At Barossa’s Vintage Festival Ball on Saturday evening at Seppeltsfield Wines, Seppeltsfield resident, Ms Abbey Underwood was thrilled to be crowned the winner of the 2021 Barossa Young Ambassador programme.
Ms Underwood told The Leader she was not expecting to win.
“I was so shocked,” she added.
“I cried as soon as my name was called out.
“It’s also special because my dad was actually in the Young Ambassador programme in 2001.”
Over nine months, the 11 participants were involved in various training and networking activities, created their own unique projects and were involved in key planning and promotional activities throughout the Barossa Vintage Festival.
As part of her individual project, Ms Underwood researched the question, ‘What is an inclusive and accessible playground and how will it benefit Barossa tourism?’
“I am so passionate about it, so it was great to get some exposure on the topic,” Ms Underwood said.
As the winner, Ms Underwood received a $2,500 RAA travel voucher and a wine decanter engraved with her name.
Other winners included Ms Rebekah Rosenzweig and Ms Georgia Carter.
Ms Rosenzweig was winner of the Young Ambassador Excellence Award and as part of her prize she received the ultimate Barossa adventure.
Her prize included two nights’ accommodation at The Louise with dinner for two at Appellation, a tasting experience at Rockford Wines and Seppeltsfield Distillers, a Barossa Helicopter flight and a Barossa Custom Trike Tour.
Winner of the Young Ambassador Project prize, Ms Carter received a $250 RAA travel voucher.
Barossa Vintage Festival Director, Ms Jenny O’Brien acknowledged the strength of the participants in this year’s programme and recognised Abbey as a worthy winner of the 2021 award.
“This year’s Young Ambassador group have been outstanding in many ways,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Their leadership, drive, enthusiasm, and support for each other has been incredible to watch,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Abbey’s drive, positive and professional manner, integrity, thoughtful personality and love of her community are attributes that encompass what a Young Ambassador of the Barossa is, and all it stands for.”
Young Ambassador winner, Ms Underwood spoke with The Leader about the exciting journey.
“The greatest gift I was given through the programme was being able to present my passion project,” she added.
“I enjoyed speaking with families of children who have disabilities in the Barossa.
“We visited playgrounds to help visualise their struggles and what they face.
“It was great to get my passion of disability inclusion into the community and speak with influential people.”
With the programme tailored to showcase the rich Barossa history, wine, food and culture, all Ambassadors were able to immerse themselves into various festival events.
“It’s hard to pick a favourite, but the amount of work that was put into the Ziegenmarkt was terrific,” Ms Underwood added.
Looking to the future, Ms Underwood said she is excited to have been invited to present her winning project to The Barossa Council and is hoping to use her travel voucher to enjoy Australia’s beautiful beaches.