Showgirl shocked but oh so happy
THE coveted North Coast National showgirl sash has been placed on the shoulders of Ellie Stephens of Tregeagle.
"I was just shocked and so happy," said Ms Stephens, 19. "It was really special."
Ms Stephens grew up on a sheep farm and she joined the competition to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture on the North Coast.
She now has the job of representing the region for the next 12 months.
"I hope to go onto zones and represent Lismore well and hopefully move on to the Royal Sydney Show to promote rural youth and the agricultural movement within NSW," she said.
Ms Stephens was awarded the title ahead of Kim Gillan and Emma Chamberlain.
The showgirl event has been running since the early 1960s and this year a Miss Teen and North Coast National Showboy competition will also be held.
Ms Stephens said it was important for her to keep the showgirl tradition alive.
"To me it's really an empowerment to be proud of my achievements and to encourage other women to be proud of their achievements in agriculture."
Ms Stephens received a sash from last year's winner Alyson Elliott who said being a showgirl changed her life.
"I've done things I never would have done before like getting up on stage but I did it because I was showgirl. I just wish her well because it's an amazing experience."
President of the North Coast National John Gibson congratulated Ms Stephens on winning the title.
"I think Ellie will do a wonderful job for us as an ambassador for our show."