FOR someone who once found it hard to walk up Prince St without feeling judged and out of place, 2012 Jacaranda Queen candidate Louisa Bloomer is on a quest to raise awareness of the consequences associated with bullying.
Speaking openly with The Daily Examiner about her experiences as a victim of bullying, Louisa said nominating for the Jacaranda Queen competition has always been a personal ambition for her.
"I want to use my candidacy to help bring an end to bullying. I think people need to notice it a lot more and realise the serious impact it has on people," she said.
"At school I was bullied physically and mentally and I also experienced cyber bullying. Bullying is a really big issue; I think there is a lot we can do to stop it."
Louisa said she also entered the Jacaranda Queen contest after drawing inspiration from her friends and previous candidates Gemma Moore and Lisa Hunter.
"Nominating was something I had thought about doing for a while because I think it is a chance to meet new friends," Louisa said.
"I want to learn more about Grafton, its background and history and be a part of that history through the Jacaranda Festival."
Louisa said she regularly attended events during the Jacaranda Festival, adding she likes the Venetian Carnival best.
When asked what it would mean to her to be crowned the 2012 Jacaranda Queen, Louisa said winning the title would be a "great home town achievement" for her.
Louisa is a qualified snow sports instructor and is being sponsored in her quest by No.1 Duke St.
She also had a special message to convey to local youths who are experiencing bullying in school.
"Hold onto your dreams and be who you want to be," she said.