One of the Sydney Royal Show's longest running and best known youth development programs, The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition, has had a name change.
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has announced today the new name for the 2022 state program will be The Sydney Royal Young Woman of the Year.
The RAS has said in a statement that it made the decision earlier this week and the change aims to better reflect the spirit of the program in honouring young rural women and to ensure the relevance of the competition well into the future as it celebrates 60 years in 2022.
RAS showgirl councillor Susan Wakeford says the refreshed program and new title will continue to foster and encourage the fundamental building blocks of the competition through involvement in local shows and communities while also resonating better with younger generations.
"Over the decades, the Sydney Royal Showgirl competition, thanks to on-going support from The Land newspaper, has brought together thousands of young women and offered the opportunity for them to represent their local community, show society and industry, providing a platform to develop themselves personally, professionally, and as future leaders," Ms Wakeford said.
"As we celebrate 60 years in 2022, this new title will allow the program to remain an important platform that supports young women for 60 years to come. While the name continues to link to the show movement, it also opens up the opportunity for young leaders to enter from many and varied occupations that link to rural, regional, and remote NSW."
She said the professional development program, which encourages women to become leaders within their local community and rural NSW, has seen a decline in entries over the past 20 years, and the RAS hopes this the new name will encourage more women to enter.
"At a local level, we already have some show societies making small changes to attract more entries. As guardians of the state competition, it is our responsibility to listen to those voices and drive positive change that will ensure the program's future," Ms Wakeford said.
"Sydney Royal Young Woman of the Year will be able to attract more young, talented and driven women to enter a program that can assist and elevate them through their chosen career path and help them become the future leaders our rural communities need."
The Sydney Royal Young Woman of the Year Award will apply to the state competition held annually at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and the RAS said it hoped to see this change adopted at the local and zone levels of the program.
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