The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition is an opportunity for young women in NSW to go on a journey they wouldn't ever experience anywhere else.
The keyword in that sentence is 'experience'. This journey is beyond any experience you could ever dream of, with so many opportunities arising at each and every turn of the Showgirl year that has been.
As my role of The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl for 2019 comes to an end, I would like to reflect on some of the pretty special experiences I have had during this time.
I have attended The Royal Queensland Show (The Ekka), met with the current Governor in Albury to discuss current regional issues for my area, spoken at various events, attended women's events, hosted a women in ag event, visited more than 15 different shows around the state, helped judge this year's showgirl entrants at a local level, fundraising events, attended Showgirl parties and cocktail events, zone finals, RAS and ASC meetings.
All of these duties have been incredibly rewarding and helped me boost my public speaking ability, as well as confidence in new and unfamiliar situations.
Although my favourite job as Showgirl so far is judging the dachshund competition at the Coonamble Show. As I have two of my own dachshunds, I took great pride in this opportunity.
As I write this final article for my sponsors in The Land, it is blissfully raining outside. To me, rain is a good thing, always. It has brought more happiness to rural people than a lifetime's worth of toilet paper ever could (sorry, I couldn't help myself).
During my travels throughout the year, I have seen plenty of struggling communities severely impacted by drought, which in due course also affects every vein of the community from the local pub to the schools and then our local shows.
The rain that 2020 has brought along with it has made everyone more positive and motivated to be as productive as possible during the upcoming season.
As the state has experienced a summer we would rather forget, I encourage the communities to rally around one another in these times of uncertainty, as COVID-19 becomes an ever increasing crisis.
The Showgirl movement provides you with a platform to support the women around you as well as learn more ways to better yourself as a genuine and valuable human being.
With many regional areas suffering at the moment, this provides an opportunity for many young women to stand up and fight for their beliefs, share their goals and learn from other inspiring women (and men for that matter).
I encourage young women not to be afraid and to enjoy their youth with the desire to achieve and constantly better themselves. If you're unsure where to start, Showgirl is a great opportunity.
The people you meet are genuine and happy to help you out at any stage that they can. You forge relationships with both men and women you wouldn't otherwise come across if it wasn't for the show movement.
I will be forever grateful for my time as The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl for 2019, and I hope I've done the duty well.
I would just like to mention a few people who have helped me along this journey; The Walbundrie Show Society, The Webb Family, my wonderful parents, Showgirl mentor Clare Robinson, the ASC and RAS, and all of my fellow showgirls, your support has been unwavering.
Thank you to my husband, Tom, for being a pillar of support during this time of my life, I appreciate it so much. A huge thanks also to my workplace in Pacific Seeds, they have helped me with anything they could during the year.
RAS' response to COVID-19
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is currently looking into ways it can support The Land Showgirl and Rural Achiever competitions following the cancellation of the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
"These competitions are vital to supporting our regional and rural youth and provide a fantastic platform for professional and personal growth," the RAS said.
"While we are currently working through the complexities of the cancellation, the RAS will ensure the incredible finalist of the Showgirl and Rural Achiever competitions receive the recognition they deserve and go-on to be great ambassadors for rural and regional NSW and the agricultural show movement."