I have been a Show regular since I can remember, whether it was a school excursion or with family or friends. Over the years, I have entered competitions, volunteered and watched my younger sister achieve greatness in cookery. Having Cerebral Palsy does not get in my way in having fun.
I suppose it just came naturally, my father is from the country and my mother worked for Joe’s Snow Cones at the Newcastle Regional Show to get money when she was at university. So, my earliest memories consist of patting animals, getting show-bags and chatting to Joe Redman of Joe’s Snow Cones, whom I called Mr Red. I love to write and was looking for casual work to gain experience. I wanted to help a small, local organisation that gave back to our community, especially one that meant something to me.
I bit the bullet and emailed the Newcastle Regional Show to offer my services not only in writing but in admin as well to show them I was multi-skilled. I had a job interview and as they say, the rest is history. I knew that this year’s Show was going to be special because I was part of the team that created the magic.
All my predictions came true, I felt the magic like I have never felt before. It was like I was looking at something with brand new eyes, it was as special as I hoped it would.
I often go to the Newcastle Show on the Friday night, when everything is fresh and come sundown, the lights look oh so pretty. Even though I miss some of the agriculture and judging, the lights and fireworks make up for it.
First stop this year was the Exhibition Centre, where I toured the handcraft, photography and the long-awaited return of our art competition. I was simply amazed with the local talent of this year’s batch of entrants. Then I tried Virtual Reality, which I wrote an article about and I wanted to try what I wrote about. I am an adrenaline junkie, so I chose to go on a rollercoaster and whoa, it was so awesome.
Second on my list was the Official Opening of the Newcastle Show, proudly watching on as my colleagues do the honours. Then when the formalities were over, it was time to talk to the animals, so off it was to visit the Animal Nursery, sponsored by our friends at Tomago Aluminium.
Anybody who knows me knows that any time I step into an animal nursery, I’m a target for ducklings to do their business on my clothes and goats think my wheelchair is a chew toy. This year, an alpaca (who I suspect was talking to the big goat from last year’s Easter Show) was chewing my control and nearly ate my joystick. Lucky for both of us, the alpaca was behind a fence. Next stop was dinner to refuel for the night ahead.
The range of international cuisines on offer was a very welcomed addition to the usual food offerings at shows around Australia, giving people lots more choice. I had butter chicken, which was deliciously good.
After sampling a bit of Cyclocross and letting my dinner settle, it was time for some serious issues, testing out the rides. My friend and I first hit up Midnight Express, looked pretty awesome, but it made me dizzy. Next was my favourite ride, the dodgem cars. I absolutely love to drive a dodgem, especially when I get to drive, crash and not burn.
Finally after six and a half minutes of fantastic fireworks , trust me I timed it, it was time to embrace my inner child and get a showbag. I have always loved a good showbag, from Barbie to Bananas in Pyjamas when I was a little girl to today’s selection of Love To Squish and JoJo Siwa, it was very hard to choose just one bag. I got Despicable Me 3 because I love Minions and it comes with a pretty cool backpack!
The future is looking bright and the 2018 Newcastle Regional Show has certainly proved that the community event is alive and well. Although we have a small budget, we brought the best of the best to delight crowds young and old.
I feel extremely privileged to work alongside some awesome people, to help bring the country to the city and create magical memories for families. Part of my mission whilst here is helping preserve the Newcastle Regional Show for the future generations, put some ideas forward and I am looking forward to the next twelve months when I have the chance to share more with our Facebook followers.
I would like to thank our President, Lauren Haskins, our General Manager, Brett Gleeson and a special thank you to our marketing and media manager, Kim-Cherie Davidson for helping me to achieve success in this event.
On a personal note, I would like to thank my parents, Helen and Mark, my sister Kristen, and my friends and family for allowing me to have this wonderful opportunity to not only explore my writing ambitions but to enhance my skills. I would also like to thank my carers, Amy, Trudy and Cindy for taking photos and supporting me in this role.
Above all, I love the fact that I’m doing what I love for an event I love, and I am very proud to be associated with the Newcastle Regional Show.