Third queen candidate for Jacaranda Festival
THE Jacaranda Festival's third Queen candidate, Madeline McDonald, is no stranger to competition.
Winner of the Grafton Showgirl crown in 2011 and former contender for the Sydney Royal Easter Showgirl title, Ms McDonald said the 80th Jacaranda Queen Quest was another opportunity to immerse herself in the town she loves.
Born and raised on a farm just outside of Grafton, the 24-year-old has been active in the wider community from a young age thanks to her association with the Grafton Pony Club, which led her to compete in equestrian events at a local, state and interstate level.
"I was riding horses before I could walk so I've always been involved in the community through that," Ms McDonald said.
"I love Grafton, it's my home. It's a very community-minded place."
While her knowledge of the local community stands her in good stead for the crown, Ms McDonald said she was still nervous about the candidate process.
"It's a little bit nerve-wracking to put yourself out there to do something like that," she said.
"We have to raise money and get donations, and obviously I want to do as well as I can so next year they can have a great festival again."
Ms McDonald's campaign will be sponsored by family friends at Westlawn Finance and she thanked them for backing her.
"I know it's going to be a fair bit of work from my side and from theirs, so I appreciate the time and effort in advance," she said.
Jacaranda Queen candidates should have lived in the Clarence Valley for a minimum of 12 months and be aged 18-29 years.