About Us

►     About us     ◄

Our Aims

1. To protect the heritage and preserve the future of the Original Babydoll sheep in Australia

2. To encourage and promote the ownership and breeding of the Babydoll sheep

3. To establish a network of communication for owners and breeders of Babydoll Sheep

4. To develop and maintain the Breed Standard and Showing Guidelines


The Formation of the Babydoll Sheep Association of Australia.


There are relatively few owners of Original Southdown Babydoll sheep in Australia, with the breed being quite rare. Recently there seems to have been a revival of the Babydoll with more people moving to smallholdings and looking for smaller farm stock and/or stock which is easy to manage due to smaller size and there are now waiting lists of people wishing to purchase Babydolls.

However, due to a lack of a breed standard, prospective purchasers of Babydolls in Australia have had little information on what to look for when purchasing Babydolls, and this sometimes leads to disappointment if the Babydoll has been sold by a breeder who is breeding sheep not true to type. Consequently people have ended up with sheep much larger in size and thus not suitable for the desired outcome. There was also a lack of general information about Babydolls and breeders were working in isolation from each other. This made it difficult to locate stock for sale.

In 2017, these issues were identified and a group of Babydoll breeders formed the Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association of Australia.

The Association was formally incorporated in 2017. A Facebook page was also developed where members could share information and ask for advice. One of the things identified by our Members as sadly lacking was the ability for the Babydoll Southdown to be found in the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Flock Book, as we were listed in with the Southdowns and unless you knew what bloodlines to look for, Babydolls could not be found easily amongst the taller Modern Southdowns. It was also apparent that the Southdown had evolved so much to meet the modern meat market that the Babydoll no longer fitted the Southdown Breed Description, so we approached ASSBA for a separate listing. Fast forward a couple of years and we have finally been accepted into the Flock Book, as a separate listing, but our name required a change to satisfy both ASSBA and Southdown Australia. And so the Babydoll Sheep Association of Australia Inc was formed.

Our Committee

Janice Evans

President

My name is Janice Evans, and together with my husband, Chris Evans, own the historic and renowned Babyboll Southdown Stud, “Hillgrove.” Chris and I have been farming at Moama, NSW, since 2007 on our 454ha property.

I come from a family of farmers, with my great grandfather, grandfather and father farming sheep and cattle at Mulwala, NSW. I eventually became a teacher of the deaf, working in a variety of locations around Victoria and overseas. In 2007 my husband and I moved to our farm at Moama, and began to farm beef cattle, changing to dorper sheep in 2009 due to drought. In 2015 we came across Babydoll Southdowns and decided to purchase three ewes and a ram from Murray and Judy Peart, the then owners of Hillgrove stud, and aimed to breed the Babydolls alongside our dorper sheep.

In 2018, Murray and Judy Peart retired and we were offered the opportunity by Murray and Judy to purchase the whole Hillgrove Stud. Our aim now is to increase the number of Hillgrove ewes available and to be actively involved in preserving the unique Babydoll characteristics. There are so few full-blood Babydolls in Australia that it's vital that our breeding program is successful and continues into the future. To do this we use embryo transfer and Artificial Insemination and in 2019, exported Hillgrove embryos to the European Union (EU). We have had enquiries from New Zealand and South Africa for embryos.

I firmly believe in and support the BSAA as a great resource as it aims to preserve the unique Babydoll characteristics, allows Australian Babydoll breeders to network, seek information and buy and sell new stock.  

Bronwyn Healy

Vice President

Hello everyone. I’m Bronwyn Healy, I am co-owner of The Settlement Road Vineyard on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria with my husband David Bowen – the first crop under the new name will be 2018. We are new to Babydolls and to rural living. While my family came from a rural (beef and dairy farming) background, I was raised in the city after my parents eloped to Sydney. I am still in a state of awe and amazement and joy of having sheep and other livestock and of horror at the thought that I have a major crisis on my hands.

My background is in health management and research and we moved to Geelong due to work commitments about three years ago when we purchased a small vineyard. We are very much committed to a biodynamic approach to farming and so our interest in Babydoll Sheep was formed. We have been searching for Babydoll Sheep since moving to the vineyard to meet the needs of the vineyard and orchard and so we were very happy to meet Sue Curliss and Geoff Martin who provided a wealth of information and then Judy and Murray Peart who have helped us to establish our very small flock. 

Sue Curliss

Secretary

Hi, I’m Sue and I am the Secretary of the BSAA. Geoff and I run Sugargum Farm, in Elaine, a very small town, (read General Store and Pub) between Ballarat and Geelong in Victoria. We have had Babydolls for quite a number of years now and absolutely love their docile natures and teddy bear faces. I guess that is something we all have in common! We started off with six ewes plus one ram and we are now up to over fifty, both purebred and crossbred. Yep, they are as addictive as potato chips!

As a Babydoll breeder I became increasingly disappointed that it was so hard to find any other breeders and equally difficult for interested people to find Babydolls. Our website was getting lots of hits and we were receiving lots of enquiries, but we were still trying to breed up our flock. After going to Shows and checking out the Southdowns, it became very apparent that our Babydoll Southdowns were quite different to the modern version, but we were all listed together. So, I set out to try and change this and found some more breeders, equally passionate and equally like-minded in the resolve to get Babydolls noticed as a Breed. And so began our Babydoll Association.

As well as being Secretary of this Association, I am also the Assistant Editor for Australian Sheep Magazine, which showcases Heritage sheep, another cause for which I am passionate. So between the two and the farm, my life is fairly full of all things “sheep”.

I look forward to working with you all in promoting and enjoying our Babydolls and educating new owners to the joys of these wonderful, little sheep.

Geoff Martin

Treasurer

My name is Geoff Martin and in my professional life I am an accountant specialising in business management which is how I came to be nominated for and accepted the position of Treasurer of the Babydoll Association.

My first involvement with sheep was as a young boy visiting my grandfather’s merino stud in the Monaro region on the NSW/Victoria border. My father did not carry on the family farming tradition and became a school teacher instead so my interest in sheep was not rekindled until moving to Tasmania as an adult and acquiring some stud Corriedales which worked out quite well as my first wool cheque recovered the full cost of the purchase of the sheep. I continued with these until moving to Victoria and sometime later we bought a number of English Leicesters whose fleece we had processed into yarn which we marketed privately.

My partner, Sue and I developed an interest in the smaller breeds and now run Babydoll Southdowns, Miniature Cheviots and Elliottdales on our property at Elaine situated between Ballarat & Geelong.

Chris Evans

Committee Member

My name is Chris Evans, and along with my wife Janice, I farm at Moama, NSW. I have been a farmer since leaving school, first on my family farm at Echuca and then farming at Wakool in NSW where I ran a 3000ac rice and beef cattle property. In 2007 Janice and I moved to our 454ha farm at Moama and I continued to run beef cattle. However, the drought, plus severe irrigation water restrictions, made this very difficult so the decision was made to run dorper sheep instead. This led to an interest in different breeds of sheep, especially those who are rare and relatively unknown in Australia and eventually we purchased a couple of Babydoll ewes and a ram from Murray and Judy Peart from Hillgrove Stud at Greenhill in Victoria. In 2018 Murray and Judy offered us the opportunity to purchase the whole Hillgrove Stud and Janice and I have been managing this stud since. We have developed a strong interest and passion for these Babydolls and aim to preserve the original features of this type of Southdown. I really enjoy the practical, hands-on work with the Babydolls.

I am a Committee member of the BSAA so that I can better support the BSAA in its important work of increasing awareness of and working for Babydoll sheep and their owners in Australia.