AFTER winning the Central Highlands Miss Showgirl award recently, Kate Pickels, 22, is off to the Ekka to compete for the Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl 2012.
Easy-going, straightforward and articulate, Kate grew up on cattle properties in the Isaac region.
"My family lived on properties near Moranbah, Nebo and Middlemount and moved into Middlemount when I was in Year 11," she said.
On completion of her secondary studies, Kate travelled extensively overseas on a working holiday.
On her return she took a job as a governess on a cattle property near Dysart, where she skilfully taught three children in different year levels in the homestead school room.
"After 18 months as a governess I took a job with ANZ bank in Clermont."
Kate is now working as a Health Safety Environment and Community administration officer for Rio Tinto based at both Clermont and Blair Athol mines.
Kate said she appreciated the opportunity to represent the local Clermont Show and looked forward to representing the Central Highlands show movement.
"It's been really good," she said. "I've gained more confidence with public speaking and by talking with so many different people. I loved visiting other shows in the region and talking to the other showgirl entrants from Capella, Alpha, Springsure and Emerald. It was great for us all to hear each other's ideas and share some of the things we did before and during the show. While there are similarities, we learned a lot from each other."
While in Brisbane, in between interviews and judging, Kate and showgirls from the other 10 sub-chambers will visit Parliament House and the Queensland Governor's house to meet Governor Penelope Wensley.
They will see the QCL printing room, meet staff and journalists, attend a natural fibres fashion parade and, of course, spend a lot of time at the Ekka.
Kate said the competition was all about speaking confidently, interacting with a diverse range of people, good disposition and dressing well.
Isaac region Mayor Anne Baker said Kate was selected for her knowledge, presentation and passion for her community.
"Kate is a clear reflection of her parents, in particular her mother, Jane, who this year won Isaac region's Citizen of the Year Award and was also elected as a councillor for the Isaac Regional Council," Ms Baker said.
The QCL Miss Showgirl 2012 will represent Queensland Shows for the next 12 months. Her role will be to encourage and promote the show movement to Queensland youth.