Jacaranda Queen Candidates
Jacaranda Queen 2021
Our 2021 Jacaranda Queen, Hanna Craig loves the Clarence Valley community. Sponsored by BCU, Hanna said; "I entered the quest to explore and connect with more areas of our town and to allow myself to grow and pursue things I never imagined I would be doing.”
Hanna is already an enthusiastic volunteer and supporter of the New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Inc.
“Their innovative and out-of-the-box thinking inspires me and has been one of the many reasons I choose to volunteer my time at their events,” she says.
Hanna encourages everyone to come and experience all aspects of the Festival. “I love that our community welcomes everyone to come along and celebrate our candidates, our beautiful trees and most importantly our local businesses.”
Jacaranda Princess 2021
Summerland Credit Union
Jacranda Princess, Breeze Paine is proudly sponsored by Summerland Credit Union, and saw being a Jacaranda Queen cadidate as a great way to be more involved in the community. As a nurse, Breeze is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing. Through her candidacy, Breeze promoted open and honest conversations about typically taboo topics such as miscarriage, infertility, mental health and death and dying.
“I want to encourage people, particularly our future leaders, to promote healthy and open conversation around these topics, to negate a lot of the common misconceptions associated with them” she said.
Breeze works at Grafton Base Hospital where she is undertaking further education in the field of Acute Care. She has utlised the interpersonal and public speaking skills developed through her candidacy to advocate for quality health care services in regional and remote Australia.
Queen Candidate 2021
Rotary Club of Grafton Midday
Jess Munro is a proud Gamilaraay woman. She is thrilled to be sponsored by The Rotary Club of Grafton Midday. Jess, who works as a support worker for people with disability, says “I have always wanted a job that I enjoy going to everyday and I have found one!” Through her candidacy Jess encouraged inclusivity.
“I want to motivate all Indigenous and ethnically diverse groups in the Clarence Valley to encourage one another to participate in this festival, get amongst the community and show how culturally diverse our town is,” Jess said.
Jess aims to make connections with community and engage in meaningful conversations.
“I want to ask insightful questions when speaking with others, to not only understand their way of thinking, but to get them to think in a new way that helps them grow,” Jess said.
Ella Bethany Gilbert
Queen Candidate 2021
Ella Gilbert is proudly sponsored by BrewHouse Café. Her drive to promote equal opportunity motivated her to participate in the Jacaranda Queen Quest. She is passionate about equality, saying “no matter your gender, age, nationality or sexuality, everyone should be able to have equal access to work and education.” Ella also hoped that through her candidacy she would gain more confidence in herself and be able to actively engage with the Clarence Valley community.
“This journey is about gaining confidence within myself, showing the community (and myself) the best me,” Ella said.
Ella is a second-year nursing student and cannot wait to graduate and commence work as a registered nurse.
Ella Rose Sear
Queen Candidate 2021
Ella Rose Sear is proudly sponsored by Toast Espresso. She hoped her involvement in the Jacaranda Queen Quest would encourage others to be involved.
“I think that by entering the Jacaranda Festival I can show that anyone and everyone can be part of Jacaranda Festival family. I’m all for individuality and embracing who you are, and I hope that by entering I can inspire other young women in the community to become involved with our amazing festival.”
Ella is passionate about helping the young people of the Clarence Valley, particularly with mental health issues. She says, “All I really want is to bring people together and put smiles on people’s faces.” She also loves how the Jacaranda Festival brings everyone together, not only from the Clarence Valley community but from all over Australia and around the world. "It’s a great opportunity to learn about other people, their cultures and their experiences.”
Natalie Van der Klei
Queen Candidate 2021
Natalie Van Der Klei is proudly sponsored by her employer CRANES Community Support Programs. Natalie is a passionate advocate for mental health and disability and hoped to further her advocacy in this area through Jacaranda Queen Candidacy.
"As a person with multiple disabilities and a chronic illness warrior, I am extremely passionate about medical and health care accessibility in regional areas such as the Clarence Valley,” Natalie said.
Natalie also has a love of music having trained and performed as a vocalist. In the future Natalie hopes to employ her musical background to promote positive mental health outcomes.
She says “I would love to utilise my experience and education to mesh music and mental health to promote awareness and improved health for members of our community.”
Natalie is looking forward to the opportunities, experiences and friendships that being a Jacaranda Queen Candidate has brought.
Matron of Honour Elect
South Grafton Bowling Sports and Recreation Club
Enid McKew was proudly nominated as the 2021 Matron of Honour Elect by her fellow members of the South Grafton Bowling Sports and Recreation Club, where she has been an active member for twenty years.
Speaking on her nomination Enid said, “I consider it to be a great honour to have been selected as Matron of Honour Elect for this 2021 Jacaranda Festival. I enjoyed getting to know the candidates and being part of their amazing Jacaranda journeys which I believe they will always treasure. Having been part of the sub-committee for the Junior Jacaranda Queen candidates for seven years it has been a wonderful experience to be involved with the Jacaranda Festival."
The crown is the symbol of the Jacaranda Festival, the highest honour the festival can bestow on a young woman of this city.