Wimmera’s 2018 rural ambassadors named

TWO Wimmera young people will represent the region at state rural ambassador competitions later this year.

The Wimmera Agricultural Societies Association hosted its annual awards night at Kaniva on Saturday.

At the event, Donald’s Chloe Jane, 28, was selected as the region’s rural ambassador and Nhill’s Holly Deckert, 18, won the junior rural ambassador competition.

Both women had won rural ambassador competitions at their towns’ shows earlier this year. 

Ms Jane was nominated for the award through the Donald Show.

“Donald is a great community to be part of and the Donald Show is great rural event, so I’m honoured to represent my show and my town and now the Wimmera,” she said.

Ms Jane said the competition involved an interview process, where she was asked questions about herself and her community involvement.

She was then named Donald’s rural ambassador at the town’s show in October. 

“From there I wrote a three-minute speech on the theme ‘I wish that what I know now, I knew when I was younger’,” she said.

Ms Jane presented the speech at the awards night on Saturday. 

She and Miss Deckert were also interviewed before the night.

Ms Jane said she was surprised and honoured to be named the Wimmera rural ambassador.

“I am not a confident public speaker and I was quite nervous speaking to a crowd so to be announced the winner was quite a shock,” she said.

“But it is a great honour to represent not only the Donald Pastoral and Agricultural Society but also the Donald community.”

Ms Jane will now represent the Wimmera in the Victorian rural ambassador competition at the Melbourne Show in September. 

“​I will present another speech based on a topic they give me,” she said.

Ms Jane said she would encourage others to get involved in the rural ambassador program. 

“It has been a great experience that I was excited to be part of,” she said.

“I strongly encourage people to enter this competition in the future and to also become part of their show societies and community groups.”

Miss Deckert said when she was nominated for Nhill’s junior show ambassador, she was excited her involvement in the show and community had been recognised. 

“I entered the competition as I knew that not only would this be a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself but to also give back to the community that has given so much to me,” she said.

“When I was announced as the winner of Nhill junior show ambassador on show day, I was so excited but also a little shocked.”

Miss Deckert said she felt incredibly privileged to now represent the Wimmera in the state competition.

The next stage of the junior competition will be in Ballarat later this year.

“I endeavour to represent the Wimmera with confidence while acknowledging the hardworking people who make the region such an inviting and prosperous area,” Miss Deckert said.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who encounters the opportunity to apply for junior show ambassador in the future to do so.

“The process has allowed me to gain more confidence and has provided me with the opportunity to give my opinion on the community in which we are so lucky to live.“

Jeparit’s Melissa Butler was runner-up for the rural ambassador competition and Kaniva’s Sinead Kuchel was runner up in the junior competition.