Maitland Showgirl contestants from 2013 to 2018

THE big moment is fast approaching.

This weekend, Maitland Showgirl 2018 contestants will find out who will be named the year’s youth ambassador.

A long-standing tradition, the competition has seen many young women step up over the decades.

Maitland Showgirl 2017 Miranda O'Brien had many great opportunities during her year in the role.

A couple of moments stood out to her, including meeting NSW Governor David Hurley and his wife Linda at a Vice Regal Reception in Cessnock in June, and addressing the crowd at Maitland Park on Anzac Day.

There are five girls vying for the 2018 crown.

Macia Borowiec, 20

Macia Borowiec, 20.

Macia Borowiec, 20.

As soon as last year’s Maitland Showgirl competition ended Macia Borowiec – who won the third place sash – made herself a pact.

She would use the self-confidence she developed through the quest in every aspect of her life, and she would continue to step out of her comfort zone.

The 20-year-old from Abermain achieved her goal and has entered the 2018 competition to reflect on how far she has come, and to meet more like-minded young women.

Karleigha Melmeth, 21

Karleigha Melmeth, 21.

Karleigha Melmeth, 21.

Karleigha Melmeth is determined to embrace all of the confidence-building experiences the Maitland Showgirl and Miss Maitland quest brings. 

“Miss Maitland Showgirl presents an opportunity to all those involved to improve one’s confidence, develop friendships and gain new challenges,” the 21-year-old said.

“I am looking forward to embracing these experiences.”

Caitlin Hipwell, 19

Caitlin Hipwell, 19.

Caitlin Hipwell, 19.

When Caitlin Hipwell isn’t working in a commercial setting, or performing at the Kavon Theme Restaurant, she’s looking after her four cows and her chooks.

The nineteen-year-old from Bolwarra Heights said her rural roots are very important to her and she tries to balance her country interests with her pursuits in the city.

Her decision to enter the 2018 Maitland Showgirl and Miss Maitland competition is a nod to her family’s ties with the show.

Breanna Murrell, 22

Breanna Murrell, 22

Breanna Murrell, 22

For Breanna Murrell, the thought of spending time in a dress and high heels is far more daunting than climbing onto the back of a wild horse.

But that's exactly what she's going to have to do after taking the plunge and becoming the first entrant in the 2018 Maitland Showgirl competition.

"I'm very much a jeans and boots sort of girl," Breanna, 22, said.

"I've been around horses all my life ... I know them, that's where I'm comfortable."

Meghan Gillespie, 22

Meghan Gillespie, 22.

Meghan Gillespie, 22.

Meghan Gillespie isn’t your typical Showgirl entrant.

She has no real farm background and is more familiar with a traffic jam than fig jam – a self confessed “city girl”.

But if compassion and caring and a desire to help are traits the Maitland Showgirl judges are looking for, then the East Maitland 22-year-old will have to be right in the mix.

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