Calling all Hawkesbury girls: it’s show time

 Nicole Ryan (nee Paine) was a Hawkesbury Showgirl entrant in the 1990s.

Nicole Ryan (nee Paine) was a Hawkesbury Showgirl entrant in the 1990s.

‘‘Showgirl is essentially a wonderful, traditional part of the Hawkesbury that has evolved as society has changed,’’ says former Hawkesbury Showgirl entrant and judge, Nicole Ryan. 

‘‘Every entrant in Showgirl wins as they have the opportunity to gain self-esteem, even if they do not realise it for many years.’’

It’s that time of year again where show societies across the state, including the Hawkesbury, are looking for women aged 18-25 with ambition, drive and purpose, to enter the competition and become an ambassador for rural NSW.

The competition is judged on personality, confidence, ambition and life goals, general knowledge, rural knowledge, presentation and speech.

Mrs Ryan entered in the 1990s, and judged in 2009.

‘‘I had a great time, attended a number of pre-show ball events, got a fabulous new dress, met some wonderful people and had a night out with friends and family,’’ she said. 

‘‘Many years later I was asked to be a judge and that gave me the opportunity to look at the process from a different perspective.’’

Mrs Ryan said the ball was once thought of as a beauty pageant, which is not acceptable today.

‘‘It (Showgirl) asks young women to present the best of themselves in character, manners, deportment, grooming and interview skills,’’ she said.

‘‘These are things of value to young women in their future professional lives.’’

Mrs Ryan said as a judge she looked for three main qualities.

An entrant who, despite their nerves, was comfortable and natural in their behaviour; had nice manners and could converse in a group, had good eye contact and dressed appropriately; and had the ability to represent the Hawkesbury in the next stages of the competition.

‘‘Overall I looked for someone the Hawkesbury could be proud of,’’ she said.

■ Details: hawkesburyshow.com.au/showgirl.php or phone 98796777.

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