AgShows NSW Award Information

Each year AgShows NSW (Agricultural Societies Council of NSW (ASC) are proud to host an awards ceremony which recognises the excellence, dedication, resilience and innovation of Agricultural Show volunteers from across the State. 

The 2024 Award Finalists and Winners

2024 Dedication Award

This award recognises a person who has shown exceptional dedication to their Show Society. This may include hours of service given to the Show, years of service and other demonstrable means of loyalty and dedication.

This year there were 22 nominations for this award with four finalists selected.

Finalist #1 – Robert and Marie Kildey, Morisset Lake Macquarie Agricultural Association Inc.

Introducing Robert and Marie Kildey: A Legacy of Showmanship!

  • A love story sparked by the Show: Bob (competing since 1954) and Marie (since 1957) found their connection at Morisset.
  • Decades of dedication: Over 20 years on the management committee, earning Life Member and Patron titles.
  • Instrumental in innovation: Introduced cattle, photography, pet shows, trade shows, baking competitions, and a Spring Horse Show.
  • Active role models: Bob served as Senior Vice President for 15 years.
  • Enduring passion: They continue to compete and contribute in numerous ways, inspiring future generations.

Finalist #2 – Owen Nicholson, Dungog A&H Association

Owen Nicholson: A Pillar of the Dungog Show!

  • Unwavering Dedication: Over 24 years as Show Secretary, countless years on the general committee.
  • Double Duty: Leads the Showground Trust Committee, safeguarding the showground's heritage.
  • Commitment Above All: Never misses a show, regardless of personal challenges.
  • Hands-On Hero: Works tirelessly, even in his 80s, to maintain the showgrounds (mowing, digging, marking).
  • Walking Encyclopedia: Possesses an invaluable wealth of knowledge about the Show Society.

Owen Nicholson truly exemplifies dedication. 

Finalist #3 – Gillian Anderson, Bellinger River Agricultural Society Inc.

Gillian Anderson: A Visionary Leader for the Bellinger Show!

  • Stepped Up, Saved the Show: In 2011, when the secretary position was vacant and the show at risk, Gillian took charge.
  • Dedicated Service: 5 years as Secretary, 3 years as President, current Vice President, and active committee member.
  • Group 2 Leader: Exemplifies commitment with 3 years as Group 2 President.

Modernisation and Innovation

  • Implemented a part-time secretary role to ease volunteer burden.
  • Introduced annual planning meetings and a strategic plan.
  • Conducted activity analysis to optimize volunteer roles and identify gaps.
  • Streamlined communication and recordkeeping with Google Business Suite.
  • Updated the constitution and incorporated the association.
  • Launched exciting new events: Celebrity Chef, cooking demonstrations, Floats on Wheels, Artisan Tent.
  • Mentored the new secretary and president, ensuring a smooth transition.

Gillian's vision and leadership:

  • Positioned the Bellinger Show for continued success – sustainable, inclusive, and relevant.
  • Reflects the past, celebrates the present, and looks to the future.

Gillian's unwavering commitment, even amidst health challenges, deserves our highest recognition. 

Finalist #4 – Ray Piper, Kiama Show Society Incorporated.

Ray Piper: A Kiama Show Legend!

  • 65+ Years of unwavering dedication: Attending as a young man, then serving for over 50 years as a cattle section steward.
  • Active Committee Member (until 2021): Supported all show sections and mentored new members.
  • Passion Undimmed: Even at 90, Ray remains the first to arrive and last to leave during show prep week, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Ray Piper truly embodies the spirit of the Kiama Show.

And the winner of the 2024 Dedication Award is Owen Nicholson, Dungog A&H Association

President’s Innovation Award

This award is for innovation by a Show Society Member of the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Ltd.  The innovation could be for example, an event, an innovative campaign or advertising, advancements in technology, procedural changes, intellectual concepts, environmental practices, and so forth, that has taken the Show Society or many Show Societies to the next level.

Finalist #1 - Bribbaree Show Society Incorporated

About The Show Society:

  • The smallest town in NSW to still hold a Show.
  • Committed to getting the younger generation involved.
  • Celebrating their 98th year, with a vision for 100.

