EKKA BOUND: Gympie women Josie Laird and Emily Cunningham are taking Gympie to state-wide prominence and helping keep country shows alive.
EKKA BOUND: Gympie women Josie Laird and Emily Cunningham are taking Gympie to state-wide prominence and helping keep country shows alive. Contributed

Our girls saving the iconic Queensland country show

YOUNG Gympie women Josie Laird and Emily Cunningham are putting Gympie in the lead when it comes to saving that rural industry icon, the Queensland country show.

The two Gympie region champions have taken their victories at the Gympie Show to the next level, the regional competition, which was judged in Kilcoy recently.

And they won in a double header victory for Gympie region.

Josie is now the Near North Coast Sub Chamber Showgirl and Emily is the regional Rural Ambassador, a task closely associated with promoting regional shows everywhere in Australia.

It is a challenging time for regional agricultural shows, with competition from a wide range of industry exhibitions and rival theme park entertainment venues.

So, is the next stop the Royal Brisbane Show, the iconic Ekka?

"That's the plan,” Josie said.

The Ekka is where the two Gympie women will be contesting the state titles.

"There are 11 regional 'sub chambers' and they can all put people up as showgirl entrants for the state titles,” Josie said.

"Emily just won the rural ambassador title for the sub chamber, which is judged on agricultural knowledge and how this is facilitated by shows.

The showgirl title is more about community involvement and youth engagement.”

"For the community, by the community” is the slogan that agricultural shows live by and some communities are lucky they do.

"Australia's unique agricultural shows offer $9.6 million in economic benefits” as well as "educational and cultural experiences,” a Shows Queensland spokesman said yesterday.

Gympie Times


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