Future Directions Committee Members

The Future Directions Committee was formed by the RNA in 2001 to provide a youthful perspective on the future of Ekka and to engage with young people both during and outside of show. The Committee provides strategic guidance to the RNA with a focus on promoting the RNA, the Brisbane Showgrounds and Ekka into the future. During Ekka you can find Committee members stewarding or competing in competitions, organising the hugely successful Australian Young Farmer Challenge and Ekka Gala or hosting sponsors and visitors to the show.
Alex Cottrell
Alex Cottrell Chairperson

Alex has been attending the Ekka since his family showed Murray Grey cattle in the 80's.

After being involved as a Steward within the Beef Cattle and Young Judges sections since 2003, Alex joined the Future Directions Committee in 2019.

Alex has spent more than 12 years in the finance industry with a focus on providing funding for SME businesses.

In recent years, this has involved working with Regional Queensland supporting businesses to run and grow.

Given his involvement with the Young Judges sections with the RNA, Alex has a strong commitment in ensuring the Ekka remains an opportunity for young Queenslanders to increase their involvement in Agriculture, while providing real education opportunities.

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Shaun Sandilands
Shaun Sandilands Co-Deputy Chairperson

Shaun is a Media, Marketing, Promotions and Events professional currently working as an Executive Producer in Breakfast Radio with the Australian Radio Network in Adelaide.

Although currently based in Adelaide Shaun is and always will be a Queenslander.

Major events are like second nature to Shaun as he has been involved in some of Queensland's largest events including Paniyiri Greek Festival, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and of course Ekka. Shaun has been involved with the RNA for many years specialising in the Youth in Agriculture section located within the Agricultural Hall.

A move into the Future Directions Committee was inevitable for Shaun, as he's a bit of an Ekka junkie and has only missed one Ekka in recent years due to an overseas wedding. Shaun has been involved with the Ekka as an exhibitor, performer, volunteer, competitor, steward, judge and now as an Honorary Council Steward.

When not working on RNA projects, Shaun can be found working with Scout Movement as Business Manager for Brisbane Gang Show as well as Camp Chief for Agoonoree Special Needs Camp.

Shaun joined the Future Directions Committee in 2016 and is very excited to be working on so many great projects with the RNA.

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Jessica Morel
Jessica Morel Co-Deputy Chairperson

Jessica started her life on a Dairy Farm at Bunya. Still living in Bunya Jess is a Classroom Music Teacher and Program Co-ordinator at a primary school on the Northside of Brisbane.

Born at Ekka time Jess has a special love for Ekka, one she hopes to pass onto her two daughters. Her family's involvement in the RNA and the Ekka is what led her to the Future Directions Committee.

Jess believes strongly in the roll the RNA plays in educating people about Agriculture and Farming.

Jessica likes to think that her involvement in the committee will help ensure the Royal Queensland Show transitions into the future while maintaining all the agricultural and historical elements that make it the Ekka Brisbane knows and loves.

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Jordan McDowall
Jordan McDowall

Jordan joined the Future Directions Committee in 2016, as a result of her involvement as a competitor, exhibiting horses at the Ekka.

From Mackay in Central Queensland, she has a degree in Sports Management and is completing a double degree in Law and Accounting while also working in a local accounting practice.

Jordan has travelled extensively and worked for a London based organisation, that runs large events, in Europe in 2015.

Jordan is a committee member of Mackay Show Association, Vice President of Mackay Regional Equestrian Group and a delegate for the Show Horse Council of Australasia.

Jordan is particularly interested in the future sustainability of the RNA and its facilities, through focusing on the financial viability and development of the grounds into a multi-purpose and highly useable venue for the benefit of the RNA and wider community.

While long-term viability is important, it is equally important to Jordan that the Ekka retains its traditions and history for future generations.

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Carla Roberts
Carla Roberts

Carla grew up in western Queensland on her family's property 'Victoria Downs', a merino stud which has been in her family since 1906.

She attended her first State Sheep Show when she was six weeks old and was involved with showing her family's stud sheep from a young age.

She has assisted the Queensland Merino Stud Sheepbreeders Association with the delivery of a number of State Sheep Shows and was the Queensland representative at the inaugural Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association leadership course.

Carla has extensive experience in event and project management and currently works as a Protocol Officer at The University of Queensland.

While she no longer lives out west, Carla maintains a passion for the bush and views the Ekka as an event that brings a taste of her upbringing to the city for the people of Queensland to enjoy.

Given her family's involvement, Carla recognises the importance of the agricultural industry and the role the Ekka plays in educating the wider community about this valuable industry and hopes her position on the FDC Committee will allow her to contribute in a greater way to the ongoing success of Queensland's largest event.

Carla has been a life member of the RNA for nearly 20 years, a steward at the Ekka for over 10 years and her family continues to compete at the Ekka in the wool section and provides rams for display purposes in the Animal Nursery and Stock Pavilion.

