Phelan & Henderson & Co

Livestock & Property Agents

Phelan & Henderson & Co is a privately owned livestock and property agency servicing South and South East Gippsland. After celebrating 25 years running David Phelan & Co, David got an opportunity to grow the business further when Simon Henderson agreed to join the firm and a new Stock & Station agents business was formed called Phelan & Henderson & Co. The new firm opened for business on 6th July 2015. This has been an immediate success with all Simons clients following him to the new firm that he has a stake in.

In November Phelan & Henderson & Co was granted a Real Estate Licence after securing the services of Mr Brian Rodwell as officer in effective control. Brian who is a leader in the pastoral industry brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and knowhow to the new company and will allow Phelan & Henderson Real Estate to provide a complete service to our clients.

David Phelan.

David started in the livestock industry in Bairnsdale with Elders back in 1972, and within a year he held an Auctioneer’s Licence before turning 21 years of age.

On the 1st of January 1977 he took over the responsibly of running the Australian Estates office at Yarram. The business grew and the mergers took place, firstly to DSM- ESTATES then to ELDERS Pastoral. 

In March 1990 David seized the opportunity to Purchase all Elders YARRAM branch assets and formed his own company called David Phelan & Co Pty Ltd, the new business started on the First of April 1990, April fools day. It was an immediate success with the clients enjoying personalised service. In the first year live weight selling was introduced to the saleyards, The old Estates Yards were rebuilt then some years later the Dalgety yards were acquired and 30 acres behind the saleyards was purchased and fenced into holding paddocks so cows could be held over the weekend from the market till abattoirs wanted them on Monday. Then with the rationalisation of saleyards the opportunity arose to relocate to the new VLE complex at Leongatha, with selling pens under the roof and soft flooring, this was a big step for the little company but one that proved of great benefit to the clients with added competition on their cattle and the cattle presented so well on the new soft flooring.

In July this year after celebrating 25 years working in David Phelan & Co, David started the new company Phelan & Henderson & Co.



Simon Henderson

"After completing my VCE in 1988, I landed my first job in the industry with VOP Mercantile as a clerk/trainee at the Dandenong Saleyards in early 1989.After settling into the role,which was 3 days a week, I applied for,and was successful in getting a traineeship with Elders Pastoral in October 1989. I was based at Leongatha, and was sent from branch to branch in relieving roles,and to gain experience. I worked in Sale,Bairnsdale,Yarram and Swan Hill. It was whilst working at Yarram I first met David Phelan on early 1990. In 1992 I was transferred to Finley, NSW,as a Livestock Salesman.I had started auctioneering whilst in Gippsland and it was at Finley where I improved my auctioneering skills and looked after a diverse client base.In August 1993 I moved to Kilmore, Vic, as livestock salesman with Brian Rodwell and co. With the endorsement of Brian Rodwell and significant help and opportunity provided by Colin Jones, I was auctioneering back at Dandenong, which to me was like a mini Newmarket,with 2 auctioneers selling at the same time. I entered the national young auctioneers competition, and won the Naional Title in 1994. I represented Australia at the Calgary Stampede in July 1994.Mid 1995,I was offered a job by Elders to be the branch Auctioneer in Warrnambool. I was reluctant to Leave Brian Rodwell & Co as the firm was fantastic, but I did want to work in the Western District to broarden my horizon.So I took on the role for 12 months. it didn't work out as I had planned and I was lucky to get my job back at Kilmore. In 1996 I married Christine and things were going well in Kilmore. Brian Rodwell had opened a branch in Ballarat and they needed an auctioneer to be stationed there, so Christine and I moved there in January 1998. It was a 2 year posting, and being mainly a sheep selling centre,i wanted to get back into a cattle area, and I was transferred to Rodwells Pakenham in March 2000. That was fantastic, however,an opportunity arose to move to South Gippsland in November 2000. We decided to move to Inverloch,and I started work in Leongatha with Rodwells in November 2000. I have enjoyed living working in the South Gippsland area since that time. I left Rodwells in January 2006 and opened a branch for Everitt and Seeley. In Early 2009 I accepted a role as Senior Auctioneer with Alex Scott & staff, a role that I had until July 2105 when I went into this partnership with David Phelan. It is a great setup and I am looking forward to the future, providing a high level of service to our loyal client base.  Phew..Typing Cramp. That's all Folks."

