31 January 2024

Bungendore woman shows she's ready for next round of Ag competition

| Claire Sams
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Two smiling young women holding bouquets

Georgia Kinnane (right) says taking part in the Young Woman competition is a “chance to better ourselves”. Photo: The Bungendore Show/Facebook.

Australia’s regional and rural towns have long histories, filled with colourful characters and interesting stories, and Bungendore’s Georgia Kinnane is about to put her knowledge of them to the test at the Sydney Royal AgShows NSW Young Woman Competition’s Zone 3 finals in Adelong on 3 February.

“I was grateful for the chance to be able to represent my show and also my town at the zone final,” she said.

“I was really happy to get the chance to have a go at something I’d wanted for several years.”

The Young Woman competition, formerly known as the Show Girl contest, sees rural and regional women work to become ambassadors of their communities.

Ms Kinnane was named Bungendore’s Young Woman for 2023.

The final is a regional competition that brings together the winners of the district’s agricultural shows, and the next stage is a potential entry into the state final at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

It took Ms Kinnane months of work before she sat down for her interview with three judges for the Bungendore Young Woman competition – and she started her preparation close to home.

“I am a sixth-generation Bungendore resident, so it was interesting having a chat to a few family members about the town and how life has changed,” she said.

“I also talked to them about the experiences of rural women – especially my mum and my grandma, who both grew up in Bungendore.”

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Ms Kinnane was also able to benefit from others’ firsthand experiences in the Young Woman competition.

“Before COVID hit and the show didn’t run for three years, I had the previous Show Girl mentoring me and I spoke to previous Bungendore winners,” she said.

“It was really interesting to be able to talk to years’ worth of Show Girls.

“I was also able to go to the zone finals one year when they came to Bungendore, which was a really big insight into what actually happens with the competition and how everything happens.

“She gave me a chance to experience it before I actually had to do it.”

While speaking with others in her community helped Ms Kinnane prepare, she had long been involved in volunteering and other community efforts.

She was named the Bungendore Show Youth Ambassador in 2017 and the Bungendore Show Junior Showgirl the following year, while Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council named her its Australia Day Award Bungendore Young Citizen of the Year in 2019.

“A lot of my involvements were within the sporting communities, which Bungendore has a lot of. I was involved in swimming, horse riding, basketball, budo and other sports.”

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Ms Kinnane said she wanted to have an impact on her community by being named Bungendore’s Young Woman.

“For the show, I am hoping to actually create more awareness of the Young Woman competition – what it stands for and what it can do for us rural women,” she said.

“I know that I didn’t realise there was a name change until I was asked to enter this competition.

“I heard a few local people asking, ‘Hey, are you entering this? It’s like the old Show Girl competition’, but I believe it has a real impact on the town.”

Ms Kinnane said the Young Woman competition went beyond any community in rural or regional Australia.

“It’s bringing women together and empowering us,” she said.

“It’s a chance to better ourselves – it is a competition and we all want to get through, but we can work together.

“We’re all from rural communities and they’re all so vastly different, but we can learn from each other and support each other.”

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