘Try-Out’ days at Kevin and Kaye Wilson’s and Pam and Dennis Vickery’s properties have been much appreciated
At present, Tully Williams is near to getting the Website up and running
Dog Register, Trial Rules and Assessments and Evaluations for Practical ‘Utility’ Stock Dogs are close to being adopted along with Judging Guidelines for Trials.

Although being hectic at times, these achievements are very gratifying.

There are still many hurdles to cross including public liability insurance, fundraising through sponsorship and donations, promoting the cause of the Society etc. The actual assessment of dogs competing in trials has to eventuate sooner than later, and membership expansion must be strived at, for this will surely be the Society’s future strength.

Encouragement’ to handlers and their dogs is the most critical commodity for the growth of the Society. The general feeling is that enjoyment will be created because of it, but failure is inevitable without it.

The Society must also have a congenial relationship with other stock and stock dog men and women and associations – it is so important. I am positive that this can be achieved, having added benefits to all involved.

The AUSDS Inc. has a definite Aim and Purpose and Objectives. It is not a ‘fun’ organisation. It is not set up to pacify the ‘hobby farmer’ or to appease people’s ‘sporting ideals’, or promote ‘professional correctness’ by handlers at trials. The Society is for the betterment of the working stock dog. We must always be mindful of this.

In conclusion, thanks for allowing me the privilege and honour of being the President of the AUSDS Inc. during its initial year, and I hope, with confidence, that the Society continues towards a successful and bright future.

With respect,

(Rod Cavanagh)            6/7/2016