Farm girl on course
LISMORE'S great run of representation in the State showgirl judging at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney will continue next month with Ellie Stephens.
Ellie, 19, grew up on a sheep and crop farm near the Central West town of Coolah before moving with her parents to a 10ha property at Tregeagle four or five years ago.
She and Grafton showgirl Madeline McDonald were chosen to represent the zone in Sydney from 12 showgirls in the region stretching from Murwillumbah south to Camden Haven.
The zone final judging was held at Laurieton.
Ellie doesn't hide her excitement at what's ahead of her.
"It's a fantastic opportunity," she said. "This is the 50th anniversary of the State Showgirl competition; the first was held in 1962.
"It's also the Australian Year of the Farmer so it will be a big agricultural celebration."
Ellie is in the first year of a business law degree at the University of New England at Armidale.
North Coast National Exhibition secretary Janelle Hancock said it was the fourth time in five years the Lismore showgirl had made it to the Royal Easter Show.
"Alyson Elliott, our 2010 showgirl, was selected last year to represent the zone," Ms Hancock said.
"The girls will go to Sydney for a week where they attend functions, meet dignitaries and generally enjoy the show, all the while being judged.
"The winners of The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl competition will be announced on Saturday, April 14."
If Ellie can clear the final hurdle, she would be the first Lismore showgirl to win the State final.