Tamworth Country Music Festival Logo

Australia's Largest Music Festival. 10 days. 700 Artists. 2800+ Events

19-28 January 2018

2017 Queen of Country Music Entrants

Cassandra Lea Cutmore

Sponsored by Tamworth Family Support Service

Why I decided to do the quest:
For many reasons!! My role as a case worker sees me out and about in the community. Due to this, networking is important for me. Queue reason one. I also wanted to put my face out into the community to encourage the work that I do & the advocate for the support that can be provided for those in need. I also wanted to show my clientele that anyone can become someone, & do this for them. The other reason is a childhood dream. The dream you have after attending every country music festival since being born, & the one that your grandfather would be most proud of. I also want to be able to show my son of an amazing experience I had in representing our city!


Personal & professional background:
I have a 2 year old son, Izaac, and a long-time partner, Kane.
I grew up in Tamworth with my family. In 2007 I moved to Goulburn, & relocated back to Tamworth in 2013. Can’t stay away from the one place you can always call home!
I am rather sporty, my favourite is football (soccer). I currently am the secretary of, & play for Kootingal & District Football Club. I also love the outdoors, kayaking, fishing, wakeboarding. You name it, & I am in!
I currently work for Tamworth Family Support Service, as a Homelessness Case Manager. I have been here since May 2015. My role includes Housing Support for, men, women and their children whom are homeless, or have their tenancy at risk. This includes individuals being released from custody, mental health facility, & mostly, women whom at experiencing & escaping domestic violence.


Claire Turnor

Sponsored by Tamworth Regional Council 


Why I decided to do the quest?
I am fairly new to the Tamworth Region having moved here at the end of January 2016 so I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some likeminded young women in Tamworth as well as learn more about the Tamworth Region.  I have also never been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival before so this will be a great opportunity to experience all the festival has to offer


Personal and Professional Background:

  • Born in Wodonga Victoria (April 1991)
  • Located 3.5 hour drive north of Melbourne, population of around 20,000
  • Moved in 1994 to the South East Coast Victoria where I grew up in Bairnsdale
  • Located a 3.5 hour drive south east of Melbourne, population of around 13,000
  • Travelled to Italy on a school educational tour, September 2007
  • Moved to Hobart Tasmania for University (January 2010)
  • Studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with Honours at The University  of Tasmania in Hobart
  • Travelled to Asia (Thailand and Vietnam) for 3.5 weeks, January 2013
  • Travelled to Europe for 8 weeks, August 2016 – October 2016
  • Moved to Benalla in North Eastern Victoria (October 2015)
  • Located 2 hour drive north of Melbourne, population of around 9,000
  • Moved to Tamworth (January 2016)

I am currently working as a Project Engineer in the Road Infrastructure department at Tamworth Regional Council.

  • Various part time jobs including:  Sports coach, toy store, office assistant, work for the Victorian and Australian electoral commissions, book store and a hardware store
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with Honours
  • Student Construction Engineer –Whelan’s Earth Moving Bairnsdale (November 2011 –February 2012)
  • Student Engineer –Clarence City Council Tasmania (November 2014- March 2015)
  • Student/Graduate Engineer- Sugden & Gee Pty Ltd  Hobart (March 2015-August 2015)
  • Graduate Traffic Engineer – VicRoads Benalla (October 2015-Janurary 2016)
  • Project Engineer –Tamworth Regional Council (February 2016- Current)


Erin Whitten

Sponsored by LJ Hooker Tamworth

Why I decided to do the quest?
My motivation for join the quest is simple. It has been something that I have always wanted to do, it has been my dream for as long as I can remember, to me it is like a rite of passage. To be able to see the Festival from a different viewpoint, to have the privilege of saying I was a part of the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival and I was able to help make it a wonderful experience for visiting guest and locals is something to be exceptionally proud of.


Personal & Professional Background:
I am a local to Tamworth region. Growing up in Nundle, I am country girl and I have the belief that hard work and dedication is the key to achieve my goals. This is something that both my husband and I instill into our two beautiful children aged 4 and 6.
Growing up I actively participated in the local horse riding community, riding and competing for Nundle pony club between the ages of 5-12 years. We then moved across to Quirindi Pony club where I eventually became an instructor myself and was able to give back to the club by helping to teach the next generation of riders.
It was after I became an instructor I truly understood just how important community was.  It was here that I learnt that the reward for doing something is in the task itself. It’s the countless people within our community that keep it moving forward and I have always been extremely grateful to be a part of it.
I worked in the Kitchen and Interior design industry in Tamworth for 7 years, before pursuing my love of Real Estate. I have been a part of the LJ Hooker Tamworth sales team for two and a half years, it is such a rewarding job, to be be the first ports of call when people are moving to the Tamworth Region helping them to find their new Home! It is more than just about houses. We are often asked for advice on schools, doctors, shopping, and where are the best places to visit, we then get to see them down the street over the years and watch them become locals. Something that you just don’t get in larger cities.



