17-26 January 2020

2019 Queen and Princess of Country Music Announced

29 January 19

Rebecca Hunt, sponsored by Hunts Joinery, has tonight been crowned 2019 Queen of Country Music and Casey Skewes, sponsored by National Australia Bank, was crowned Princess at a gala dinner held at Tamworth Jockey Club tonight.

Emerie Anonical was awarded Miss Congeniality and Lauren Foley was awarded Miss Social Media.

Born and raised in Tamworth, Rebecca Hunt is the 35th Queen of Country Music.

With a love of people, she has built a successful career in retail and is currently working with Adairs. Encouraged by her manager to step out of her comfort zone and enter the Queen Quest, Rebecca has enjoyed growing her network and being seen as a positive role model for women. When not working, she is either riding horses or spending time with her large and extended family.

Ms Skewes, newly crowned Princess, is a sales assistant at Stormriders in Peel Street.

An avid horse rider, she joined the Queen Quest to gain more confidence, to give back to the community and to have the chance to share the experience with a group of empowering women. Her aunt, Rebecca Pritchard (Redfern) won the Country Music Queen Quest in 2002 and sparked her interest in getting involved. Her favourite part of the Country Music Festival would be the atmosphere that surrounds the town and how the community comes together to support and encourage young artists.

The Queen Quest judging process ran over several weeks with a number of high-profile community representatives on the panel, including Tamworth Regional Councillor Deputy Mayor Phill Betts, Mary Ryan-Garnett, Sophie O’Neill, Tim Coates and Deb Maes.
The quest is overseen by the Zonta Club of Tamworth and as Club President, Stephanie Cameron explains, it fits well with Zonta’s focus of empowering women: “Zonta members work with women to help them grow in confidence and make a difference in their community.
“The quest offers a well-rounded program with entrants participating in a range of personal and professional development opportunities including public speaking; confidence coaching; styling as well as formal media training.

As part of the major prize, the newly crowned Queen will travel to Tamworth’s sister city, Gore in New Zealand where she will represent Tamworth at the 2019 Gore Country Music Festival.

Both the Queen and Princess will be ambassadors for Tamworth and the Region throughout 2019, spending the next 12 months volunteering their time and assisting at a range of high-profile civic and community events, guest speaking engagements and corporate and festival functions.

Phil Betts, Tamworth Regional Council Deputy Mayor, said the Queen of Country Music Quest is one of the great ongoing traditions of the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth: “Entrants play an important role during festival, attending official events and supporting visitors to the town with their enquiries.

“The quest really is a fantastic opportunity for the girls to develop professionally and personally, whilst making a significant contribution to their community,” he said.