Representing Queensland: Georgia Lee (25)
Georgia is the Queensland 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 Georgia to learn a bit about how a lady from Brisbane has become the two time state champion for judging sheep.
I’m originally from Brisbane. We were lucky enough to have acreage about half an hour from the city where we could have our sheep and be “free range” kids!
Growing up we always had acreage but never ran cattle or grew crops, because we lived in Brisbane. As we got older mum allowed us to have sheep at home which was the best! We got linked into agriculture through the school agriculture program.
My older sister joined the show team through school and although I didn’t go to the school I still helped where I could and went to the shows and it blossomed from there. Once I was attending the school it took off – going to shows every weekend, competing and learning more and more! I was 11 when I first started judging and nothing has been able to stop me since!
My big sister Maddie was a massive influence on me as I saw how much she fit in and how much she was learning by being a part of the team and I wanted to have that too! Another person to thank is Matthew Franklin! He was one of the older students at the school who mentored the team and shaped us into the judges we are today. He encouraged us to never give up and was so full of wisdom! Maybe he instilled too much wisdom as I did beat him in the state finals in 2012 (oops!). Andrew Herron was another person who helped further my involvement in the shows as he taught me how to really refine my judging skills and helped with my public speaking fears! He also allowed me to show his stud ‘Pride of the Downs White Suffolk Stud’ at the EKKA which helped me to see a whole other side of the judging that included all the prep work involved in getting to the show. And lastly, my mother, Maria. Even when I felt low and that I couldn’t compete she always built me back up again and gave me the courage to keep going. She’s travelled with me to NZ and Sydney for national finals, has driven me around the countryside to all of the shows and never once complained.
I have helped at many local shows whether it be judging or stewarding. It is the best being involved with the shows as everyone in the sheep section is like a big family and we all come together to compete, catch up and have a laugh.
I am working as an Assistant in Nursing in Aged Care and am studying a Bachelor of Paramedicine. In future, I would like to be a paramedic who still turns up to shows and helps out with the judging and stewarding.
I love all shows but if I had to pick one favourite it would have to be the Toowoomba Show. It always rains at the show but that’s what makes it great! It’s also my favourite as it is where you get to see the best judges in the state come together and compete for the state title! It’s such a rush!
My best show moment would honestly have to be the first year I won the state title. It was 2012 and it was 1 day before my 16th birthday. Mum and dad had just bought me some brand new ariat boots that I was ready to show off in the ring. I was honestly so nervous about competing against the best in the state because I was so young. The rush I felt when the judge announced the winner, and it was me!? All you could hear in the shed was my mum screaming and crying trying to run into the ring to hug me! We had worked so hard and travelled to so many shows and it paid off! You would think mum would’ve been a little accustomed to her children winning state titles over the years. My little sister, Erin, took out the title in 2013, I took out another 2 state titles in 2014 and 2019 but no! In 2019 the same thing happened, and it is honestly the best feeling to know your cheerleader never tires!
I guess the most embarrassing thing I’ve had happen to me at a show was in New Zealand at the national finals in 2013! I had decided to dye my hair blue in an act of rebellion a month before flying out. Not thinking of the ramifications of my actions I thought I would be okay to just put some brown hair dye over the top and I would look professional, and nobody would know. It didn’t work that way when I competed in my first national final with green hair!!!! One of the other competitors even queried my hair and I nearly cried!!! Have never done that again!!
A big thanks to the team at QCAS for running the state and subchamber competitions and allowing us to show off our skills!