Wangaratta woman Jade Gibson's dream is to make a living as a country music star and she's not going to let her gender or where she grew up hold her back.
Ms Gibson is a familiar face in live music scene on the Border and North East, where she's been performing since she was 13.
But in January Ms Gibson will be playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, after being named a top 10 finalist in the Toyota Star Maker awards.
"It's an incredible opportunity," the 23 year old said.
"There's only one winner, but you're all winners, because it can open incredible doors for musicians, like to be signed, getting on massive festivals and becoming a household name regardless of whether you win or not.
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"If you do win you'd be up with the likes of Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell ... pretty much everyone you think of when you think of Australian country music has either been in that competition or won it, so it's a pretty big deal."
Ms Gibson, who was raised in Wangaratta, said it was a harder coming from Victoria, because the state was "not as massive on country music."
"I'm the only Victorian in the competition, so I'm kind of representing my state in a way," she said.
"I really want to represent our area for country music and just put someone on the map to show people that you can make your dreams come true.
"I don't think we've had a big Victorian winner recently and a female too."
Ms Gibson said it was time Australian country music had a female Keith Urban.
"I don't know why, but just the genre has always steered towards males," she said.
"Obviously people like what they have to say, I do think though that there is a massive gap.
"They used to have some really big women, there was Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, but in recent years there hasn't been anyone dominating the mainstream charts.
"Amy Shark just did a song with Keith Urban and I think females are on the rise, we just need someone who's strong and who's willing to put in all the hard yards.
"I've got what it takes, I've done lots of BNS balls and stood up there next to male bands and held my own, so I think I can do that for the Australian industry and I'm ready to do it if they give me the opportunity."
The Tamworth Country Music Festival starts on January 14 and the Star Maker competition starts on the 16th.
Ms Gibson said she was ready to give her all during her performance.
"I'd really love to win," she said.
"I would just love to be a household name in the Australian music industry, I'd love to be able to do albums and just share my music with Australia and just play all around the country.
"Because that's the dream isn't it, to just be able to do the thing you love."
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