Josie An­der­son

Dubbo Photo News - - News - – In­ter­view & photo by Sophia Rouse

The an­nual Dubbo Show went off with a huge fire­works-pow­ered bang over the week­end, and it’s the many Show So­ci­ety volunteers who de­serve a huge Thumbs Up. One of those volunteers is last year’s Dubbo Show­girl Josie An­der­son who spoke to Dubbo Photo News about the im­por­tance of ‘Show­girl’ at every re­gional show.

The Syd­ney Royal Easter Show is a state com­pe­ti­tion. So, you have your lo­cal

level such as Dubbo and then Zone and then you’ll go through to Syd­ney. I won at Zone, I was one of three girls who won at Zone Six, and then I was one of 14 girls at The Land Syd­ney Royal Easter Show.

What are your top tips for girls con­sid­er­ing ap­ply­ing for Dubbo Show­girl?

Find some­thing you’re pas­sion­ate about so it’s easy for you to speak on that topic. It helps you connect with peo­ple and re­ally shows your in­ter­ests and abil­ity to as­sist and con­trib­ute in the com­mu­nity.

You’re be­ing judged on your am­bi­tions and goals, your pre­sen­ta­tion, your ru­ral,

lo­cal and na­tional knowl­edge, and your com­mu­nity in­volve­ment. You’ve got to be a quite well-rounded per­son. If you’re pas­sion­ate about some­thing I think you’ll have a lot of drive and you’ll be able to ful­fil goals in your com­mu­nity and for your­self.

What is the judg­ing process?

As a com­mit­tee we reach out to del­e­gates and of­fi­cials within the Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s Coun­cil and within our Show com­mu­nity. They could be a past Show­girl, an ASC del­e­gate or they could be a pres­i­dent on their com­mit­tee. We get three judges in and the girls go through a judg­ing in­ter­view, one on one. Then they go through a lun­cheon and then they have an evening event where they pub­lic speak.

I’m part of the Dubbo Triathlon Club,

and I’ve stepped into the trea­surer’s role for the Dubbo Show So­ci­ety so I’m learn­ing the ropes from the old Trea­surer. The Show has sort of been my life for the last 12 months. I’m in­volved in a net­ball team and I help judge Fash­ions on the Field.

I re­ally love rac­ing fash­ion and I’ve al­ways been arty, cre­at­ing fas­ci­na­tors and hats for coun­try rac­ing. Some­thing I’m try­ing my hand on at the mo­ment is millinery. I’ve made all my own fas­ci­na­tors that I’ve worn, and I’d love to es­tab­lish a small busi­ness in a craft that I’m pas­sion­ate about.

I re­ally love small busi­ness. I think small busi­ness is the key to keep­ing ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties go­ing. When I was work­ing for Crowe Hor­wath, we hosted a lot of pitch nights and guest speaker nights. One of the peo­ple I in­ter­viewed was Jil­lian Kilby who is a past Show­girl, and she is a great ex­am­ple of a lo­cal en­tre­pre­neur who is do­ing amaz­ing things. There’s a lot of busi­nesses in Dubbo who are re­ally suc­ceed­ing and ser­vic­ing metropoli­tan ar­eas.

TYLA COMERFORD, 21, is de­ter­mined to change the stigma sur­round­ing the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try and will be us­ing her voice as Miss Dubbo Show­girl 2019 to en­cour­age the next gen­er­a­tion of coun­try cit­i­zens to do their bit for the ru­ral com­mu­nity.

“I do think there’s an is­sue with peo­ple not want­ing to con­tinue with agri­cul­ture be­cause it’s be­ing por­trayed as such a hard life­style,” Miss Comerford (pictured) told Dubbo Photo News.

“In my opin­ion, peo­ple are mov­ing to more ur­ban ar­eas, if not ci­ties, to find a life and ca­reer there, but I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to get peo­ple back to Dubbo and sur­round­ing ar­eas to con­tinue in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

“It’s an area where lots of peo­ple go away and study, but don’t al­ways come back to their home towns.”

She also wants to be­come a strong voice for women within the ag in­dus­try.

“I re­ally want to be­come an am­bas­sador for women in agri­cul­ture be­cause that’s what I’m most pas­sion­ate about.”

Hav­ing dreamt of en­ter­ing the Miss Show­girl com­pe­ti­tion for many years, Miss Comerford de­cided 2019 was her time.

“I joined the Dubbo Show Com­mit­tee in 2012 and I wanted to con­tinue be­ing an am­bas­sador for our com­mu­nity and strong pro­mo­tional face for Dubbo,” she said.

“I also wanted to meet other like-minded ladies who are pas­sion­ate about our com­mu­nity.”

Cur­rently study­ing a dou­ble de­gree in agri­cul­ture and busi­ness, ma­jor­ing in mar­ket­ing, Miss Comerford, who is well be­yond her years, has big plans post univer­sity.

“When I fin­ish univer­sity, I want to go and work in the live ex­port sec­tor for a year be­cause I find that to be an im­por­tant in­dus­try for Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture,” she said.

“Then I want to come home to Dubbo and se­cure a job in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, maybe with a mar­ket­ing fo­cus, while I plan to take over the run­ning of the fam­ily farm as well.”

De­scrib­ing her­self as a “so­cial but­ter­fly”, Miss Comerford en­cour­ages any­one think­ing about en­ter­ing the Miss Show­girl com­pe­ti­tion in the fu­ture, to go for it.

“Ab­so­lutely get in­volved,” she said.

“It’s an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and you meet so many in­cred­i­ble young women.

“You can gain so much from it in terms of self-growth and con­fi­dence.”

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