Judging at a local level takes place throughout the year at each of the participating local Show Societies with the judging for Zone Finals being conducted in February/March of each year and the State Final during the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The contestants are judged on personality, confidence, ambition and life goals, general knowledge, rural knowledge, presentation and speech. Finalists are also asked to demonstrate knowledge of their local community and current affairs and apart from their potential ambassadorial qualities, contestants are also judged on their involvement in and experience of rural affairs.
These prerequisites have not changed since the inception of the Showgirl competition in 1962, as the value of these skills has not diminished. The contestants continue to be young rural women with purpose and ambition.
The winning Showgirl of each local Show Society is selected by a panel of three judges and remains Showgirl until the next year’s Show. She performs various tasks which could include opening a Show, public speaking throughout the year, presenting prizes for winners in agricultural events etc.
Each local Show Society is a member of one of fourteen groups. Two groups combine to form one of seven Zones that make up the NSW area. In February/March of each year, Zone Finals are held in which each of the Zones select, from all the winners put forward by each of the individual Societies, a representative for the State Final.
The number of representatives a Zone can have is based on the total number of entrants: if 1 - 10 Zone Finalists then a Zone can have one (1) State Final representative; 11 - 17 Zone Finalists then two (2) State Final representatives; Zones' 6 & 7 will have the opportunity to have 3 State Final Representatives of the receive more than 17 Zone Finalists. The judges for the Zone Finals are provided by the ASC.
The State Final for the Competition is conducted by the RAS at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and usually has 16 entrants. Judges are nominated by the RAS with the judging being conducted over a four day period.