Junior Jacaranda Queen Party
2021 Junior Queen's Party
Ashley Albert Performing Arts
Lilly has lived in Grafton with her family her whole life. “It’s my home.”
She loves that it isn’t too far from some beautiful beaches, has some of the best community and sporting activities around and that she can catch the school bus to town.
“But my favourite thing about living here is the kindness, support and friendships we show each other in the community.”
Lilly said she doesn’t get much spare time with three sisters and playing a lot of sport but when she does it’s bike riding and dancing and helping little kids at soccer. “I also like going on adventures with my family and friends. Family time is always my favourite especially with my mum. We have so many laughs that sometimes we cry.”
Lilly had always wanted to be a Jacaranda candidate since she was little.
“I hope that by running I can inspire others to try something new. I want to learn more about my community and also hope to make some life long friends and create some amazing memories. Just have the best time in the world.”
While it’s hard to choose one favourite Jacaranda event, crowning night is hard to beat.
“I love watching the dancing and the candidates walking the purple carpet. The floats also come to mind, I love being a part of it, whether it was to dance on a float for Ashley Albert or walk the streets handing out presents to everyone for netball.
“And Jaca Thursday too because my friends and I all wear matching skirts, take our yearly group photo and have the best day ever, it’s a tradition that I hope lasts forever.”
Lilly said if she was fortunate enough to win the title it would be very special for her.
“Because I stepped out of my comfort zone, tried my best, and was very lucky to get this far. I would be very grateful and proud.”
Coutts Crossing's Millie Lloyd loves the way the Clarence Valley celebrates its different events and how they bring the community together.
She also loves its location, its beautiful beaches, rivers and national parks.
In her spare time she likes to read, her favourite topic “fictional novels of greek mythology” and enjoys cooking, bike riding and hanging out with her friends. She is also very active, a member of several sporting organisations, including Coutts Crossing Tennis Club, McAuley Hockey, Grafton Physical Culture “and I also play basketball at the PCYC.”
Millie nominated to be more involved with the festival, form new friendships, learn new skills and realise her ambition of being a Jacaranda candidate.
“I was also inspired by my mum who was a Senior Jacaranda Candidate in 1999.”
Millie's favourite Jacaranda event is the March of Youth and had the privilege of representing her school. “I love how the school communities come together to show what Jacaranda means to them.”
The Children’s Party is also special for Millie as she was awarded the Jacaranda Party Princess in 2019.
“If I was chosen as Junior Jacaranda Queen I would be thrilled, it would be an honour to represent the youth and spirit of the Clarence Valley. It would also mean accomplishing a personal dream.”
Eliza loves a challenge. She is a corporal in the army cadets and plays a lot of sport including soccer, cricket, swimming, surfing, canoeing, abseiling and dragon boat racing. She also likes adventure, has a scuba diving license, enjoys camping and learning bush survival skills and navigation, and riding motorbikes.
Her army cadetship introduced her to the behind the scenes side of the Jacaranda Festival, which inspired her to enter as a junior candidate and champion the community. She hopes to challenge herself and enjoy the experience while being a role model to others.
Her favourite festival event is Jacaranda Thursday and she takes pride in representing the army cadets, walking around the markets with friends, and watching the colourful performances
“I love the atmosphere, lots of people enjoying themselves. It’s great to see the community come together and have fun.” If she won the title Eliza said it was be a huge honour ‘something she would remember for the rest of my life”. “It would be an awesome opportunity to be even more involved and do more volunteering in the community.”
Clarence River Dance Academy Grafton
Grafton born and bred Holly loves the Clarence River and our national parks and beaches but the thing she loves most about living in Grafton is the Jacaranda Festival.
She spends most of her spare time in the dance world — classes, exams, rehearsals, performances at eisteddfods and concerts with some drama classes thrown in to the mix. She also finds time to help teach ballet to younger students.
When she takes off her dancing shoes she puts on her running to take her Border Collie Buddy through his paces, training him in obedience and agility.
Holly’s stint as cape maid at the 2014 crowning inspired her to enter the Juniors when she was old enough. “I feel this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will help me improve my self-esteem and confidence and develop my public speaking, leadership, and social skills.”
She too is looking forward to learning more about the festival and what goes on behind the scenes while making lifelong friendships with all the candidates. Holly has good Jacaranda form. She loves the floats, her family’s truck getting the jacaranda treatment in previous years, her penchant for busking came from entering the Jacaranda competition, and for a dancer the Venetian Carnival is a rite of passage. But the event closest to her heart is crowning night.
“I’ve been every year with my family and friends, and it is pure magic. If I was chosen this year I would be so honoured and the happiest girl alive. To represent Grafton, my hometown, that I am so proud of and adore. All my dreams would have come true.”
Hair Hub and Co
Zaliah has lived in the Clarence Valley for the past 12 years and loves that the community is so friendly and comes together when in need.
“And there are so many beautiful places to explore.” Zaliah enjoys spending time hanging out with her friends, dancing, drawing, playing soccer and just being outdoors, fuelling her love for adventure in different places. She wanted to increase her community involvement and learn more about the Jacaranda Festival so she put her hand up to be a candidate.
“Watching previous candidates grow throughout their Jacaranda journey has inspired me. I would love to inspire others too. I’m also excited to make new friends, grow in confidence and have fun.”
Jacaranda Thursday holds many special family memories for Zaliah and if she took out the Junior title “it would mean the world to me.”
“I hope it will show others that you can“I hope it will show others that you can do whatever you want when you put your mind to it.”
The crown is the symbol of the Jacaranda Festival, the highest honour the festival can bestow on a young woman of this city.