Meet the 2019 QCL Miss Showgirl finalists

Meet the 2019 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl finalists

Life & Style
The 2019 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl Award finalists.

The 2019 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl Award finalists.

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Eleven young women will vie for the Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl Awards at the Ekka.

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The Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl Awards shines the spotlight on young women across the 128 agricultural shows throughout Queensland.

2019 celebrates 37 years of providing an opportunity for young women to be involved in the agricultural industry, Queensland Ag Shows and their local community, through the State Showgirl. They in turn are rewarded with an amazing opportunity to gain personal development, learn life-long skills and to pursue leadership roles in the community and in the workplace.

The awards will culminate at the Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane. The eleven state finalists for 2019 have been selected from hundreds of entrants across the state. They have been selected as their local Showgirl followed by their sub chamber finals to now vie for the title of Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl 2019.

Here are the finalists and their stories.

Clare Webb.

Clare Webb.

Clare Webb, 22 - Burnett Sub Chamber, Monto Show Society

I grew up on a beef cattle property near Thangool, being the fifth generation of my family to contribute to primary production.

I currently work as the Project Manager for CRATER, a privately-owned research foundation that aims to share their learnings about regenerative agriculture, to allow beef producers to benefit from useful or varying methods of land management and beef production techniques.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Country shows are an event that allows the region's new-comers and long-standing locals a chance to all meet up and contribute voluntarily in the lead up and during the show, not only offering a great opportunity to meet more people but also feel part of the community.

Without these country shows, the businesses and economy within small, rural communities struggle year-round, lacking drawcard events to attract those that live remotely, tourists, travellers or people from adjoining regions.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

It needs to be a priority that government departments are appropriately resourced to offer assistance to graziers, producers and farmers including workshops, webinars and events able to provide useful information and education to producers.

The government needs to ensure facilities, schools and businesses are maintained and supported in small, rural townships and these towns are still capable of attracting new-comers to rural parts of Queensland.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

It may take a year, it may take a day.... but where there is a will, there is always a way.

Hannah Goode.

Hannah Goode.

Hannah Goode, 22 - Near North Coast Sub Chamber, Kilcoy Show Society

I grew up on the family property at Nebo, approximately 100km south west of Mackay.

I graduated from university after studying Applied Science majoring in Production Animal Science and in 2019 I started my working career at Oakey Beef Exports as a trainee carcase grader.

I am now fully qualified and looking to make my way in the future wherever the industry will take me.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

County shows really are the lifeblood of their community. This is the one time every year that producers from across the region come together to showcase and compare their products and learn from each other as to how to make them better.

Shows are what brings people and their communities together and have done for many generations and hopefully for many more to come.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

I do believe that people need to be made more aware of how agriculture within our society works and how it can impact on not just rural Queensland but also in all the major cities.

Education is going to be the key to change and our shows are going to play a fundamental part in getting this message across.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

'Always stay Humble and Kind'- Tim McGraw.

Brooke Currie.

Brooke Currie.

Brooke Currie, 24 - South West Sub Chamber, Taroom Show Society

I'm a social worker in Roma and surrounding areas. I undertake work in the child protection sphere and work with families with multiple and complex needs.

I have completed a Bachelor in Community Services, Bachelor of Social Work and Diploma of Leadership and Management.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Country shows are a great opportunity for people from out of town to come in and mingle with people they may not get to see all the time. Particularly for farmers who may do a lot of their work in isolation, attending the show is an important part of remaining connected with your town and the people who live there. As well as this, the local show provides an opportunity to showcase the local produce and local talent that local people are extremely proud of.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

That's a really broad question and the answer will differ depending on the lens you are looking through, however, to take an excerpt from QLD's Agricultural strategy which nicely outlines some needs for the future;

  1. Securing and increasing resource availability
  2. Driving productivity growth across the supply chain
  3. Securing and increasing market access
  4. Minimising the costs of production

What is your main rule or motto in life?

"Look for the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see."

Georgia Hunter.

Georgia Hunter.

