WOOL representative Carman-Lee Campbell is accustomed to distance education, having grown up in a town that is but a fly speck on the map of central-western New South Wales.
But some might consider her plan to travel 4600 kilometres across Australia, from Dubbo, NSW, to Muresk Institute, Northam, next month to attend a four-day dog-training course a bit extreme.
A shearer for four years before a back injury forced her to move to wool classing, which she now does in her spare time, Ms Campbell, 27, is Landmark's Dubbo-based central-western NSW wool area manager.
She loves working with dogs and is prepared to make the trip to Muresk to learn from the man known as the Working Dog Whisperer.
As far as she is concerned the $1200 in air fares and almost five and a half hours sitting on planes each way - from Dubbo to Sydney to Perth and return - will be well worth it on her first visit to WA.
"I'm taking my holidays to do it," Ms Campbell said, given there are no Australian Wool Exchange live auctions scheduled in Australia for weeks three to five of the new season.
"The course is just before the annual wool recess, so it's good timing as far as work goes.
"I've never been to WA before and I probably won't get much of a chance to look around this trip, but I'm hoping to get some ideas on places to visit on future trips."
Ms Campbell is a TAFE NSW ambassador because of her success in vocational training courses at Dubbo College - in 2012 she won the silver stencil for second place in the AWEX National Graduate Woolclasser of the Year competition.
She has enrolled for a fundamentals working dog course at Muresk.
"Whisperer" Ben Page and his wife Lyn will be returning to Muresk from their Working Dog Centre base in South Australia in July to run two more fundamentals courses.
Mr Page also plans to run an intermediate course with enrolments restricted to dogs and owners who have attended his fundamentals courses earlier this year or last year.
Ms Campbell grew up on a sheep, cattle and cropping property owned by her parents Jeff and Kaye Campbell, Girilambone, a community of just 60 people on the western plains between Nyngan and Bourke.
Her schooling and subsequent tertiary courses were done by distance education before she completed a traineeship with Landmark, but the trip to Muresk is certainly the longest she has had to travel for a course.
Ms Campbell agists a flock of sheep on her parents' property and wants a well-trained dog to work them.
"I do a bit of (livestock) trading so a good dog's handy to have," she said.
"I've had a couple of kelpies in the past but my last dog was only a pup and unfortunately got run over not long ago.
"I want to get another dog but I thought I'd do a course before I got another one so I know what to look for."
Ms Campbell will need a dog to do the course at Muresk and has borrowed one waiting for her in WA.
She had tried to find a suitable working dog course closer to home, but none measured up to the Muresk course run by Mr Page.
A friend deterred her from one course she enquired about with claims of how dogs were treated.
"It didn't sound like the sort of course I was looking for - I wanted low-stress stock handling techniques and whacking a dog with a length of polly pipe just didn't sound like that was it," she said.
She read about Mr Page and his teaching methods on the internet and then read an online Farm Weekly report on how a drone was used at Muresk as a teaching tool to film his Certificate III in Agriculture-accredited classes.
That clinched her decision.
"I rang the Pages up and asked if they ran courses in NSW of Victoria,'' she said.
"When they said they only ran them in South Australia and WA and the next ones were at Muresk I thought 'Why not?'.
"I'd actually heard of Muresk before because of its connections with (regional NSW-based) Charles Sturt University (which runs a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management degree course at Muresk) through my own agriculture studies.
"The same presenters' names appear on the course material here and over there.
"It sounds like it will be a fairly hectic trip, but I'm looking forward to it.
"I gather the course is as much about teaching the owner as about teaching their dog, and I want to learn the right way."
For information about working dog training courses at the Muresk Institute, visit www.workingdogcentre.com.
p The top working sheepdogs and their owners from across Australia will be heading to Northam in October for the Supreme Australian Sheepdog Championship 2016.
It is WA's turn to host the Supreme this year and Northam has been selected as the venue for the championship which will be contested on October 8-16.
p Anyone who would like to watch sheep dogs in action is welcome to attend the 2016 Muresk Institute Arena Trial, starting this afternoon with handlers and novice dogs, on the oval at Muresk.
Run by Great Southern Working Sheepdog Club and hosted by Muresk, the trial continues with more experienced dogs all day tomorrow and Saturday, with the finals on Sunday.