In the world of big mouths she is world-class
❝Apparently you could hear my voice from one end of the Port of Echuca to the other, so people thought the role suited me❞
IF YOU didn’t see Judy Campbell wandering around the Bush Market recently, you most likely would have heard her.
The Tongala local is the Campaspe Shire town crier and has been for more than 20 years.
And even though most residents wouldn’t recognise her, she has been representing the shire and achieving outstanding results.
“It all started for me when I got dobbed into it a little bit,” she said.
“Apparently you could hear my voice from one end of the Port of Echuca to the other, so people thought the role suited me.
“We had a competition, and what do you know, I beat all the guys and became the town crier.”
Since Judy started the role, she has been able to travel all over the world for competitions.
She spent time in the US, Belgium, New Zealand and UK before perhaps her biggest achievement came in Canada.
“I was crowned runnerup in the World Championships in 1997, which was incredible,” Judy said.
The World Championships, which were available to every town crier in the world, were held annually up until 2003.
Since then the champs are now called a World Invitational, where town criers have to reach a certain level before they can compete.
Judy, who moved to Tongala from Melbourne in 1988, has received numerous other accolades including Australian Champion and people’s choice awards.
“A town crier in the old days was about newspapers and radio and things like that,” Judy said.
“These days it really is an ambassador for the town, suburb, state or country you are from.
“We can be found at events, weddings, funerals, schools and anything in between.”
Judy said she has a real passion for her role, and that fire is what keeps her going.
“I love it to pieces, for me it has been a great way to see the world and meet plenty of different people.
“I like to think we can personalise people’s experiences when they come to a town or a shire.”
Judy said on Remembrance Day, town criers from across the world took part in ‘Cry for Peace’.
“It started with criers in New Zealand performing a cry at 7.05pm, and then criers all over the world performed it at the same time to recognise 100 years since the end of World War I.”
Judy and her small committee of volunteers are planning something big for the region in 2019.
It’s very own World Invitational.
“We did one in 2005 too, and this one should be bigger and better,” Judy said.
“Town criers from all around the globe will compete against each other, it is a huge event.”
Judy said she is on the lookout for sponsors of the event, who will receive extensive publicity leading up to and throughout the invitational.
She also thanked the Kyabram Chamber of Commerce for its support in getting the idea up and running.
If you are interested in being involved in the invitational, you can contact Judy on 0419 253 658 or judytown[email protected]mail.com
CRIER CHARACTERS — Judy Campbell, left, and fellow town crier Lynley McKerrow were on a promotional drive when they dropped into Campaspe Shire last week. Picture:Luke Hemer