Walgett’s Brett Smith given top honour with Employee of the Year award

Elders Walgett’s Brett Smith, has finished a stellar year with accolade as the Company’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

For the last three years Mr Smith has steadily built a reputation within his district and within the national wool industry, as a District Wool Manager who delivers exceptional service to his clients and contributes valuably to the industry as a whole.

Mr Smith’s prevalence has been partly built on his engagement in industry bodies giving him a strong presence within the Walgett region and industry groups.

He is President of the North West Plains Sustainability Group, a progressive community driven group assisting the North Western producers with improving sustainable farming practices.

He also runs Lifetime Ewe Management groups in the Walgett area to help producers increase profit margins and improve productivity.

This year, Brett was also named the 2017 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Wool Broker of the Year, demonstrating industry recognition for the passion he brings to his role and difference he makes to his clients’ operations.

Brett has built extensive rapport with his clients who claim Brett is the “perfect package” when it comes to wool brokers. John Wheaton of Boorooma Pastoral Co has been a client of Brett’s for two years and says that the service and expertise Brett brings to the role is difficult to come by, particularly for someone so young.

“I refer to Brett as the guy bridging the divide between technology and tradition … I am in my sixties and can comfortably say I have not dealt with a better broker. Brett shows genuine care and interest and is actively involved in our local community which is very important to me,” says Mr Wheaton.

“Anyone can come in and do your shearing, but not everyone provides a marketing plan and can talk to you about the market and trends,”

“Brett is honest and realistic and I consider myself very fortunate to have him looking after my business.”

North Zone Wool Manager Bruce McLeish credits Brett’s success to his exceptional communication skills with clients and also within his branch team.

“Brett’s clients appreciate that he takes a holistic, honest and big picture approach to their business, going beyond seasonal advice by planning for the long-term, equipped with the latest advances and changes in the industry,” says Mr McLeish

“He takes ownership of his professional development to ensure that the service he provides to clients is of the best quality.”

Within the Walgett branch alone, Mr McLeish says that Brett’s impact has been significant.

“In just the two or so years that Brett has been with the branch, he has grown the wool business from 1000 bales in 2015 to in excess of 2800 in 2017,” he says.

“He has contributed to the turn-around of the branch by taking an interest in the well-being and development of his co-workers, and consistently working as a team player towards the bettering of the branch.”

Mr. Smith says that he was honoured to receive the award in front of his peers and that the opportunity to join Elders had been a turning point in his life.

“I’m fortunate enough to have the support of the Walgett branch, the northern zone wool team, my family, and particularly my partner Tori, to continue to do what I love every day,” he said.

“It’s a great team that we have, and the way the wool industry is going at the moment, you wouldn’t want to be in any other place. That’s probably where Elders have really stuck it out through some hard times and got behind the wool industry.

“Elders and the wool industry have a great historical relationship and I see that only getting better. I’m honoured to be a part of it.”