THREE outstanding young Bega district women are in the running for the Bega Showgirl title, to be announced as part of next Friday night’s Far South Coast National Show official opening.
The trio faced a panel of judges in individual interviews and then in a social setting over a delicious afternoon tea spread at Thornleigh on Newtown.
In the running to be named Bega Showgirl for 2013 are Michelle Bartlett, Kimberley Constable and Charlotte Oastler. (Editor’s note: As one of the judges – alongside Helen Beruldsen and Roslyn Otton – I am sworn to secrecy over the winner so this is merely in the order in which they were interviewed).
The young women were evaluated on their personality and confidence, community involvement, local and general knowledge of current affairs, their interest in rural affairs and future ambitions.
The competition aims to find a young woman who can act as an ambassador for rural NSW.
Michelle Bartlett, 22, from Bega, is studying a Diploma of Education at the University of Wollongong Bega campus and works in hospitality at both the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre and Thornleigh on Newtown.
She reads to primary school pupils and has an ambition of teaching Indigenous children in remote Australia.
Kimberley Constable, 20, also from Bega, works as a dairy hand and last year completed a Certificate IV in Agriculture at TAFE Illawarra’s Bega campus.
She grows all her own produce at home, while other listed hobbies include playing soccer since the age of six and being involved in Cobargo’s Oztag side.
Charlotte Oastler, 22, from Candelo, is a passionate and accomplished equestrienne who also teaches young people to ride - at Pony Club and privately.
Ms Oastler has assisted with judging and the running of local equestrian competitions, including Far South Coast Dressage Association events.
She is currently studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University with the aim of working in a mixed practice in rural Australia.
The winner of the Bega Showgirl competition will have the opportunity to compete in the Zone Showgirl final, which will also be held in Bega, the weekend after the Bega Show.
The successful zone winner will then represent the region in the state final, a week-long evaluation and interview process conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society in Sydney as part of the Royal Easter Show.
The Bega Showgirl will represent the district for the next 12 months, with tasks including opening other shows, public speaking engagements and presenting prizes at agricultural events.