Erika steps up for Jaca crown quest
HAVING lived in Grafton her whole life, Erika Honnery has always loved the Jacaranda Festival, especially Jacaranda Thursday.
Now, she's taking her love of the festival to the next step by running for Jacaranda Queen.
"I nearly did it last year, but I backed out at the last minute," she said.
"But I thought, I'm getting married at the beginning of next year so if I'm going to do it, I may as well do it now.
"In the last couple of years, I've grown used to living in Grafton for the rest of my life.
"I sort of see this as a way of getting myself out there and meeting more local people."
When Ms Honnery was 13, she entered Junior Jacaranda and loved the experience.
"It was awesome, lots of fun, I got to meet new people and make new friends," she said.
"I suppose that pushed me into doing the senior one."
Ms Honnery splits her time between three jobs, one at the Clocktower Hotel, who is sponsoring her Jacaranda Queen quest, the Clarence River Jockey Club and as a disability support worker for Caringa.
"(At Caringa), I try to enable people with disabilities to live as normal every day lives as they can," she said.
"I try to teach them how to do things themselves, rather than doing it for them.
"I've always been really interested in it since I did my year 10 work experience with the support unit for our school."
Outside of work, Ms Honnery is heavily involved in theatre.
"I started out just as a chorus girl at the Criteron Theatre and progressed into bigger roles and now I'm vice president of the Pelican Playhouse," she said.
"Theatre is just awesome, live theatre is really cool. I'm very passionate about it."
If you are interested in joining Erika as a Jacaranda Queen candidate, information and entry forms are available on the Jacaranda Festival website. Entries close soon.