Monday, 27 February 2017
THE Glen Innes Agricultural Show was awarded a “blue ribbon” in State Parliament last week, with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall singing the praises of the work of local volunteers.
Mr Marshall made delivered a speech on the floor of Parliament commending volunteers at the show and entrants for the 35 judged sections.
“Agricultural shows are a great way to highlight the strength and identity of a region. Through showing produce, arts and crafts, music and food of Glen Innes, thousands of travellers will have a greater appreciation for the town and region,” Mr Marshall said.
The show committee has almost a hundred members working to organise events and entertainment, as well as steward and judge dozens of different categories of agricultural talent.
Mr Marshall says he’s continually impressed by their dedication.
“Each and every member of the committee is a vital part of the Show – I only wish I could have mentioned them all by name,” he said.
“In a time when many committees are struggling to attract members, it’s a testament to the strength of the Glen Innes community that so many people work to make it a reality.”
This year, Mr Marshall escorted NSW Governor David Hurley through the show. Governor Hurley entered honey from his official Sydney residence in the show, taking home a ‘Highly Commended’ award.
Through the Private Member’s statement, the work of the show volunteers will be preserved in perpetuity in Hansard. Mr Marshall said it was a small way of saying thanks for their hours of hard work.
“I have no doubt that the show will continue growing and going from strength to strength. In 25 or 50 years, new committee members will be able to go back and see how their predecessors went,” Mr Marshall said.
“Perhaps they’ll even have grown in number and wonder how they made do with just 95!”
GLEN INNES AGRICULTURAL SHOW (Hansard extract)
Mr ADAM MARSHALL (Northern Tablelands—Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Assistant Minister for Skills) (16:40): There are few better ways to understand the Australian way of life and get to know a community than to visit the local agricultural show. I imagine that many members in this place have attended the Royal Easter Show, which is coming up soon, whether with children or family or by themselves. The Royal Easter Show is a great event, and I do not for a moment want to take away from it, but amidst the flashing lights and SpongeBob show bags, the show’s bedrock of regional pride may be forgotten by many. It is for that reason that, every year, I look forward to visiting what we call the Royal of the North—that is, the Glen lnnes Agricultural Show. After chatting with the show secretary, Neale Royal, who is doing a terrific job, a couple of weeks before the show, I knew that this one, the 149th,was going to be a big one.
Over the weekend I had the honour of escorting His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, General David Hurley, and Mrs Hurley, around the show. Those of us who have had the pleasure of spending time with His Excellency know that he is not the kind of gentleman who is content to have a tour and open the show. Governor Hurley was a participant in this year’s show, entering his prized honey—sourced from bees and hives not too far from this Parliament. I am happy to report that it received a highly commended award in the light honey category at the Glen Innes Show. He resisted the urge to lodge a protest with the judges about those who finished ahead of him. I look forward to His Excellency entering more honey in next year’s show.
I recognise the approximately 100 volunteers who make up the Glen Innes Agricultural Show committee. There are 95 committee members—a massive committee. When many communities are struggling to find people to be on show committees, to keep our country shows alive, I am proud to report that the Glen Innes community is strong and vibrant and its show society is a reflection of that. Each committee member contributes countless hours of thought, planning, preparation and assistance to make the show a reality and a success. While thousands of visitors who enjoy the show each year may think that everything runs smoothly, that is only because behind the scenes those 95 individuals and their families work damned hard to make sure everything is organised to a T and runs smoothly. The society is led by show president Andrew Hancock, who does a terrific job. The vice-presidents are Brian Winter, Gail Davis, Luke Schmitzer and Greg Kerr. I would love to name all the other members of the committee, but time does not allow me to. They all deserve our congratulations, and I put on record my gratitude to them.
I had the pleasure of meeting the Glen Innes showgirl entrants: Steph Grob, Melanie Landers and Brianna Short. They are all wonderful young women who take pride in their town and their district. They have a clear vision of how they want to give back to the community and to the annual show. The winner of the competition, Mel Landers, is currently studying to be a maths teacher, and I trust that she will help to inspire and educate the next generation of Glen lnnes locals. Melanie will be travelling to Walgett this weekend to compete against other showgirls in the zone finals. I wish her all the very best with that challenge.
There was a spirit of friendly competition throughout the show, and that is what drives shows. I heard little stories like that of the rivalry between Guyra brothers Brenton and Jacob Jackson, who, after months of tuning and tinkering, came first and third in the four-by-four ute category. I also heard the story of Courtney, who is the first woman ever to drift her way to a win in the circlework category. That event was enjoyed by many at the show. At the show the best produce in the region is on display—whether it is wool, assessed by the keen-eyed John Newsome, or horticulture, judged by Helen Wirth. For the entrants and judges, agriculture is not just a way to make a buck; it is a representation of who they are, the town they come from and the pride they have in their region and district. It is a mark of distinction.
If members find themselves in Glen Innes in early February next year, they should take the opportunity to visit the show. Enjoy the hospitality of the Glen Innes community and the wonderful work of the show committee. There is plenty to be proud of in country communities. Everyone in Glen Innes can be incredibly proud of their show. Their show stands alongside the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Glen Innes Show truly is the Royal of the North.
Mr GARETH WARD (Kiama) (16:45): I thank the member for Northern Tablelands for his commentary on and commendation of the Glen Innes Agricultural Show Society. I acknowledge that show societies are the essence and flavour of rural and regional communities. I was delighted to welcome the Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, at the Berry Show. I thank president Peter Harris for his warm welcome and all the show committee, who do such a great job. In my electorate I have the Albion Park Show Society, the Kiama Show Society, the Berry Show Society, the Kangaroo Valley Show Society and the Nowra Show Society. They provide a great opportunity for agricultural and primary producers and families to enjoy so many of the great things about rural and regional New South Wales.
Dr Geoff Lee: Have you been eating too many dagwood dogs?
Mr GARETH WARD: I acknowledge the interjection from the member for Parramatta about dagwood dogs. It looks as though he is an entrant par excellence in that category. I am sure he would win it. I congratulate the member for Northern Tablelands and thank him for acknowledging a great volunteer organisation, the Glen Innes Show Society.