Rural Ambassador Award
The Rural Ambassador Award program is run by agricultural shows across the country, to encourage and support young people who are involved with their local show and community and gives them the opportunity to learn and further develop their skills.
I am thrilled to represent Victoria at the 2015 National Rural Ambassador Award (RAA), and to be able to network with like-minded people in the show community and agricultural industry. I relish this chance to share my enthusiasm for rural life and promote skill development and careers in agriculture.
Having looked up to the RAA program for many years, I see it as a great catalyst to make an impact on shows, young people and agriculture.
Participating in the RAA has encouraged me to aim high. I am confident it will continue to provided me with new knowledge, self-awareness and motivation, assisting me progress both my career and community.
I am so grateful to many generous people that have influenced, taught and supported me over the years, now the RAA will help me make a greater difference in the show and agricultural community I love. Thank you so much for providing such a terrific opportunity to assist me to give back to others.
Why be a Rural Ambassador?
I believe agricultural shows are critical for the promotion and development of the agricultural industry.
A Rural Ambassador is a voice for the next generation, making sure that agricultural shows remain relevant and interesting for young people. Shows have provided me with so many great experiences and I feel a responsibility to ensure the next generation don’t miss out on the wonderful opportunities available.
For me, the RAA is a great way to give back to the community. It provides a great opportunity to share my ideas to make a real difference to the future for Australian agriculture and show societies. RAA is a way to celebrate the success of shows and help shape the show of the future.
I have been inspired by previous competitors who have been wonderful role models. Similarly, I would like to inspire young people to take up the opportunities that are available through shows and agriculture.
Making an Impact on Agricultural Shows
Using the prize money from winning the Victorian Rural Ambassador, I attended the RAS of the Commonwealth Conference 2014 in Brisbane. This has been invaluable to learn how shows around the world operate.
To help agricultural shows thrive in the 21st century, I wanted to share the worlds’ best practice with as many shows as possible.
Providing practical ideas and inspiration for show society members to access online is a cheap and scalable way for this information to reach more people who could benefit from it. I would love to develop this further by facilitating the sharing of information between shows across states.
How you can get involved
If you are between 16 and 30 (or know someone who is), contact your local show secretary to find out more or how you can be involved at the show or considered for the competition.
Both the Rural and Junior Ambassador Awards start at the local show or field day level and progress to a Group final where the winner is invited to compete at the State Final of each Award.
This year’s finalists for the Award were of a very high standard, and I congratulate all of them for their contribution to their local shows and communities.- Gerard Ballinger, Rural Ambassador Committee chair and VAS Board director