Carrie Bailey, last year's Banana Queen.
Carrie Bailey, last year's Banana Queen. Courtesy Tweed Valley Banana Festival

Banana queens wanted

IF you want to make new friends, have fun and raise money for the community, the Tweed Valley Banana Festival wants you.

Committee president Chris Chrisostomos said there are still a few places left in all the categories, including festival queen.

“We'd love to hear from girls between 18 and 25 years who are interested in being involved in our queen competition.

“They don't need to worry about a sponsor or charity, just advise us they are interested.”

Mr Chrisostomos said they want to have the girls sashed as soon as possible to give them more time for fundraising.

“The girls help local charities, make new friends and develop public speaking skills and confidence in themselves,” he said.

This was definitely the case for last year's winner of the Chaperones Personal Growth Award Carrie Bailey.

“At first I was really struggling with public speaking,” she said.

“You have to say something at every event they have but now I don't feel uncomfortable about speaking in public at all.”

The 21-year-old had so much fun she has entered again this year.

“I really enjoyed the fact that it's such a community event and that I got to help out in the community by having a charity.”

“It's not compulsory to have a charity but everyone did last year and it's a good way to give back to the community.”

Miss Bailey, an endorsed enrolled nurse at Tweed Banora Total Health Medical Centre and The Tweed Hospital, raised $2200 for the Kingscliff Coastguard.

Having just moved to the area in 2007, Miss Bailey entered the competition to meet people and learn about the Tweed Shire.

“The girls were really nice, I made a lot of new friends,” she said.

She said her favourite events were the fashion parade, ball and outings, including visiting the Scandinavian cone factory, Tropical Fruit World and an alpaca farm.

“There are judges with you throughout the whole thing but you don't know they're judges,” Miss Bailey said.

“There is also an interview, which wasn't that hard. The questions were based on our outings and the history of Murwillumbah.

“I just had to study a little but it taught me about the area which was great.”

From the sashing night to the ball is about five months but Miss Bailey said the activities are not constant and she was still able to work and study at Griffith university at Southport.

If you are interested in entering call Mr Chrisostomos 0438 322 698 or go to the website and download the application forms.

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