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The department remains strong in its commitment to supporting show societies in cities, towns and across regional and remote areas of Queensland. Trevor Beckingham from the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies (QCAS) explains why this is so important.

The newly-appointed QCAS General Manager hopes his business background and passion for all things agricultural will help to drive positive change for the 127 annual shows (affiliated with QCAS) across Queensland and its army of 135,000 volunteers.

‘QCAS is here to represent, promote and assist agricultural shows throughout Queensland, which for many communities, are their biggest and longest running events,’ he explained.

‘Each year around 1.5 million Queenslanders attend these shows which contribute $10 million to local communities. The shows would not happen without the dedication and hard work of 135,000 volunteers.’

Trevor said government funding was crucial to their ongoing success.

‘It provides show societies with opportunities to upgrade infrastructure and to provide facilities or entertainment that they otherwise couldn’t afford,’ he said. ‘It really is a godsend for them.’

The department’s 2019-2020 Show Societies Grants Program (SSGP) provides financial support to meet the operational costs (excluding salary or wage related costs) associated with the conduct of annual agricultural shows and costs towards the upgrade and maintenance of showground assets and new infrastructure essential to their operation.

The SSGP will support 130 Queensland Show Societies and affiliated organisations in 2019-2020 with $2.133 million in funding.     

Trevor’s connection with agricultural shows began at an early age.      

‘My grandfather had a 100-acre dairy cattle jersey stud at Bridgeman Downs and when his grandchildren turned 10, he let them stay one night at the Ekka to help with his cattle shows,’ he explained.

‘I continued to help him each year and I’m still going strong after more than five decades!’ 

Trevor was a dairy superintendent at the Ekka from 2000-2007 and is now is on the management committee of the Gatton Show. He helped to initiate the Queensland Dairy Showcase now in its tenth year and the largest dairy show in the state.

‘I am a passionate about the dairy industry and supporting local produce,’ he confirmed.  

‘It is the best way that we can support local industry.’

An accountant by profession, Trevor is utiliising his background in small business and his first-hand experience with volunteer organisations to assist QCAS.      

‘l was the company secretary for a family business for 44 years, the Secretary-General and the Vice-President of Finance with the Queensland Olympic Council for nearly 30 years and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Queensland Badminton Association for almost 18 years,’ he said.

‘I know how to run small organisations, am very used to liaising with committees and government and understand the checks and balances required with government funding.’

Trevor, who readily admits he has found his dream job with QCAS, is committed to helping show societies to stay profitable and relevant to local communities well into the future.

‘I believe the ongoing success of agricultural shows lies within its community roots,’ he noted.  

‘This has always been their biggest strength, the shows are of the community, by the community and for the community.’

To help show societies to remain profitable throughout the year, Trevor plans to increase the number of online resources to assist volunteers.  

‘Many of the show societies use their showgrounds as community hubs and this can raise legal, financial and insurance issues when dealing with other organisations and fundraising activities,’ Trevor noted.    

‘We want to make sure that they have the right information at their fingertips to answer any questions they may have.’ 

To help support your local show or to consider doing the show circuit during your travels throughout Queensland, you can check out the calendar of events for the remainder of 2019.