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Lauren Roellgen
Lauren Roellgen

Lauren grew up on the Darling Downs, on her family's cotton and grain farm, "Tyunga".

She is part of the first generation in her family to have been raised in Australia; her parents having immigrated from Germany in the early 1990s to build their farming enterprise.

She competed in local shows in dressage, show horse and show jumping events throughout her school years and grew an appreciation for the role local shows played in bringing rural communities together.

In 2013 Lauren moved to Brisbane to study and upon graduating, worked in the PwC Deals practice, focusing on work for clients in the agricultural sector. She is now Melbourne-based, however still working in agribusiness, and is committed to staying connected to her home state. Lauren is also a Treasurer of the Future Farmers Network and previously served as President of YARN in Brisbane.

Lauren is keen to showcase the contribution and possibilities presented by agriculture, both in town and on the land, through the Ekka. She hopes her work as part of the FDC will see the Ekka bring a taste of the country to the city each year for many generations to come.

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Betsy Rutledge
Betsy Rutledge

Betsy is a lawyer in Clayton Utz's Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team and a member of the Agribusiness and Food Industry Group.

Her passion for all things agribusiness stems from being the fourth generation of her family's sheep and cattle company "Moble" in South West Queensland. Born in Quilpie, Betsy had the fortune to grow up on and partake in the family property, which undoubtedly shaped her perspective of primary production industries and their importance in Australia.

While she is interested in all aspects of agriculture, Betsy is particularly passionate about wool and its proud history in Australia. She looks forward to helping educate Ekka attendees on the significant role wool played and continues to play throughout Australia, as well as the ongoing innovation in the area.

Having not missed an Ekka for as long as she can remember, Betsy is excited to be an active participant of the Committee and to spread her passion for the Ekka with old friends and new ones.

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Andrew Sinnamon
Andrew Sinnamon

Andrew is currently National Sales Manager for Bordin Bros, and a strong believer in agricultural advocacy where he has served as AgForce SEQ Regional manager until March 2023.

He has a long history in the Australian agricultural industry; from growing up on his family’s farms at Toogoolawah and Taroom, and after the sale of that business at Yulgilbar Station. On top of Andrew’s work at AgForce, he in partnership with his parents, own and operate a Santa Gertrudis stud in northern NSW.

Andrew has had a long passion for Australian agriculture and upon completing his studies at Marcus Oldham College has been a professional Sales Representative, Agribusiness Analyst and now works in Agri-politics.

These roles have seen him manage sales in animal heath, husbandry and production; across the Northern Territory, northern Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, until taking on role at AgForce in January 2020.

The Sinnamon family have a long history with the RNA, they have been exhibitors in the beef section for three generations.

Andrew has also volunteered as a steward in the beef section for the past eight years.

Each year at Ekka it is amazing to see how city and country unite to showcase the incredible products the industry produces, and Andrew is passionate about being able to work towards bringing this great event together.

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Emma Anstey-Codd
Emma Anstey-Codd

Emma was born in Brisbane and has attended the Ekka for as long as she can remember. It was where she was given her first pony ride, beginning a life-long love of horses. A country girl at heart, she spent much of her childhood at Esk, Beaudesert, and Tenterfield, where her grandparents farmed beef cattle.

Emma works as a professional singer, actor, and show announcer, traveling the country to perform and announce at Agricultural Shows and hack events. She is a lead performer at The Australian Outback Spectacular, playing the role of “Sarah” in the current production, Heartland. Emma also performs regularly with Australia’s premier touring equine entertainment production, The Rooftop Express Show, at events including EkkaNITES, Equitana Melbourne, and their sold-out Night of the Horse arena productions.

Emma graduated with a Masters of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in 2022, and teaches voice lessons to students of all ages. She also works as an events manager for Redtie Entertainment, and lead vocalist for the Redtie Band, coordinating performances and singing at corporate events and weddings Australia-wide.

As part of the Future Directions Committee, Emma is passionate about ensuring the future of the Ekka, and is excited to bring her love of event planning, education, and entertainment, to the FDC team.

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Enjoy some of the Royal Queensland Show’s champion food and wine.  

Tickets include complimentary Ekka entry along with food and beverages. 

Proceeds from the Ekka Gala will support the RNA Foundation’s Education Bursary.

Click here to learn more

Australian Young Farmer Challenge

The Australian Young Farmer Challenge is an initiative developed by the RNA Future Directions Committee to encourage young farmers and urban dwellers of mixed sexes to participate in the Royal Queensland Show.


FDC Feature Class

The Ekka Cookery Competition features an FDC Feature Class, judged live at Show, giving Ekka goers an insight into the judging processes.

To contact the RNA Future Directions Committee
Kathleen Brock
Kathleen Brock

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