This year's Dubbo Showgirl is hoping a visit to the Queensland Ag Shows conference will help boost the show movement in the region.
Dubbo 2021 Showgirl Niamh Hutchinson is the recipient of the Next Generation bursary to attend the Queensland Ag Shows conference held in Bundaberg in January next year.
The conference will offer information, workshops, guest speakers and networking opportunities for attendees who have an interest in agricultural shows.
Ms Hutchinson told the Daily Liberal she was in "disbelief" she had been selected.
"As I am from NSW I didn't expect to get a look in for the bursary,' she said.
This year, the committee said they wanted to offer five members of the show movement aged between 18 and 35 the opportunity to attend the conference for the first time.
Applicants submitted a written application outlining their show involvement and how attending the conference would be beneficial for them and their community, which was then assessed by three judges.
Ms Hutchinson said inspiration to apply for the bursary came from secretary of the Dubbo Show Society Sue Hood, to further her networking experience and continue support for the show movement.
Since being appointed Showgirl, Ms Hutchinson said she had already connected with neighbouring show societies, which has resulted in her success reinstating the conformation dog section for the Gulgong Show Society after 18 years.
She said this achievement has inspired her to continue to look beyond the local area to gather insight into successes and practices undertaken by other show societies, which could help her continue to expand shows within regional NSW.
"I viewed this as an opportunity to expand my knowledge on the agricultural show movement and allow me to provide greater support to my fellow committee members," she said.
Not only is Ms Hutchinson looking forward to interstate travel, the first time since COVID-19 restrictions, but she is excited for the range of sessions, speakers, workshops and panels.
"The conference has a fantastic range of sessions and opportunities to connect with other attendees during social evening functions," she said.
"However, I am looking forward to the 'Taste of Bundaberg' tour, where I will get to learn about and tour the different primary production businesses which Bundaberg has to offer, including the Bundaberg Rum factory."
By attending the conference, Ms Hutchinson - who is employed as the grants and finance officer at a not-for-profit community support organisation - says she hopes the experience will expand her event and time management skills and ability to identify and write grant applications, which she said would also help the Dubbo Show Society.
Ultimately though, the Dubbo Showgirl hopes to inspire other young women in the importance of agriculture societies, and encourage them to get involved in the show movement.
"I hope to have the opportunity to share my experiences from the Queensland Ag Shows Conference at the upcoming Sydney Royal Ag Shows NSW Young Women Zone 5 finals (formally The Land Sydney Royal Show competition) to aspire future and current generations to branch out beyond their local show society," she said.
"I hope to inspire young women aged between 18 to 24 to enter their local showgirl competition, as you can never predict what opportunities it will provide you with and the support and connections you will make along the way."