Sarah Phelan

After finishing her VCE Sarah started working fulltime at David Phelan & Co in 2003, she went on to work for Elders Charlton Feedlot in 2005. Charlton was a lot different to Gippsland, drier country, hot weather and 21,000 head of cattle. This is where Sarah began to learn a lot about animal health. In 2008 Sarah moved to Goolgowi to work at JBS Prime City feedlot, it was at Prime City where she stepped up to take on more responsibilities. Within 6 months she was promoted to livestock leading hand in the 36,000 head yard and in 2011 she took on a supervisor role of Induction Foreperson and oversaw all cattle coming into the feedlot. While running the induction shed at Prime Sarah met some backpackers from Canada who came and worked in the feedlot for 6 months.

In 2012 Sarah travelled to Alberta, Canada to meet up with her friends and further her livestock and feedlot experience. She landed a job on a family run 15,000 head feedlot around 50km from Calgary and worked for them for 9 months. It was a unique experience for Sarah riding pens in the snow, ice and temperatures below -30c. After a drive around America, Sarah came home in February 2013 and was invited to work back with JBS at Riverina Beef feedlot where she took on the role of Animal Health Supervisor. Riverina was a large feedlot with capacity for 53,000head, a very busy workplace with an abattoir on site killing 600head a day. Early in 2015 Sarah and David discussed creating a new company along with Simon Henderson, David asked for her to come and help run the new company, so in May 2015 Sarah came home to Gippsland and in July, Phelan & Henderson & Co was born!


Brian Rodwell

Brian grew up in Orbost in East Gippsland. When his family moved to Melbourne, Brian finished his education and joined Gippsland and Northern as a clerk at Newmarket saleyards. He transferred to the Dandenong Office where he began selling livestock as a young auctioneer, sometime later Brian was approached and joined Australian Estates at Kyneton as the district store stock auctioneer and started selling at Newmarket.


With his great friend, the late Colin Hill, Brian purchased a small Newmarket firm called King, Son & Ballantyne. 5 years later the Australian Estates made a substantial offer for King & Sons and Brian re-joined estates. Over the next few years Brian rose rapidly through the ranks, being appointed an executive director and operations manager with responsibilities for livestock and property.


Then followed a series of mergers with Dennys Strachan Merchantile Estates or DSM-Estates as it was called. This merger was going well when John Elliotts Elders took over the firm. Brian left shortly after and with the backing of a very substantial client opened Rodwells in Newmarket on the 1 April 1980. Rodwells grew and prospered and was sold to Rural Co in 2005 by which time, with 16 branch organisations, it was the third largest agency business after Elders and Landmark in Victoria, selling livestock, property, wool, rural merchandise and insurance. During this time Brian was invited and joined the board of Roberts Limited Tasmania for a number of years, Brian then took a 2 year contract and joined the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association to help establish the group across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. On leaving this position he was made a life member of ALPA.


Brian then joined Everitt and Seeley, Cranbourne, to help the principle to get a real estate license and form SGP real estate. On finishing this project Brian was approached by Alex Scott and Staff to open and manage a real estate office for them in Collins Street, Melbourne to service their Melbourne clients.


Brian retired for Alex Scotts and after a long holiday, helped two lifelong friends David Phelan and Simon Henderson to establish Phelan & Henderson & Company. Once their livestock business settled down, Brian helped set up their real estate arm which was licensed and commenced operation on 6th November and Brian will be the real estate manager.


Phillip Ruby

Phillip has been working in the Livestock industry for 55 years. He started out at New Market with Dalgety New Zealand Loan in 1970 and has worked in several saleyards from New market to Koonwarra.

" I have always been a farmer. I worked on our family farm at Anderson after leaving Wonthaggi Technical School. I worked occasionally for many sheep and cattle farmers in our area of South Gippsland.

I studied wool classing at R.M.I.T in 1968. I have shorn sheep and classed wool locally for many years.  I was a Shearing Steward at the Royal Melbourne Show for a number of years. I joined my father, W.S. Ruby, as a sub agent for Dalgety in 1970. I attended Newmarket stock sales weekly, and travelled extensively to markets, buying and selling sheep and cattle.

I have been a sub agent for over 40 years. After leaving Dalgety’s, I have worked as a sub agent for Rodwells, Everitt and Seeley, Alex Scott and Staff, and now Phelan and Henderson.

I have been married for 45 years and have two children. I actively participated in their schooling as a member of the Bass Valley and Newhaven College School Councils. I still live on part of our family farm and raise Angus/Limousin cross vealers.  I have been an active member of the Kilcunda C.F.A for 25 years, being Captain for 10 years. I received a Bass Coast Community Service Award in 2010, and the National Emergency Medal in 2014.  I became a Justice of the Peace in 2008.

I have worked with Simon Henderson for many years and have great respect for his integrity and work ethic. He is also a personal friend. I have known David Phelan for some years and admire his enterprise in forming a new livestock company with Simon."


Phelan & Henderson Phelan and Henderson and Co