Lucinda Hubbard 

Sponsored by Furneys Stockfeeds 


Why I decided to do the quest?
Joined the Quest not only to meet a group of amazing  young women and make friends but to promote the amazing city we live and work in.


Personal/Professional Background:
Moved to Tamworth From the Warrumbungles Mountains.

Studied a diploma in horse business management in Melbourne and landing a job at Furneys Stockfeeds as the branch manager.  While not at Furneys Lucinda is also passionate about her other job as a executive office in the Australian Air Force Cadets at the 310SQN Tamworth. During her free time Lucinda like to spends it with her fiance Mark and many horses/ animals out on the farm


Madison Robinson 
Sponsored by Transport Network Australia

Why I decided to do the quest?

I entered the Quest to broaden my horizons and develop new skills that will help me in both my personal and professional life. Also I have always been a big fan of the Tamworth Country Music Festival and saw this as an opportunity to play a more involved role in not only the festival but our wider community and region as well.


Personal and professional back ground:
Originally I grew up on a small farm in Scone NSW and moved here to Tamworth at the age of 10. In my teenage years I was a competitive swimmer and triathlete while attending Oxley High School. However, I have always been a true country girl at heart and my main love has always been horses.
Professionally I have spent time working as a jillaroo/ringer in the Northern Territory on a large cattle station 400km south of Katherine NT, this has been one of the major highlights of my life to date and has taught me many valuable life skills and lessons.
Since returning from the Territory I have taken up an operations role at Transport Network Australia, a locally owned and run business offering transport solutions right across country. I have also completed my Certificate III in Business Administration with the support of TNA. I am very fortunate to work in an incredibly supportive work environment with fantastic staff who have become like a second family.



Mandy Woodbury 
Sponsored by Regional Australia Bank

Why I decided to do the quest?
In 2013 I entered into the queen quest. Back then I was a little shy and had complete stage fright. Prior to working for Regional Australia Bank I had a couple of part time jobs, however I had no real direction or career path. In 2014 I completed my 2 year traineeship at Regional Australia Bank. I was then nominated as  a finalist for indigenous and Torres Strait islanders traineeship of the year award.  I was then offered to do my certificate IV in financial Services. I was given a year to do so. I completed that in 3 months. I’ve also completed the Young business mentoring program and now having the chance to be in the queen quest for 2017. I worked at Regional Australia Bank just under the 5 years now, I’ve been mentored by some really great and inspiring people that have made me into the person I am today. Confident, motivated and ready to tackle the world. So the reason why I entered into the Queen of country music. Is to really encourage other young indigenous women to take a chance, get out there and hold your head up high. Show people just what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.


Personal and professional background: 
I love travelling. My first adventure was at the age of 15 and I went to Cambodia and with team of young individuals we helped build a farming wall at an orphanage. I have since furthered my travelling experiences, visiting countries such as the UK, Tanzania, Vietnam Hawaii, Europe and so much more. I really enjoy getting into the depth of the culture and experiencing the daily routine of the locals. Also I’m quite a bit of a gym junkie. I’m two years into my healthy eating and weight loss journey and have lost a total of 25 kilos.  


Mim Player

Sponsored by Bodyguard Window Tinting


Why I decided to do the quest?

  • To build my confidence
  • To meet others
  • Make friends
  • And to serve and be involved in my community

Personal and professional background:

  • I grew up in tamworth went to school here
  • After school, I studied in Sydney then  I came back here and have mainly worked worked in Childcare
  • I now have 2 Children 4yr & 18m
  • And I have started my own business with Scentsy


Ruby Thompson 

Sponsored by Leading Edge Tamworth


Why I decided to do the quest?
When I lived in Sydney, I would always come up and camp out during the festival. I used to see the Queen Quest contestants getting around in their uniform and sash and I always thought they were so glamorous and cool! So, being able to be an entrant this year is like a dream come true! The real motivation for me derives in how much I love that being apart of the quest makes me feel really engrained in Tamworth's community. I also couldn't pass up the opportunity to make new friends, with the friendships I've made with the other girls in the quest proving to be invaluable.


