A common desire to lead their community and a passion to do good were qualities expressed by all 13 eligible showgirls representing zone four during The Land and Sydney Royal showgirl finals at the weekend.
From what has been hot and dusty plains around Walgett to the emerald green hills of Dorrigo, zone four encompasses an enormous geographical range, representing great diversity within the rural sector.
In the end, after a tough call by three judges, it was Moree showgirl Bronte Marshall, 24 years old, and her Wee Waa counterpart Georgina Haire, 23, who were selected to compete for the Agricultural Societies Council title of The Land Showgirl for 2020, at Sydney Royal in April.
This was the second zone final in a competition that covers the state.
Miss Marshall works as the executive assistant to the general manager of Mehi sector, Hunter and New England Health, helping administer health facilities across a vast swath of black soil country.
Born and bred in Moree she spent some years in Brisbane before moving back to be closer to her grandmother, and has embraced drama dance and singing as creative outlets for her talents.
Judges were impressed with Ms Marshall's enthusiasm for community and her extensive involvement in her local show society, including her role as vice president, a passion inspired by her late grandfather.
Wee Waa's Miss Haire has witnessed the incredible resilience of agriculture during this toughest of droughts - now drawing to a close - which has brought her community together in ways few from outside can really understand. During breaks from university, where she is studying to become a physiotherapist, Ms Haire helps with all facets of farming, from administering workplace health and safety protocol, to driving B-double trucks full of cotton seed; even welding.
Again, it was Ms Haire's extensive involvement with her local show society and a desire to help her community during these challenging times that impressed the judges.
The zone four presentation was held at Dorrigo for the first time in 20 years, under delightfully cool grey skies with the sound of thundering rain at often competing with the speakers on stage.
The pavilion hall was decorated elegantly by a passionate team under the direction of president Sally Duckett with Tahnee Beelitz working tirelessly as the zone showgirl finals co-ordinator. The beautiful floral displays were created by Meg Corlis, Bev Miller and Sue Erickson.
Member for Oxley and NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey praised the showgirls for their prowess, saying they were the leaders for their communities and ambassadors for their show societies which have once again shown thy are the heart and soul of communities in times of emergency like bushfire and flood.
The judges included Agricultural Societies Council director Tanja Branson, Mullumbimby, and former zone 2 showgirl finalist Lauren Elkins, Camden, with help from The Land's North Coast reporter.