Jacaranda Queen candidate Nicole Mackie.
Jacaranda Queen candidate Nicole Mackie. JoJo Newby

Title hopes off and running

IT'S the first time Grafton girl Nicole Mackie has thrown her hat into the ring for the title of Jacaranda Queen, but the sprightly 23-year-old says she is having a blast.

Ms Mackie is one of the candidates for the coveted title for the 2011 Jacaranda Festival.

The assistant account executive for Westlawn Insurance said a love for the festival and the Grafton community had motivated her to get more involved.

“I really wanted to meet new people and just to become involved with the community and have fun,” Ms Mackie said.

“It's always such a fun day, Jacaranda and the Jacaranda Festival. It's just amazing and to be involved in it would be really nice.”

Since moving to Grafton from Taree when she was 14, Ms Mackie said she had fallen in love with the Clarence Valley, its lifestyle and her career.

“I do love to travel though. Last year I went overseas for five weeks. I did a Contiki tour from New York to LA so I did sort of East Coast to West Coast. It was amazing, I travelled with some really good friends and we had an awesome time,” she said.

“So I love to travel but I also love coming home too.”

Ms Mackie, whose candidacy is also sponsored by Westlawn Finance, has hit the ground running in her bid for the title – she has already organised fundraisers and met the Jacaranda committee several times.

“I have an Easter raffle running at the moment which is going really well. It's drawn on April 21, so there's still a couple of weeks to go in that,” she said.

“I'm also having a trivia night on April 29 at the Grafton Hotel. There are lots and lots of ideas happening, so it's going to be a pretty busy time.”

Anyone interested in being a 2011 Jacaranda Queen candidate can find nomination forms and more information at the Jacaranda Festival Office in Dougherty House, Prince St, on Mondays and Tuesdays. Forms also from www.jacarandafestival.org.au. Nominations close on May 24.

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