Georgia Hunter, 20 - North Queensland Sub Chamber, Cairns Show Society

I've been involved with our local show for as long as I can remember, and for the past 13 years my involvement grew from working in the cattle yards to working around the show and entering the competitions.

Currently, I'm studying full time at James Cook University, studying Earth Science whilst working part time at our Local Supa IGA.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Rural shows are a way to bring the community together unlike any other event. It's a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones, who all share the same passions as you do.

On top of that, they are a great way to present the past year's hardships of labour with their product to show at the show, whether that be cattle, horses or horticulture.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

Continue to outsource to the local media. The more the word is spread about agriculture, the more action can be taken if they fall on hard times, and the more the community is ready to back them up and fight for it.

Involving the youth of today is another way. We need to reintroduce agriculture into city schools, this could be done by adding agricultural sciences and classes into school systems.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

To have fun with whatever life throws at me. If it gets me down, I'll get back up and make sure others get to feel the same way.

Savannah McDonald.

Savannah McDonald.

Savannah McDonald, 21 - Central and North West Sub Chamber, Cloncurry Show Society

I grew up in Brisbane and moved to Cloncurry in January to take up a teaching position at Cloncurry State School after graduating last year.

I am trained as a secondary school teacher and currently teach home economics.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

They really bring people together and showcase all of the fantastic things rural communities have to offer.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

There needs to be a push for the promotion of agricultural career pathways both in cities and in rural communities.

There needs to be more interest in rural towns as an option for career pathways, particularly for people living in metropolitan areas.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

Have a go at everything and never give up.

Lyndal Tuttle.

Lyndal Tuttle.

Lyndal Tuttle, 23 - Central Highlands Sub Chamber, Clermont Show Society

I am a born and raised Clermont local. I am from a farming family who are incredibly community-minded.

My current occupation is a retail manager at a local store called Ornabellas. Ornabellas is a clothing and health food store.

I also have my own aged care and disability business, Cardal Care, which provides care to those who are in need in my rural area.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Country shows are so incredibly important to keep the awareness and education within the agricultural industry alive.

For my home town, our show is the "event of the year"! It's where we all get to showcase our talents and passions!

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

For a viable future in agriculture, it comes down to education. Starting from grassroots, children, teenagers and adults need to know the process and organisation of agriculture.

Growers and producers are only the start of the process. The flowon effect that happens after affects more communities than expected.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

On a hard day when I am physically and mentally exhausted I always think of this one quote, it is the motivation that has gotten me through to be the best version of myself.

"Work hard in silence. Let your success be your noise."

Teagan Hall.

Teagan Hall.

Teagan Hall, 18 - South Burnett Sub Chamber, Mugon Show Society

I was raised in Murgon along with my five younger siblings.

Currently I study a Bachelor of Forensic Science and a Bachelor of Criminology at Griffith University, and I was working a full time job team leading at Dusty Hill Winery.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

I believe that country shows are the key to keeping our rural communities together.

After many hurdles such as a tough drought season, everyone can be feeling quite stressed and anxious. But when the shows come around, people can forget it for a day and enjoy being surrounded by their friends and family, watching entertainment, entering their prized cakes into competition or their best cattle, and overall come together and have a little fun.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

For agricultural and rural Queensland to have a viable future, we need to educate the people from urban/city areas about where all of their food and produce comes from and get them to support our agricultural areas.

This will then provide even more support that our farmers need to keep getting out of bed at the crack of dawn and working their properties.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

Have more than you show, speak less than you know.

Kahlia Williamson.

Kahlia Williamson.

Kahlia Williamson, 19 - Darling Downs Sub Chamber, Stanthorpe Show Society

I am employed as a vet nurse at Stanthorpe Vet Care and I am continuing to study, currently completing a Certificate 4 in vet nursing. I enjoy working with cattle and have a Limousin stud that I run with my brother.

I show both led steers and stud cattle at many shows in my local Darling Downs region as well as the Ekka.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Rural shows provide opportunities to educate the younger generation about the importance of agriculture in their community.

