For 20 years the National Rural Ambassador program has aimed to provide young people with an opportunity to promote rural Australia; and to discover and recognise the next generation of young rural leaders.

The 2021 national finals will be held at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show after this year’s Royal Queensland Show, The Ekka, was cancelled due to COVID uncertainty. 

The Agricultural Shows Australia Rural Ambassador National Finals competition is the culmination of a series of competitions which take place each year throughout Australia. Local shows applicants proceed through to regional level, then state-based competitions and ultimately to the national finals.

As we eagerly await Sydney Royal 2022, we caught up with each of the National Rural Ambassador finalists to  celebrate their enduring commitment to their communities and learn a little more about them.

Marie Fitzpatrick, View Hill New Zealand

After training as a chef, Marie Fitzpatrick has done a full circle and returned to farming with the desire to produce high quality beef consistently for market. 

Living in the beautiful View Hill region in New Zealand’s South Island, Marie, 30, is the manager at a dairy grazing, stud beef and crop farm. 

Marie’s had a long involvement with local shows, having judged many events, stewarded in Canterbury and was a part of junior beef judging at age 16. 

Currently the president of her local Oxford Show, Marie is also on the Future Beef New Zealand Committee and helps run a Hook and Hoof competition for New Zealand youth. Just to add to her busy life, Marie and her husband also welcomed their first baby in January 2021. 

There’s been many show highlights over the years for Marie but she says it’s hard to beat the year her family won every Angus class at the Canterbury A&P Show and received Reserve Champion in the Meat and Wool Cup.