New Jacaranda Festival president Monique Morrissey.
New Jacaranda Festival president Monique Morrissey. DEBRAH NOVAK

Festival president announced

MORE fresh blood has been injected into the Jacaranda Festival with a new festival president being announced.

Grafton’s Monique Morrissey is no stranger to Jacaranda but will take on the position after having had a five-year break from the committee.

She said her role would involve the overseeing of the festival, along with Maggie Barnewall, the festival manager.

“I’ve been involved with Jacaranda since about 1995 when I was a candidate,” Monique said.

“The following year, I became the treasurer for the next 10 years until I stood down in 2006 after having my first child.

“I was still involved at work with our Jacaranda Thursday during that time but I decided to go back in this year knowing that Helen (Weatherstone) was wanting a rest.”

Monique said her love of Jacaranda stemmed from the community involvement the festival created.

“It’s a good way to get into community and get a lot of young ones involved to keep the festival going,” she said.

“People from all walks of life get involved, so during the week of Jacaranda it’s a great community event.”

Monique is also hoping to bring some new eyes and new ideas to help make Jacaranda functions even better and get more people involved.

“I also want to try to increase membership of our festival because we’ve got a lot of stalwarts that have been here for years and done a great job,” she said.

“We need to help those people out by bringing in new people to keep the festival going.”

In Monique’s other ‘job’, she has just celebrated 20 years with the Commonwealth Bank and has been the manager at the Grafton branch for eight years.

Monique is also well known in hockey circles.

She said she had taken a step back since the birth of her children but was formally a player and umpire.

“I took a step back and haven’t played for a few years since I’ve had the kids but I intend to go back this year and have a social run on a Saturday afternoon,” she said.

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