It showcases what a region has to offer and gives farmers the opportunity to display what they have produced and bred throughout the year.

It also encourages others from out of the region to come and see what an area has to offer.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

Providing education regarding the importance of agriculture and the many roles within the agricultural industry could assist in encouraging young people to be in agricultural based industries.

Encouraging people to buy from their local farmers and Australian made to support the local farming community and that in turn supports the whole rural community.

Rural communities rely on the farming industry to keep their towns thriving.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

You always get back what you put in, so give 110 per cent.

Bianca Wheildon.

Bianca Wheildon.

Bianca Wheildon, 23 - West Moreton and Brisbane Valley Sub Chamber, Toogoolawah Show Society

I have studied a Bachelor of Laws at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Shortly after completing my degree, I completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in Brisbane at the College of Law and was then able to be admitted by the Supreme Court of Queensland as a lawyer in April this year.

Since my admission, I have secured employment locally at Norman & Kingston Solicitors. When I'm not working in the firm, I work on our family-run dairy farm.

I also have a position with Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative acting as the representative for Dairy Farmers in South East Queensland who supply milk to Lion Dairy & Drinks.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

I truly believe our country show is the backbone of our community.

It is certainly an annual event within our community that everyone looks forward to and enjoys attending.

In trying conditions, our local country shows give the community a reason to socialise and discuss their concerns and seek comfort in the fact that others are experiencing similar issues.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

Australian consumers need the assistance of further education to guide them into making choices that put the interests of Australian agricultural businesses at the forefront of their minds.

The young people who work within agricultural based family businesses need assistance to ensure that they have the best chance at taking on that business, should they wish to.

Essentially, Australia needs to have an inquiry into the viability of all agricultural sectors at present and aim to include recommendations, resulting in change for the future.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

Nothing worth having comes easy.

India Priestley.

India Priestley.

India Priestley, 22 - South East Queensland Sub Chamber, Mudgeeraba Show Society

Currently I am a registered nurse working at Gold Coast Private Hospital on the Graduate Registered Nurse program since March this year.

I also work at a local Residential Aged Care facility in Mudgeeraba after graduating from university last year. I own a horse named Artie who I compete in Dressage.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

For myself, this question is a little trickier to answer as living in a city that is not considered a rural community, provides a different perspective to a country show.

Brought together with the support of many around our vast community, my local Mudgeeraba Show, I do believe, provides this demographic area the opportunity to learn, educate and experience an Agricultural Show.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

Through the use of a vast variety of education opportunities such as an exchange between city and country that can further develop knowledge and provide tools to ensure that farmers are provided the acknowledgement that is deserved such as through using the powerful tool of social media in a positive manner to provide stories and experiences about the importance of farming.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

I live by a few mottos in life, but my main ones would be 'where there is a will, there is a way' and 'create your own reality'.

Ashleigh Hedges.

Ashleigh Hedges.

Ashleigh Hedges, 25 - Central Queensland Sub Chamber, Yeppoon Show Society

I grew up in Rolleston and completed my secondary education at St. Ursula's College Yeppoon.

Since school I have completed a Bachelor of Accounting and after a couple of years in an accounting business I have recently taken up a position as a mining administrator at Rolleston Coal.

Why do you feel country shows are an important part of the fabric of rural communities?

Country shows are important to rural communities as they are that time of year where community spirit really shines and you can see that through the many volunteers that bring such a unique event together with so much pride in their local community.

Whether it be in good or bad times, communities embrace the show and everyone comes together to celebrate the true essence of the rural areas and share their passions while having some fun at the same time.

What changes do you believe need to take place to ensure agricultural and rural Queensland has a viable future?

A big factor that needs to improve is education in agriculture and making people more aware of the processes and where their food and produce comes from.

An industry needs the confidence of the people and the more people that understand the importance of the agricultural industry and the rural communities, the better the future will look and the challenges will be met.

What is your main rule or motto in life?

Everything happens for a reason - it's important to have the idea that something good is around the corner.

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