Master inspires many apprentices
PAUL Jeffrey is the latest young man to start his agent’s career with Alex Scott and Staff.
This may hardly be headlines that rate on the Richter scale given Alex Scott’s tradition of giving young men a start in the stock and station industry.
Graeme Kershaw has overseen many of these appointments. He himself started in the livestock industry as a 15-year-old.
He was a Korumburra boy who began work with Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Co (AMLF) in the main street of Korumburra.
After a stint with the same AMLF in Deniliquin, Central Victoria and Newmarket, he returned south the year decimal currency hit Australia, 1966.
He accepted a position as office manager with Alex Scott and Co in Dandenong. Over time he progressed to the positions of company secretary and now general manager.
The important titles are lost on Graeme. He talks quietly but passionately about his auctioneering days, his love of horse sales and clearing sales, his interaction with the saleyard family, his company’s intergenerational dealings with dairy farmers in south and west Gippsland, and the times he has been (incorrectly) greeted as Mr Scott.
He’s now the public face of Alex Scott and Staff. His 46 years of service and the retirement of a crop of branch managers his vintage has led many, especially newcomers to conclude that he is “Alex Scott”.
Graeme’s demeanour continues the gentlemanly approach of company founder Alex Scott and his successor Stuart Scott.
He’s an unlikely boss and more a caring parent overseeing a company, accommodating many clients and watching over about 70 staff.
SJ (as Stuart Scott was affectionately known) had faith in young people, especially young people who could identify with a particular town or community.
Alex Scott’s newest employee is certainly that. Paul Jeffrey comes from a farming family on Phillip Island. Paul is a confident, well-spoken young man doing an agricultural course to enhance his farm related skills.
He has to travel to the Yarra Valley for the school component of his course.
Graeme delights in the growth and youth of the company.
Four real estate offices has grown to 13, there are younger faces at the director’s table, he is proud that he has never taken long service leave, and has had three overseas holidays and another is being planned.
He is happy to talk about retirement and happy to be cajoled into not retiring.
Like the farmer reluctant to sell the farm, Graeme is proud, comfortable and very much involved in an agricultural icon of Gippsland.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=4228