For almost 40 years Estelle Nix was the face of Melbourne Royal for the many judges, stewards, committees and exhibitors she assisted – and what she didn't know about the dog competition wasn't worth knowing.
Ms Nix started her lengthy career with the RASV in 1988 with a job in the pay office balancing the previous three years of the Show payroll. Writing out tax returns by hand, nothing gave her greater satisfaction than balancing within $50.
She later moved to the computer department and inputted what she described as “boxes and boxes” of animal registrations from cattle, Clydesdales and dogs, to wine and beer entries.
When the RASV took over running the dog competition, Ms Nix took on the role of Dog Coordinator for an incredible 25 years, during which time there were 5000-plus entries every year, making it the largest dog show in the Southern Hemisphere. It was a role she relished but seeking a change, she later joined the computer department as a test analyst.
“It was between doing a Johnny Farnham comeback many times, and I later decided it was time to actually retire,” Ms Nix laughed.
“I absolutely loved this part of my career and I have on occasions thought maybe I was a bit premature in retiring – only a little bit!”
The friendships and camaraderie she established with her colleagues, and some exhibitors, were treasured by Ms Nix. She stayed in touch with many of the “oldies”, as she endearingly referred to them, 40 years on.
“I don’t think any of the earlier staff would say Show time was easy, it most certainly was not,” Ms Nix reflected.
“But there was always a certain hype that went through the staff, knowing that you have done the best job to your ability and that always gave you a sensation of huge satisfaction after every Show.
“I can honestly say that my 35-years plus at the RASV was the most enjoyable of my career.”