I have grown up in Sydney, NSW. At the beginning of 2021, I secured a boilermaking apprenticeship, which has required me to relocate to Singleton, NSW, located approximately 70km north-west of Newcastle, along the Hunter River.
Representing New South Wales: Christie Hayward (18)
Christie is the New South Wales state finalist at the 2021 Agricultural Shows Australia National Young Judges finals held at the Royal Queensland Show. Agricultural Shows of Australia sat down with Christie to learn a bit about her affinity for alpacas. In her competition, entrants will need to judge both the animal and the fleece.
After graduating high school in 2020, I began a trade apprenticeship in boiler making (Certificate III in Engineering-Heavy Fabrication). In 10 years time I will be a fully qualified boilermaker with (hopefully) a secure job. I would love to be living on a farm with a range of different animals. I will be going to many local agricultural shows with my alpaca stud.
Ever since I can remember I have always had a love for animals and the agricultural lifestyle. I completed my secondary education at Menai High School, located in the Sutherland Shire, which has a agricultural farm plot. This enabled me to complete school and grow my passion and love for agriculture simultaneously. At school I volunteered my mornings, lunchtimes and weekends in looking after the animals at school and taking these animals to shows, including the sheep, alpacas, ducks, chickens and guinea pigs. This involvement has resulted in me making great friends all over the state and learning so much about the agricultural industry.
I have been associated with local, regional and state shows through the alpaca industry. I assist other breeders handling their show teams as well as showing my own animals. I also both compete and organise alpaca youth activities
In year 7, a friend of mine asked whether I wanted to compete at the National Alpaca Show in youth paraders, which was being held in Sydney that year (2015). I competed with an alpaca called Mr Vale, and just immediately fell in love with it. Since then I have travelled all over the state and even other states competing in Alpaca halter classes, youth paraders and alpaca young judges. More recently my family has started their own alpaca stud and I am enjoying competing and showing my own alpacas.
In 2016, I went the the NSW Alpaca Youth Group annual Alpaca camp. This is where I met the wonderful Janie Hicks and Ian Davison from Coolawarra Alpacas who introduced me to Mick, Karen and Rubey Williams from Storybook Alpacas. Since then, they have mentored me and expanded my knowledge of the alpacas. They helped me pick my first animal and have always encouraged me in every aspect of my alpaca journey. There have been so many other wonderful people who have helped shaped and educated me about alpacas. This community and family I am apart of continues my passion and love for the agricultural industry. My parents have always been the biggest support network which has ultimately allowed me to continue this passion.
My favourite television show is McLeod’s Daughters. It is my favourite show because it follows a successful farm run by women. I admire their lifestyle and dedication to the agricultural industry.
My favourite moment at a show was at Sydney Royal one year, where I had spent the last 12 months training an alpaca at school for the show. The alpaca, named Brave Knight, at the show did everything I asked of him and as a result we took out Champion and Master Trainer. It was amazing to receive these acknowledgments after I had put so much effort and training in.
My most embarrassing moment was competing in alpaca paraders at Nowra Show and I completely skipped an obstacle during the stockman ship course. The funny aspect of it was that I didn’t even realise I have missed this section until my mum told me. I was not angry or upset, I just laughed it off and thought “oh well that happens sometimes”. It definitely was a memorable experience!
I appreciate all the valued friendships and relationships in the alpaca community. I am so excited to represent my state at the Alpaca young judge National Finals at the Royal Queensland Show this year!