REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: The show spirit must go on

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Royal Adelaide Show CEO John Rothwell in the empty sheep shed at the Royal Adelaide Showground.

Royal Adelaide Show CEO John Rothwell in the empty sheep shed at the Royal Adelaide Showground.

It seems surreal to think that about this time last year, I was writing a Voice of Real Australia article about the upcoming Royal Adelaide Show - easily our busiest time of the year.

It's a bit redundant to say but ... this September is looking a bit different.

But at the same time, despite so many major events being wiped off the calendar, each week I still find myself wondering where all the hours went, since there is still so much to do.

The most obvious reason is probably that as human beings, we adapt to the "new normal". But I also think part of it may be that we're still doing things, just in different forms.

This year, many people are learning that a little bit of (social) distance does not have to mean a loss of community. But this is not a new concept for those in rural and remote Australia, who have known this for years.

We are not the only ones feeling the loss of the Royal.

In the wake of the cancellation, back in April, there was so much feedback about the importance of this event, the RAS staff devised the concept of The Show At Home.

They're not the only ones to do this, with Alice Springs taking on a virtual approach, while the Cummins Show led the way back in April, with their own Facebook-driven event.

The SA Country Women's Association have come up with new ideas for fundraising, as did the NSW CWA before it.

At Stock Journal, we hosted a schools-based Steer Showdown, using videos and photographs to assess steers.

If you've never thought of yourself as the type to sit down and watch cattle judging, you may be surprised by how engaging it can be. And later today, I will be watching the schools' wether judging at the Showground - under careful restrictions, of course.

Imogen Thomas, 12, Lexi Thomas, 9 and Emma Thomas, 6, organised a virtual sheep show after their favourite agricultural shows were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Imogen Thomas, 12, Lexi Thomas, 9 and Emma Thomas, 6, organised a virtual sheep show after their favourite agricultural shows were cancelled due to COVID-19.

In Queensland, the disappointment of the missing Ekka opened doors for on-farm visits.

And in one case, three young sisters missing the fun of showtime held their own virtual show, with an exhibitor listing that would impress most major events.

While we're missing so much, it's heartening to see the new ideas and events that are springing up to fill a gap and keep community spirit alive.

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