Summer Newsletter


To bring you up to date about farrier activity and what the association has been working on since the AGM.


The AGM was held on August 30 at Caulfield Glasshouse and we had considerable feedback that the committee should be more communicative.


Since then we have been working mainly on contributing to the Skills Aust Cert III in farriery course review, preparing and holding the Dec 2 competition at Kilsyth and negotiating to secure affordable and effective professional liability insurance.


The committee met with several members on Oct 25th to discuss changes that were felt would bring the Cert III course into line with modern requirements.  In particular, thanks to Vaughan Ellis and Shane Pattison for their conscientious efforts and written contribution.  The upshot of the discussions was that several units could either be reduced in hours e.g. horseshoeing or removed e.g. one of the welding units.  These could be replaced by an emphasis on veterinary subjects such as anatomy and conformation, deformities, correction and additional anatomy in later years.  Committee representatives as well as Mark Cumming and Dean Lewis attended a meeting at Skills Aust on Nov 13th for them to present their direction and gain feedback.  The meeting was also attended by the MP TAFE, vets, suppliers and other representatives.  A problem from this meeting to arise was that Skills Aust couldn’t change the existing course so the issue is how do we fit the new units in?


This could be resolved at the next meeting on Jan 19th when Skills Aust are to present their recommendations.  The process after that is the recommendations go to the Curriculum Managers for their review of subjects, hours and costs then to the federal Aust Industry and Skills Committee on June 30, 2018.


The Dec 2nd Dennis Kennedy Memorial competition was held at his friend’s property in Kilsyth.  Our gratitude to Darren Phelan for making his place available as well as his time and providing the Clydesdales to be shod.   Not only does Darren own several Clydesdales he collects carriages and drays and antique cars.  We had thirty-four competitors on a very rainy day, but we saw several hundred spectators come and enjoy the competition and the property.  The competition judge, Dean Lewis congratulated the competitors on what he saw was a very high standard.  Hopefully next year’s event will be even bigger and maybe with better weather.


The committee’s third major activity has been to research public liability insurance for association members.  Note if you don’t currently have this type of insurance you may be held liable for any claims.  Note also that we have been informed the trainer’s public liability insurance does not cover you as a sub-contractor.  We initially went through JLT Insurance (the brokers foo the ATA) but were informed the policies would have to cover all members, not only those that wanted to take it out.  Given this is unacceptable we have sourced a new broker who is currently putting together a proposal.  We should have something for the membership shortly after Christmas.


The committee welcomes feedback and wants to help the membership with any questions or initiatives you may have.  Please note the new email address  For those that have yet to renew your 2017/2018 membership, we encourage you to do so and support the association.  Please email the secretary who will send you the form.


We wish all our members and families and happy and safe Christmas and New Year, and we’ll be in touch again soon.


Kind regards

John Bunting



Please find below links to current information



We’ve left these links here for information as the VMFA is considering sponsoring another Worshipful Company of Farriers Associate/Diploma exam in December 2018.  Please email if you are interested

Membership Application 2017-8


In early 2017 the Victorian Government introduced its new approach to the training and TAFE system, Skills First, with its objective to ensure real training for real jobs.

An initial allocation of $40 million for workforce training innovation is available to industry and training provider partnerships to improve the quality and relevance of training to industry.

This will assist industry or business to develop and deploy new skills required for productivity improvement.

Grant funding is available across four interrelated categories:

  • Future growth sectors
  • Workforce training and skills development
  • New training programs and methods
  • Applied research.

The VMFA committee intends contacting Skills First for assistance in meeting some of the issues the industry currently faces including:

  • Modernisation of apprenticeship course content
  • Potential restructure of course duration and timing
  • Addressing quality of education
  • Pre-apprentice education options
  • RPL options

We urge you to visit the Skills First website for more information at


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