This year’s Miss Wondai Showgirl Caitlin Handford, Junior Rural Ambassador Libby McEwan and Rural Ambassador Amanda Graham (nee Daly) were sashed at a special function held at the Wondai Showgrounds
Wondai Miss Showgirl Caitlin Handford and Miss Showgirl Runner-Up Chelsea Steinhardt are both looking forward to meeting the public at this year’s Wondai Show

August 15, 2016

The Wondai Show Society will be fielding a Rural Ambassador in next year’s South Burnett Sub-Chamber competition for the first time in many years.

Amanda Graham, who has been assisting at local agricultural shows for the past 15 years, along with exhibiting cattle from her family’s property and organising the South Burnett’s annual Brahmousin Cattle School, was named the Wondai Show Society’s 2017 Rural Ambassador on Sunday night.

The announcement was made at a small function held at the Wondai Showgrounds’ Dining Hall.

Caitlin Handford, from Wondai, was named Miss Wondai Showgirl and Libby McEwan, from Goomeri, was chosen as Junior Rural Ambassador.

Chelsea Steinhardt, from Wondai, was announced as Miss Wondai Showgirl runner-up, and Poppy Rose, from Memerambi, was named runner-up Junior Rural Ambassador.

Judging was undertaken by Wondai Show Society Secretary Noreen Brier and long-time Show Society members Winston Burrows and his wife Margaret, who said selecting the final three winners was very difficult because of the high quality of this year’s applicants.

Noreen said although Wondai had fielded a Miss Showgirl ever since the competition began in 1983, the Society hadn’t fielded a Rural Ambassador for “quite a long time”.

But with Nanango Show Society’s 2016 Rural Ambassador Justin Matthews winning the category at this year’s Ekka and now going on to represent Queensland in the national finals, she thought it was an appropriate time to do so.

“When you get to meet wonderful young people like our entrants, it makes you realise the world isn’t such a bad place after all,” Noreen said.

Noreen said because the Wondai Show always runs after the Ekka is over, it is actually the South Burnett’s first agricultural show of the year.

So the Miss Showgirl and Rural Ambassador winners will be competing in the 2017 Sub-Chamber finals in Wondai where – if they win at the Sub-Chamber level – they will go on to compete at next year’s Ekka.

The Junior Rural Ambassador Award was created in 2006 by Noreen’s father – former Wondai Show Society president Clarrie Marquardt – to encourage more young people to become involved in Wondai Show Society activities.

It does not form part of the South Burnett’s Sub-Chamber competition. However, both Amanda and Caitlin have previously been Junior Rural Ambassadors.

Noreen also said the runners-up in the Miss Showgirl and Junior Rural Ambassador competitions fulfil a very important role, because they will represent the Show Society if the winners are unable to do so for any reason.

“That’s just what happened this year,” Noreen said.

“Our 2016 Miss Showgirl was in America when one of the important functions came up, so our runner-up represented the Show Society in her place.”

Show Society president Dennis Morris thanked the organisers, judges and volunteers who’d made the evening possible, as well as the Wondai Newsagency, Wondai Pharmacy and Tranquillity & Soul for sponsoring the prizes in the competitions.

He also thanked the Wondai and District Garden Club for providing the floral bouquets and plant sprays which decorated the Dining Hall for the occasion.

All winners will now begin preparations for the Wondai Show on August 26-27, where they’ll be handing out prizes and awards themselves to this year’s winning exhibitors.

Poppy Rose, Caitlin Handford, Libby McEwan, Amanada Graham and Chelsea Steinhardt were sashed by Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, centre, who congratulated them all for entering this year’s competition

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