Documenting journeys from Junior Jacaranda quest
UNITED by the Junior Jacaranda Quest, the candidates of 2008 have gone on to walk very different paths in life.
One of those girls is Zaneta Officer, now a young Grafton woman who in recent years has spoken in The Daily Examiner about the effects of bullying and the loss of her unborn child.
As local businessman Jeff Smith, a firm supporter of the Junior Jacaranda quest for years, followed her story in the newspaper, it sparked an idea for a documentary - to revisit each of the girls who took part to see where life had taken them.
"What's happened over the years is we've seen 12-13-year-old kids grow up and stuff happens in their lives; some good, some not so good," Mr Smith said.
"Those years between 13 and 21 there's is a lot of growing up - it's about young women growing up in a regional town and the challenges they have faced, in jobs, relationships and family.
"We all have stuff thrown at us, so how do we cope with that."
Filming on the Jaca Girls doucmentary started in Grafton on Saturday, and Mr Smith said all 12 girls who participated in the 2008 quest agreed to be interviewed.
"What a contrasting group of women," he said.
"We're also exploring what attracted such a diverse group of characters to a common quest back in 2008."
To provide further contrast, the film will follow the journey of the five current Junior Jacaranda Queen candidates all the way to the crowning.
The documentary is expected to be launched next year, in line with the 20th year of the junior quest.
For more information, go to the Jaca Girls Facebook page.