Judges had their work cut out for them on Saturday as 13 eligible showgirls from Gloucester to the Queensland border vied to represent rural community and agricultural from Zone 1 at The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl competition next month.
If the quality of young women in this competition was anything to go by the next generation of regional leadership will be richly endowed with passion and commitment to do good.
In the final wash-up only two could be selected, with Kyogle showgirl Ashleigh Little, 23, and Kempsey Showgirl Elizabeth Jackson, 23, being awarded the rare opportunity.
Miss Little comes off a Kyogle dairy farm and works locally as an accountant, impressing judges with her vision for a more caring community, particularly for the elderly. Her plan involves helping the rural sector forge a path towards success through better financial planning. Her active involvement in the Kyogle Show Society as well as with neighbouring show committees won admiration from judges.
Kempsey show girl Elizabeth Jackson impressed with her maturity and composure under pressure, but garnered particular interest with her vision for helping vulnerable people deal with every day difficulties.
Miss Jackson's job as an engagement and complaints officer with NSW Fair Trading has already allowed her to help people in need and in this role she has honed skills in listening and mediation. Miss Jackson is studying for a law degree with the University of New England and hopes to use her talents to reduce cyber bullying with a dream of one day setting up a national hotline where people in turmoil can call for help.
Miss Jackson's busy involvement with the Kempsey Show Society also won admiration from the judges.
The presentation was held at Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre and hosted by the Tweed River Agricultural Society, with Belinda Grace as the Zone Showgirl finals co-ordinator.
The judges included Agricultural Societies Council vice president and ASC showgirl committee spokesperson Peter Gooch, Castle Hill, former showgirl and ASC Next Gen Secretary Grace Eppelstun, formerly Grenfell now Tamworth, and The Land's North Coast reporter Jamie Brown.