Personal and Professional background:

I was born and raised in Newtown. After graduating from a Bachelor of Economics, I moved to Tamworth, where I've happily been a self-proclaimed local for just over a year now. I recently began working at Leading Edge in Tamworth. The team is awesome and I'm really enjoying the challenge of taking on a new role. In my spare time I love pottering around in my garden and baking. I never say no to a good chat or a cup of tea.



Sarah Norris

Sponsored by Albert Hotel


Why I decided to do the quest?
I would really like to promote Tamworth as much more than just the Country music capital of Australia. It's a regional hub where we have a thriving business community. Also like to promote the queen quest itself. Have talked to a number of people outside the Tamworth region recently and it is surprising how many of them are unaware that we have a queen quest nor what it stands for.


Personal and professional background: 
Originally from Somerton, NSW. 30 minutes west of Tamworth where I grew up with my parents and brother on our family property. Attended school locally in Tamworth and also whilst in high school at Calrossy Anglican School, completed a Cert 3 in Children services. Had a gap year nannying in western NSW with a range of families. Moved to Newcastle for a year to undertake a bachelor of Education (early Childhood and Primary) but in 2015 transferred to UNE so I could be closer to home. I started working at the Albert hotel at the end of 2014 and have worked when available there for the following two years. This year I will be talking with patrons and getting to know all the people who converge on Tamworth for the 10 days of the festival


Sarah Weatherley 

Sponsored by Ruralco Property Davidson Cameron Real Estate


Why I decided to do the quest?
I always had an interest in the festival as a child growing up and thought what better way to start 2017 by getting out and promoting the festival and being able to meet some amazing friends along the way.


Personal and professional Background:
I work at Ruralco Property Davidson Cameron Real Estate in a sales support role which I absolutely love, it's such a supportive workplace. I like to keep active whether it be attending personal training sessions at Pink Battalion Fitness or just walking my pooches and cooking for my family and friends. I also love to travel and experience different cultures and ways of life. It has been such an amazing experience so far being able to participate in personal training and meeting all the other queen entrants and I cannot wait for the festival to start.


Tara Grant

Sponsored by RJN Transport 


Why I decided to do the quest?

I decided to join the Quest this year as I believe it is a chance for local women to be represented positively. I enjoy being involved with community events; especially the Country Music Festival and I think this is a wonderful and different way to experience it all.  I am proud of how our city gets involved in the Festival and the ways in which we welcome new visitors. I am excited to begin our Queen of Country Music Quest for 2017! The opportunities that have

been brought about by Zonta and the sponsors mean that we will get to experience the Quest in a whole new way. The skills that we have learned will not only benefit us throughout the Festival, but will be applied in our personal and professional lives as well.

Personal and Professional Background:

I grew up in Tamworth so I have never missed a Festival. I have enjoyed seeing how much it has grown and I love the positive vibe that it brings to the city – everyone is out to have a great time. The Festival gives Tamworth a fun and interesting reputation and I really enjoy hearing about how people enjoy and experience the Festival in different ways. Currently employed as a Primary Teacher at Walhallow Public School – a small remote school near Caroona with a 100% Aboriginal population.



Taylor Fletcher 

Sponsored by Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

Why I decided to do the quest?

To be an ambassador for the Tamworth region during the festival and to meet new people. I also thought it would be a great way to experience the festival as there is so much to see and do!

Personal and professional background:
I am a Tamworth “boomerang” – after finishing school in 2007 I moved away to the hustle and bustle of Sydney where I completed a Bachelor of Media in Communications & Journalism, working in a variety of roles in journalism and marketing. I moved back to Tamworth in 2015 with my now husband to enjoy the clean country air and reap the benefits of what Tamworth has to offer for young professionals. I am an active member of the Rotary Club of Tamworth Sunrise and enjoy socialising, travelling, running with my Chocolate Lab and food and wine (to cancel out the running!)



Zoe Cooper

Sponsored by Telstra Store Tamworth


Why did I decide to do the quest?

I really wanted to meet more young liked minded woman in our community and experience the festival and Tamworth in a different light.


Personal and professional background:

I grew up in Kootingal and completed my HSC at Tamworth High School in 2011. I have been employed by the Telstra Store in Tamworth for 4 years and have been in many different positions within the company developing as it has grown