AMY Lee Wynen, of Glossodia, is passionate about many things, including the Hawkesbury, where she was born and raised.
The 22-year-old animal lover, soccer player and aspiring model hopes her next big achievement will be becoming the 2014 Hawkesbury Showgirl.
"I thought it was a good opportunity to enter and represent the Hawkesbury since I have lived here my whole life," Miss Wynen said.
Miss Wynen’s love of the Hawkesbury Show also made her want to enter the competition.
"My favourite thing about the Hawkesbury Show is being able to look at all the different animals, arts and crafts, fruit and vegetables and going on the rides," she said.
Miss Wynen said she actively supported local businesses in the Hawkesbury and if she was to become the next Showgirl, would encourage others to do the same.
"If I became the next Hawkesbury Showgirl I would like to become a model to represent the Hawkesbury," she said. "I’m looking forward to the new experience the Showgirl competition will bring."
Saddle to stage
BILPIN veterinary science student Ellie Merritt is an accomplished horse rider and trainer.
But the 19-year-old is ready to hop out of the saddle and step onto the stage in the hope of becoming the next Hawkesbury Showgirl.
"I thought it would be a good opportunity to represent my community in something I am very passionate about, whilst gaining experience for myself," Miss Merritt said.
"I think the competition puts a large focus on women in the rural community and gives them an opportunity to be part of an industry that is mainly focused around men."
If Miss Merritt does walk away wearing the winning sash, she knows exactly what she would do with it.
"If I was to become the next Showgirl I wish to achieve more recognition for rural communities, in particular the Hawkesbury," she said. "I don't believe there is enough support or attention given to young, agricultural people, so this would be one of my major focuses as Hawkesbury Showgirl."
Aspiring role model
KRISTEN Troy studies medical science and law at university, interns at a law firm in Sydney and works right here in the Hawkesbury.
Now the 22-year-old from McGraths has her sights set on a new challenge: becoming the 2014 Hawkesbury Showgirl.
"I think the Hawkesbury Showgirl competition is an excellent way to promote and celebrate our community’s bright culture," Miss Troy said.
Miss Troy hopes the competition will help her meet other people who are passionate about the Hawkesbury and learn more about "our thriving agricultural district".
"If I became the next Hawkesbury Showgirl I would aspire to serve as a strong and positive community role model and to represent and promote, with pride, our district’s culture, history and trade," she said. "I would encourage community awareness of local social justice issues and advertise the importance of sustainable public infrastructure development."
Living off the land
WHEN Jade Arnold isn’t teaching students at Windsor High School she is busy building her own backyard garden and learning how to live off the land.
The 23-year-old hopes to share her passion for permaculture and sustainability if she becomes the next Hawkesbury Showgirl.
"As a new resident to the Hawkesbury area, I viewed the competition as a great opportunity to become actively involved in the community beyond my immediate neighbours," Miss Arnold said.
Seeing last year’s competitors share their passions with the community inspired Miss Arnold to do the same.
"As the Hawkesbury Showgirl I would like to be a role model in two ways."
"Firstly, to the youth of the Hawkesbury through sharing experiences and providing opportunities through the Hawkesbury Show and beyond to allow students to recognise their self-worth. And secondly, to work actively within the community with the aim of bringing sustainable living into the forefront of people’s mind."
EMILY Hamilton, 19, hopes to walk away with more than a win at the upcoming Hawkesbury Showgirl competition.
"I chose to enter this competition for the experience and to gain self-confidence in the process," Miss Hamilton said.
"I believe in community spirit and getting together to develop a more cohesive, happier community."
The health science student at UWS said her fond memories of the Hawkesbury Show also made her want to enter the competition.
"My favourite thing about the Hawkesbury Show is the community spirit," she said. "From all the kids entering competitions, to the ladies of the CWA with their cakes and crafts, the show brings all the smaller communities of our region together."
Being the 2014 Hawkesbury Showgirl is an opportunity Miss Hamilton said she would not waste.
"I would hope to make more people aware of our wonderful and historic area and help educate others on our rural sector."
More Hawkesbury Showgirl entrants will be featured in next week's Gazette.
To enter visit http://www.hawkesburyshow.com.au/showgirl.asp. Entries close this Saturday, January 18.