How they were innovative:

  • The photography section entries were declining.
  • Introduced online entries for the 2023 Show - a huge success.
  • Easy entry process: upload photos via Google Form, printed & mounted by the Society.
  • Attracted entries from outside our usual reach (increased geographical reach).
  • Increased entries from 78 (2022) to 266 (2023) - a 241% rise.

Benefits of innovation initiatives:

  • Pavilion filled with vibrant photos, creating excitement.
  • Increased foot traffic and engagement in the pavilion.
  • Increased entry fees for the photography section.

Finalist #2 - Cobargo Agricultural, Pastoral & Horticultural Society Inc.

About the Show Society:

Celebrating 125 Years

  • Large committee dedicated to the Show and community (around 50 people).
  • Faced challenges adapting to growth and attracting younger volunteers.
  • Recognised the need to leverage technology and offer incentives.

How they were innovative:

  • Show entries tripled in recent years, requiring more volunteers.
  • Formed a new sub-committee to specifically target and recruit volunteers.
  • Implemented a multi-pronged approach using modern technology:
    • Volunteer webpage with fillable form.
    • Regularly updated Facebook page with volunteer calls to action.
    • Engaging video featuring committee members explaining why they volunteer.
  • Hosted a volunteer BBQ to meet new and existing volunteers.
  • Introduced volunteer incentives:
    • Free gate entry ticket.
    • Volunteer lanyard.
    • Lunch voucher, t-shirt, or drink bottle (for 4+ hours).

Benefits of innovation initiatives:

  • Increased volunteer participation across all ages and skillsets.
  • Volunteers felt valued and appreciated, fostering a sense of community.
  • Increased Facebook engagement leading to more sponsorships.
  • Established a strong foundation for future volunteer recruitment.

Finalist #3 – The Camden Show Society Inc

About The Show Society:

Established in 1886

  • Largest annual community event in the Macarthur region (over 45,000 attend).
  • Committed to youth education through agricultural demonstrations & displays.

How they were innovative:

  • Challenge: Marking out a massive showground (26 hectares) quickly and accurately.
  • Traditional methods were time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Solution: A combination of site surveys, aerial imagery, and GPS data.

Benefits of Innovation initiatives:

  • Highly accurate grounds layout for displays, competitions, and stalls.
  • Saved 38 person-days in ground marking and setup time.
  • Reduced office administration workload.
  • Foundation for a "live" searchable map app (currently in pilot stage).
  • Long-term efficiency gains for future Shows.

Special Recognition

  • Forward-thinking committee members and a supportive Executive Committee.
  • Sponsorship from Camden Council and Premise (surveying company).

Finalist #4 – Nowra Show Society

About The Show Society:

Celebrating 150 Years (1874-2024)

  • Not-for-profit focused on agriculture, horticulture, and education.
  • Largest attendance ever in 2024 reflects community engagement in a growing urban area.

How were they innovative:

  • Highlighted the rich history of the local timber industry, a cornerstone of the woodchop competition.
  • "Timber Through the Ages" showcased advancements in felling techniques over 150 years.
  • Live demonstrations featured:
    • Hand felling (1800s) with bullock teams (local bushmen).
    • Draught horse teams, blitz trucks, chainsaws (progressive eras).
    • Modern mechanical harvesters and log skidders.
  • Local bushmen provided commentary on safety, environmental impact, and sustainable practices.

Benefits of Innovation Initiatives:

  • Educated attendees about the timber industry's evolution.
  • Strengthened the connection between woodchop competition and its historical roots.
  • Offered a unique and entertaining experience for all ages.
  • Replicable concept for other agricultural shows seeking new entertainment.

Special Recognition

  • Life member Ron McKinnon for his initiative and lifelong dedication to the woodchop section.

And the winner of the President’s Innovation Award is Cobargo Agricultural, Pastoral & Horticultural Society Inc.

2023 Resilience Award

This award recognises a Show who has shown resilience during 2023.

Our winner will receive $2,000.

