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Sensory space introduced at the Queanbeyan Show

Sensory space introduced at the Queanbeyan Show

The Queanbeyan Show is back this November 12th and 13th, serving up all the dagwood dogs, show bags , fairy floss and cha-cha you can handle. 

While the classic country town show is known for its bright lights, stomach churning rides and calls of the showmen, this year the Queanbeyan show will be providing a quiet sensory sanctuary where you can escape the crowds. 


The space will be run by Carers and Parents’ Spectrum Supports Incorporated (CAPSS),  a newly-established organisation aimed at providing support to carers and parents of kids on the spectrum.

“We understand first-hand the feelings of isolation, self-doubt, and loneliness that carers and parents can feel. We aim to reduce those feelings by facilitating peer support groups, making our local community events more inclusive with sensory zones and quiet spaces”, CAPSS Co-founder Ciara McKillop says. 

Ciara says it will be the perfect place for reprieve if the hustle and bustle of the show becomes too overwhelming.

“Sometimes parents and carers of kids with sensory issues can feel quite excluded at events like this, but if they know there is a safe space for them to come and regulate and reset maybe they will consider coming along”.  

The space will provide activities for adults and children and resources available include ear muffs, sunglasses and sensory-friendly maps.


Prior to the show, CAPSS will be releasing a social story, available for download on their website as well as the QPRC library site. Social stories explain social situations and events to children through storytelling and conversation, and prepare them for what to expect in those settings. 

“Our sensory inclusive space will be set up with two quiet zones where kids or families can retreat to regroup and regulate their emotions,” Ciara says.

“They can spend some quiet time cuddling a weighted bear or taking a minute to escape all the excitement of the show. We will also have kids tables set up with Lego, play doh and colouring,” Ciara said. 

The Queanbeyan Show will of course still have its regular lineup of free and paid entertainment options including a farmyard nursery, miniature goats, horses and equestrian, poultry, wood-chopping and the coveted ‘Queanbeyan Show Young Woman’ event. 

Legendary Australian band The Choir Boys will also be performing on Saturday night. 

While the sensory space is making its debut at the Queanbeyan Show, Ciara McKillop said the CAPSS organisation is looking forward to providing the much needed service and making Queanbeyan community events more inclusive for all. 

“We dream of being present at as many local community events as possible to make these events even more inclusive for the community,” Ciara says.

“If we can help just one family enjoy the show just a little bit more. Or even if a family who usually wouldn’t even consider attending the show gives it a try, knowing they have our support and inclusive space, then it would be a success in my eyes”. 

What: Queanbeyan Show (with sensory sanctuary)

When: Saturday 12 and Sunday November 13 November 2022

Where: Queanbeyan Showground

Gates open to the public: Saturday 9am – 10pm and Sunday 9am – 2pm.
Please note: pavilions and displays have varying opening and closing times. Entry times for competitors are listed in the schedules.
Cost: Adult $15, Family (2 adults & 2 children) $40, Children (6-17 years) $8, Children under 6 Free.
Disabled parking is available through the Glebe Avenue gates.

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About the Author: Holly Winchester

Part Jennifer Coolidge, part Jennifer Garner (gaudy and geeky), Holly idolises Dolly Parton and Princess Di and loves NRL. When she's not creating killer content, you’ll find Holly at the Maccas drive thru getting her chai latte fix or buying 1990s memorabilia for the walls of her Googong home. Specialist subject: the Woolies carpark.