If you see Teeah Bungey riding down the streets of Sydney one day with the Mounted Police, you’ll know she’s finally giving her teenage career musings a crack. It’s unlikely though - the market operator for AuctionsPlus is living the agricultural dreams she’s had since she was a child.
Teeah grew up on her family’s sheep and cropping property four hours southwest of Perth. School holidays were a chance to throw herself into sheep work, drive the chaser bin and work alongside her dad, joking she’d leave her mum alone in the house to finally get some peace and quiet.
Two years at Marcus Oldham studying Agribusiness led to a position at AuctionsPlus and today she’s based in Sydney - something she never imagined but has embraced.
“I used to think Perth was a big city but here I am in a city where the whole population of WA fits three times,” she laughed.
“I didn’t ever think I’d have that career in agriculture that I really wanted and be living in Sydney at the same time but to have the relationship I do with the WA industry, live here with the beautiful coastlines and still work in the agricultural industry is very much a win-win.”
A typical week will see Teeah building and running sales, taking endless phone calls, talking with customers and working as the regional contact for Western Australia.
She also tries to get back to her home state as much as possible - although six months during COVID might have been pushing it for her parents last year.
“I set up shop in mum and dad’s office on the farm during COVID and took over. I think they were happy to see me gone,” she joked.
“You do spend a lot of time on the phone with agents though and when I’m back in WA it’s great to be able to build relationships face to face. When I see those agents listing 20,000 head of sheep, it’s just so rewarding.”
While she’s expecting prices to stabilise in 2021, Teeah predicts they’ll remain strong, especially in comparison to those of a few years ago.
“Prices have blown everyone out of the water this year in both sheep and cattle. Despite what the wool market’s doing you can still get a decent price for Merino, and crossbreeds and terminals have skyrocketed,” she said.
And when she has a question about sheep or anything industry related, Teeah knows where to turn - her dad.
She says he’s been her mentor from the beginning, encouraging her to work hard, follow her agricultural goals and do what she loves so she never has to work a day in her life.
In classic dad style, he’s never short of a joke either.
“Every time I flick him a quick message asking him something he wants to know where his paycheck is,” Teeah laughs.