Kempsey's Showgirl for 2019, Keely Lawrence, has some big plans for the year ahead as a representative in the community.
Keely is currently in her final year of her Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. She made the decision this year to move back to Kempsey and study by distance education to finish her degree.
She is also working four days a week at Macleay Valley Veterinary Services as a vet nurse.
"I made the decision this year to come back home so that I could get more involved locally," Keely said.
"I've been away for two years and I really wanted to get back into my local community."
Keely comes from a farming background and would enter cakes and biscuits in the Kempsey Show when she was younger and also won awards in the photography section.
"My brother Patrick is starting to get involved with leading in the cattle section of the Kempsey Show as well, so we have always had something to do with the Show Society."
In 2011 Keely competed in and won the Junior Kempsey Showgirl.
"I was eventually going to enter the Senior Showgirl competition and this year was a great opportunity for me to do it."
As for the year ahead, Keely has an abundance of ideas to get the community involved in the Show Society.
"I would really like to continue the work Elizabeth started last year with the Showgirl Ball or something similar like a morning tea to raise money.
"I'd like to focus the fundraising efforts towards mental health in rural communities and also give money back into the Show Society to possibly upgrade the Kempsey Showground."
Keely is also interested in encouraging local youth to get involved in the Show Society and providing opportunities for young people wanting to pursue a career in agriculture. She is currently organising an excursion for local high school students to travel to Sydney for AgVision 2019.
"AgVision will give the students a hands on day exploring agriculture careers they might be interested in," she said.
"I also want to continue to break down the conception around the Showgirl competition. It's not a beauty contest, it's really about getting the youth involved in the local Show Society.
Keely has a busy year ahead with her university graduation set for October, plans to continue with vet nursing and all of the requirements as Kempsey Showgirl.
"I'd really like to say thank you to all of the other girls who entered the competition and to our sponsors. It's going to be great getting back into the community."
The 2019 Showgirl judging was held on April 27, here are the final winners of the three categories:
- 1st - Keely Lawrence
- 2nd - Courtney Small
- 3rd - Aimee Gorse
- 1st - Tahlia Smith
- 2nd - Madalynne Farah-Halls
- 3rd - Kirra Favison
- 1st - Georgia Hazell
- 2nd - Elisa Farrawell
- 3rd - Evannah Osborne
- Highly Commended - Fiona Saul
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Macleay Argus newsletter here.