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Ray White Rural young guns shine in Ekka sun

Liam Kirkwood, the young gun business owner of Ray White Rural Townsville and Charters Towers, has won the ALPA Queensland Young Auctioneers competition at The Ekka.

The 23-year-old from Townsville said he was stunned by his victory in a strong field of 10 competitors at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane.

Ray White Rural Roma licensee AJ Riley, also 23, was also a finalist in the livestock auctioneering event held in Brisbane on Friday.

But it was the North Queensland product who took home the trophy and shield after he auctioned three steers in the prime beef section for three well-known vendors.

“It is just starting to sink in now but I was stunned when I won. It’s been a big ride for me over the last eight months and it’s a great accolade to win, not just for me but for Ray White Rural heading into its 25th year,” Mr Kirkwood said.

“I was getting pretty nervous last night when people were telling me I was in with a chance. To be honest, I just came here today for the experience first and foremost.”

Mr Kirkwood, who used to buy cattle for the local meatworks, still deals with the same people in his new role as owner of Ray White Rural Townsville and Charters Towers.

“I still talk to my clients once a day or more. It’s a people business. My role may have changed but in many ways it has stayed the same. Former business owner Kevin Currie said he was just looking for the right person to hand the reins to and he’s very happy for me. He’s here today and I have stepped right up.

“The steer today were all bought for good prices,” Mr Kirkwood said.

He only started full-time auctioneering at the beginning of 2019 when he took over the rural and livestock business in Townsville. 

Ray White Rural & Livestock Managing Director Stephen Nell congratulated the young business owners on their success today.

“Mr Kirkwood’s business was in fact one of the founding franchises of Ray White Rural with Kevin Currie, so it’s great to see the reins handed to the next generation with style and such promise.” 

ALPA president Warren Johnston praised the 10 state finalists, saying each possessed special skills which would hold the industry in good stead.

Mr Kirkwood was presented the Queensland Country Life Shield and the Don Steele AM Cup. He has also gained automatic entry for the national final in Sydney in early 2020. 

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