A short induction and orientation was provided in the lead up week and the quest ran throughout the festival.
For the first time ever the Queen Quest included a 11 month development program commencing in October 2017 and will run through until August 2018. The development program consists of:
- October to December: Development and preparation
- January: The Queen of Country Music Quest
- February to August: Queen Quest alumni, including a Certificate IV in Business, and other community activities
The development and preparation stage will run over numerous short evening workshops including dinner etiquette, personal grooming, make-up and hair presentation, dress attire and media training. Entrants will also have the opportunity to participate in a five week introductory public speaking and leadership course delivered by The Tamworth Communicators.
The Tamworth members of Zonta have a dedicated committee to support the Queen and Princess throughout the year to coordinate their attendance at a range of civic and community events, guest speaking engagements, social and cultural presentations, and corporate and festival event.
Alexandra Kellahan - Queen of Country Music Quest
Alexandra is a Tamworth local and has a genuine love for the Tamworth Region. She joined the Queen of Country Music to become more actively involved within the community. The chance to meet other local young women, develop her skills and expand on her knowledge of the Tamworth Region are the main reasons for her joining the Quest.
She lists her favourite part of the Festival as the Toyota Star Maker competition as it’s a chance to chase your dreams and pursue something you are passionate about. Alexandra says “giving people opportunities to chase their dreams and develop themselves is so amazing that is what I love so much about the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Originally from Muswellbrook, Ashley moved to Tamworth from Cairns in September 2016 to be closer to family. In joining the Quest, Ashley is looking forward to the amazing opportunity to meet new people in the community, make new friends, develop new skills and gain new knowledge through the ten week program.
Throughout the Country Music Festival, Ashley loves the atmosphere that surrounds the town and how the community comes together to support and encourage young artists. “Walking down Peel Street, you can’t help but smile because everyone is so happy” says Ashley of the atmosphere through the Festival.
A Tamworth local, Brittany attended McCarthy Catholic College where she was a member of the Student Representative Council for a number of years. Since completing her HSC, she jumped at the opportunity to completed a two year traineeship with Tamworth Regional Council and upon completion, gained full time employment.
Travel and the equine industry are both favourite pastimes of Brittany. Her family are all campdrafters and she herself has taken up polocrosse within the last two years. In 2016, Brittany travelled to South Africa and has most recently returned from a trip to Dubai, New York City and Italy.
She says the Quest provides her a opportunity to get up close and personal with the festival - “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful City on a whole new level for visitors”. She is looking forward to meeting professional and like-minded young women and to broaden her skills in public speaking and networking.
Cheyanne, or Chey, has spent her life in Tamworth and worked in retail for the past 12 years, a job which she says helps satisfy her love of interaction with a range of people each and everyday.
She is studying a diploma in Community Services and has a goal to become a case worker for children upon completion. While she isn’t studying and working, Cheyanne is a mother, volunteer and says joining the quest will allow her to see the festival from a different point of view. “I jumped at the opportunity to join the Quest for 2018 as I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and be a positive role model for the Quest, Festival and the Tamworth Region.”
Eedi is ‘born and bred’ in Tamworth and is currently working as a Disability Support Worker – a job she loves as she can help people with their everyday needs and make their days easier. Ultimately, Eedi aims to become a nurse in the children’s oncology ward.
Outside of work, she likes to go fishing with her Dad, reading, cooking, drawing and travelling. She has previously travelled to Mongolia, Great Britain and is currently planning a trip to Europe for 3 months. In 2016, Eedi was named as Miss Face of Beauty Australia and through that experience, she made lifelong friends.
At only 21 years old, Eliza decided to join the quest as she loves to meet new people and be out in the community. She credits a highlight of the Country Music Festival as the music, sharing the experience with friends and watching the fireworks. “It’s the best way to spend the days with your family” she says of the ten day event.
Eliza works at Connexions Café and in her personal time, she enjoys ballet and tap dancing as well as playing netball and horse riding.
Hailing from Wee Waa and the youngest of 3 siblings, Jade moved to Tamworth at the age of 5 with her family. She attended Oxley Vale Public and Tamworth Public Schools for her juniors years and Tamworth High.
In her spare time, Jade enjoys fishing and kayaking as well as playing netball. She attends Challenge Connexions four days per week and during her visits secured a part-time job that provides her with the opportunity to meet new friends and members of the community.
Having a learning disability herself, Jade says her goal for the Quest is to show other people that you can still lead a normal life without being stereotyped as a person with a disability.
Jessica has called Tamworth home for most of her 24 years. She is supported by House With No Steps and has an NDIS Plan which supports her to attend day programs with Challenge and HWNS. Through these programs and also having completed a Certificate II in Hospitality, Jessica has learnt developed her community engagement skills and aims to gain employment in the hospitality industry.
For Jessica, the Quest is an opportunity and learning curve to meet new people, gain lifeline friends and also build her confidence. She is looking forward to experiencing the music of the Country Music Festival and meeting new people.
Jessica lives in Tamworth and has joined the quest to give back to Tamworth, meet new people and experience the country music festival in a new light. She is supported by Kirinari and whilst not working, enjoys country music, movies and video games.
Julie is a Water Engineer at Tamworth Regional Council and assists with the planning and delivery of water and wastewater infrastructure projects. She moved to Tamworth in 2016 and after having worked in fly-in, fly-out roles for a number of years prior, she is excited to be settled in the Region and leave her city life behind.
The new perspective of the Tamworth Country Music Festival is one reason Julie joined the quest, as well as giving back to a community that has been so welcoming for her. She says “the Queen Quest is an opportunity to promote the best the region has to offer. I’m excited to be involved in a program that brings together a range of likeminded, empowered young women, and look forward to continuing to get to know all the other entrants.
The vibrancy and diversity Julie saw at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival is why she says she can’t wait to be involved in this years’ extravaganza – meeting visitors to the region and helping them enjoy their festival experience.
Born in Moree and raised in Tamworth, Samantha is a proud Gomeroi woman with a strong connection to the land. She works for the Opportunity Hub at the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council and credits herself as a dynamic young leader within the Tamworth Aboriginal community.
A lover of sports, Samantha plays football and has been a part of Bendemeer’s women’s league tag competition for four years. She is studying a Diploma in Community Services and has a goal to show the community that “if you aim for the sky, you can reach the stars”.
Her decision to join the Queen Quest was to represent her home town of Tamworth and community in a positive light and to be a role model who continues to aim higher, and in doing so break down barriers for others.
Tamara originally hails from Glen Innes and moved to Tamworth two years ago to be closer to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service at which she volunteers regularly. In addition to her volunteer work, Tamara joined the Tamworth Sunrise Rotary Club and states entering the Quest was “just the icing on the cupcake”.
She values community spirit and has held various volunteer roles including a committee member for the Glen Innes Celtic Festival, and the Glen Innes Arts Council Committee, as well as being the 2016 Glen Innes Showgirl.
She states her attraction to enter the Quest was because “it is an excellent way to empower local women”. She is excited to meet visitors throughout the Festival and represent the region.