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.”