LOVELY TRADITION: 2014 Junior Jacaranda Queen Maeve Grant.
LOVELY TRADITION: 2014 Junior Jacaranda Queen Maeve Grant. Adam Hourigan

Don’t miss out on Jacaranda fun, says our Junior Queen

REIGNING Junior Jacaranda Queen Maeve Grant has had her photo taken more often than most people over the past year.

So as she lay covered in the fallen autumn leaves, she said she was getting used to odd requests for photos now.

"People just come up and would ask for photos," she said.

"We had some American tourists come and they just kept pointing at the crown and say 'You've got a crown, you must be important!"

While the leaves are the wrong colour for the Jacaranda Festival, the autumn colours are a reminder that entries for this year's Junior Jacaranda Quest are closing soon, an experience Maeve says girls shouldn't miss out. "It was so much fun, and I learnt so much," Maeve said.

Born and raised in Grafton, Maeve, who attends South Grafton High School, entered the quest last year with a few friends.

"We learnt about public speaking, and about presenting yourself in public," she said. "But as well as the friends I entered with, over the five months of what we did I made a lot more friends doing it."

Come crowning night, hearing her name called as the Junior Queen was a complete surprise.

"I didn't believe it, I was really overwhelmed because I was not expecting it at all," she said.

But winning was just a bonus in the Jacaranda experience for Maeve, who says the quest offers much more than just the crowning night contest.

"I came out of all of it so much more aware of the community" she said.

"It's a lovely tradition and I'm really grateful to be part of that now."

Junior Jacaranda organiser Karen Hackett said that it was wonderful to see the journey the girls took as part of the quest.

"The girls grow a lot in confidence throughout it, and learn some lifelong skills," she said.

"It's not just one event; it's a journey for them."

Entries for the quest close this Friday, and for nomination forms contact Karen Hackett on 0408 745 259 or Leanne Smith 0422 351 175.

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