Becoming involved is really the only true way to completely understand the amount of work and passion which goes into an event, competition or committee, which rings true to the Show movement. And the Showgirl competition is a perfect way for young women to do so.
I entered my local Showgirl competition of Dubbo to become involved in the show society, as I wanted to connect with a new part of my rural community and be a part of a group with a common goal – to promote agriculture and celebrate its excellence in our district. This experience proved to be so much more, meeting an amazing group of people and being warmly accepted into the show society.
I was privileged to be chosen to represent Zone 6 as a State Finalist at the 2016 The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition, where I once again had the opportunity to meet like-minded people from across the state and country with a shared passion for agriculture and their shows, with varying involvement and specific interests.
Our week at the Sydney Royal provided once in a lifetime opportunities and experiences which I will be forever grateful for. Whilst being nothing short of daunting, we were put in a position to expand our knowledge and skills further than I thought possible. Highlights included meeting His Excellency General the Governor of NSW at Government House, visiting children and delivering showbags at the Westmead Children’s Hospital, behind the scenes tours of the Show, and meeting the array of people from across NSW who come together to contribute to and celebrate this event each year.
Additional to local involvement, my showgirl experience has thus far provided me with invaluable personal and professional development experiences such as enhancing skills in interviewing, public speaking, networking and media experience, as well as developing amazing new friendships. The ASC Next Gen Committee is another way I can continue following my passion and utilise what I have learnt, helping to promote agriculture within our local communities and encourage involvement of our youth across the state.
The biggest thing I have learnt throughout my Showgirl journey so far is that no matter what coloured sash or ribbon you finish with, or what your title is in an organisation, every person can contribute and make a difference to the larger goal. We need to celebrate every individual’s involvement and contribution regardless of its size, as this is what makes agriculture and our Shows great, not the prizes or accolades.
I would encourage and welcome every young person with similar passions to become involved in the show movement, whether through Showgirl, Next Gen committees, competing, stewarding, judging, volunteering and so on, and hope you may gain even a fraction of the benefits which I have experienced.
By Camilla Kenny, 2015 Dubbo Showgirl and 2016 The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl State Finalist.