A horse-crazy teen who also wants more equitable health services in rural areas has been named Eurobodalla Miss Showgirl 2013.
Eva Urbanik-Lowe, 18, leaves for Wollongong next month to study physiotherapy but plans to bring her skills back to a rural area.
“When I become accredited, I want to come back to a district like this, because rural and remote areas don’t have many health facilities,” she said.
“It can be hard for people to travel to cities. I hope I can help.”
Despite her last-minute entry on Saturday, the Batemans Bay High School graduate impressed judges Greg Malavey, Melanie Fitzgerald and Melanie Price.
Ms Urbanik-Lowe said she had regularly attended the show and that day was supporting a friend in the horse events.
“One of my mum’s friends came up to me and said go and enter Miss Showgirl,” she said.
“I did not know what he was talking about. My friends dragged me over. They said, ‘you have an interview in 10 minutes’. I thought, this is getting complicated, but why not?
“I have horses and I have been at the show for the past seven or eight years. I knew quite a lot about the show, Moruya and the whole district. I spoke about wanting to help.”
Moruya’s Ms Price, a former Wangaratta Showgirl herself, said Ms Urbanik-Lowe was “a standout” for her community involvement and charity work.
“She has got her life planned and is very intelligent,” Ms Price said.
“She knows where she wants to go and wants to make a difference. She is very confident, well presented and would be a great ambassador for our shire and for young people. She is articulate and switched on to what is happening locally, nationally and internationally. She is a positive role model.”
Saturday’s Miss Showgirl judging was the first in the Eurobodalla in many years.
Ms Price became a showgirl in 1996.
“It was a fantastic experience and the doors that it opened were amazing,” she said. “I developed skills, including public speaking, networking and leadership.”
For Ms Urbanik-Lowe, winning was “exciting and I did not expect it at all”.
She now moves into another round at the Bega Show and, hopefully, into the final at the Royal Easter Show, which carries $10,000 prize- money.
She would also like to accompany an Australian sports team overseas as a physiotherapist.