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AgShows NSW elects new President Jill Chapman and executive team

The newly elected executive committee welcomes only the second elected female president in Jill Chapman of Hay, 40 years after Mrs Pam Mitchell became the first. 

Joining Mrs Chapman are vice presidents Jody Nelson-Gleeson of Taree and Kelso Looker of Armidale, honorary secretary David Peters of Hartley and honorary treasurer Brett Kenworthy of Bathurst.

Immediate Past President Peter Gooch said the newly elected executive is set to bring a wealth of experience and dedication to the organisation, promising to continue fostering the rich legacy of agricultural shows in the state, while ensuring their prosperity for years to come. 

“I would also like to pay special thanks to the outgoing executive members David Williams OAM for his past four years as honorary secretary and more recently as treasurer and Tim Capp for his ten years which included the roles of vice president and then president,” he said. 

Whilst Mrs Chapman may not have had as long a Show association as the other executive members, Mrs Chapman is a past President of the Hay show which she held for eleven years and at the regional level has served as the president of the South Western group of shows for seven years.  

Since February 2016, she has been a director of the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW, where she chaired the commercial, Showgirl/Young Woman, Rural Achiever and Education committees. Her passion for travelling across the state to visit showgrounds and meet dedicated volunteers is evidence of her commitment to preserving the vitality of the show movement. 

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been elected as the president of AgShows NSW,” she said. “I value the rich traditions held in the show movement but am excited to see Shows innovate to ensure their survival and on-going success."

“As president, I look forward to working closely with our Board, volunteers, and stakeholders to ensure the sustainability and growth of the 192 agricultural shows across New South Wales. These shows play a vital role in promoting agriculture, fostering community spirit, and providing valuable educational experiences."

“I am looking forward to travelling to all areas of the state, visiting showgrounds, and meeting as many of the incredible 16 thousand volunteers we have, who are the lifeblood of the show movement. 

The newly elected executive said it is looking forward to working with its Executive Officer Brian Halse. 

“Joining AgShows NSW is truly an honour for me,” Mr Halse said. “As our organisation moves towards its 100th year of operation, I am committed to continuing to build a solid foundation that will propel our organisation forward for another remarkable century.”

Vice president Jody Nelson-Gleeson is a passionate community advocate and leader, who brings invaluable experience in policy development and board service and is dedicated to supporting agricultural shows. 

Vice president Kelso Looker, hailing from the Northern Tablelands, has demonstrated his deep involvement in the ag show movement from a young age and is currently serving as the Secretary for the Armidale & New England Show Society. Mr Looker’s passion for promoting change and engaging with the show's diverse audience marks him as one of the youngest vice presidents in the prestigious history of the Agricultural Societies Council.

Taken from Writers Who Media Release on 6 July 2023.

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