Tamworth 2018 Showgirl winner, runner-up describe experience

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More than a chance to have fun at the show and end up with a nice sash, Tamworth’s 2018 Showgirl says the competition has changed her life in some ways.

Makayla Mitchell said she’d gained confidence in speaking – privately and in public, a renewed interest in her local show and lifelong friends.

Among her future responsibilities and opportunities will be a personal development weekend in Dubbo in a couple of months.

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The next round of the competition will be the regional finals at Narrabri Show in February 2019.

In the meantime, the Thomas Foods electrician was still on a high after being sashed at the official opening of the first Tamworth Show in its new venue, AELEC.

“That was a shock to me: I definitely didn’t think I was going to win,” she said.

The judging process included a cocktail party at the Tudor Hotel Tamworth.

The five entrants were interviewed by the judges, and spoke on a prepared and impromptu question.

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“It was a bit daunting; I was pretty nervous – I’m not really the public speaking type normally,” Miss Mitchell said.

“Having that opportunity to have to speak in front people in public ... it gives you that extra confidence to get through.”

The women also spent the two-day show helping showgoers find their way and involved in some of the events.

Miss Mitchell said she felt the five were “definitely going to be lifelong friends now”.

“The experience itself is probably something most people wouldn’t think to do … it’s something I should have done years ago.”

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Runner-up Emma Bailey

The runner-up was 88.9FM producer and announcer Emma Bailey.

She said she’d entered because she loved “being out in the community and facing it in all different ways”.

“With everything on with the drought, I thought it would be a great way for me to really push that out there but make it in a positive way so people would forget about it,” she said.

“I got to see a different side of agriculture that I don’t usually get to see: I’m a country girl, but I live in town but love farm life.”

Miss Bailey said she’d also gained lasting friendships.

“It was amazing seeing people from all different walks of life make such good friendships, and … how other people see agriculture and the town,” she said.

“Mackayla is now one of my dearest friends and I’m so grateful I get to stand beside her for the next 12 months and do this journey together … I really do recommend [Showgirl] for everybody.”

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