Finalist #1 - Kyogle PA & H Society Incorporated

Celebrating Resilience and Teamwork!

  • Kyogle Show 2023 faced unexpected challenges, but volunteers came together impressively.
  • Volunteers are the backbone of the Show, donating countless hours with unwavering dedication.
  • Strong friendships and a commitment to kindness foster a supportive and positive team environment.

Highlighting Exceptional Efforts

  • Volunteers stepped up seamlessly when a key executive position needed to be filled unexpectedly.
  • Cattle Section volunteers achieved record entries (over 300) while efficiently managing operations and suggesting improvements.
  • Campdraft and Stockman's Challenge subcommittee flawlessly handled over 300 competitors, complex logistics, and tireless volunteers.
  • Canteen crew diligently served patrons throughout the Show, exemplifying dedication, and friendly service.

Beyond the Showground

  • Kyogle Show Society actively supports the community throughout the year:
    • Running canteens for various events.
    • Participating in industry conferences (e.g., Ag Shows NSW).
    • Contributing to the Young Woman Competition (providing opportunities for local youth).
    • Bringing joy to the Kyogle Christmas Street Party with an animal nursery and treats.

A Growing and Vibrant Team

  • Kyogle Show Society acknowledges the current team's strength and ongoing growth.
  • Their dedication ensures the Show's survival and continued success as a community cornerstone.

Finalist #2 – Eugowra Show Society Inc.

Eugowra: A Community Overcomes!

  • In the wake of the November 2022 floods, the Eugowra Showground became a vital lifeline.
  • The pavilion and facilities served as an evacuation centre and staging ground for recovery.
  • They provided shelter, accommodation, and space for government support services.

A Show Society Steps Up

  • Eugowra Show Society played a critical role in community recovery and well-being.
  • They offered a haven for residents, fostering comfort and unity during a difficult time.

Resilience and Renewal

  • The Showground continues to be a central hub for community events and gatherings.
  • It provides a safe and welcoming space for healing and coming together.

Celebrating Community

  • Eugowra Show Society proudly hosted the 108th Show, offering free entry to residents.
  • This event served as a source of joy and unity following the trauma of the floods.

A Year of Challenge and Strength

  • The Eugowra Show Society exemplifies resilience and adaptation, putting community first.

Finalist #3 – Central North Coast National Agricultural Society Limited (Kempsey)

Kempsey Show Society: Committed to Community

  • Recognising the challenges faced by low-socioeconomic communities.
  • Responding to rising cost-of-living pressures for local families.

Innovative Initiative

  • Partnered with Bunnings to run BBQs, generating funds to reduce show entry fees.

Impact of Initiative

  • Increased affordability of the Kempsey Show for local families.
  • Ensured access to this cherished community event despite financial hardships.

Kempsey Show Society: Putting People First

  • Demonstrates a deep commitment to inclusivity and community well-being.
  • Ensures the annual Show remains accessible for all.

Finalist #4 – Bega A. P. & H. Society Incorporated

Bega Show Society: Adaptability and Community Spirit

  • Faced a challenge: new Community Centre construction impacted showground availability.
  • Innovative Solution (proposed by John Hamilton):
    • Hosted a community event to show appreciation for local support.
    • Offered free commercial space to local businesses (e.g., Old Bega Hospital Group).
    • Prioritized local suppliers for food and entertainment (e.g., Bega Bombers).
    • Focused on low-cost marketing through radio, Facebook, and webpage.
    • Offered flexible entry options: gold coin donation or $5 pre-registration.


  • Maintained a community connection despite show cancellation.
  • Provided a platform for local businesses and new suppliers.
  • Showcased community spirit and adaptability in challenging circumstances.

 And the winner of the 2023 Resilience Award is Eugowra Show Society Inc.



RAS of NSW - Agricultural Show Award

The RAS of NSW is excited to announce that they have reinstated the awarding of medals to regional Show Societies in order to truly communicate their vision; to educate our community on the value of sustainable agriculture and improve the quality of agricultural produce and animal breeds through competitions. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise a significant contribution that someone has made to your Show Society.

Download an application form here

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