Jacaranda Queen Candidate talks to Westlawn

By Sarah Templeton, Westlawn Wealth Management
31 March 2014

Westlawn is proud to support Jacaranda Queen Candidate Madeline McDonald. Born, raised and educated in Grafton, Madeline has a long history of involvement with local community groups and events including Grafton Pony Club, Grafton Show and Jacaranda Festival.

Here, Westlawn’s Sarah Templeton, herself crowned Jacaranda Queen in 2007,  interviews Madeline on her quest to become this year’s Jacaranda Queen.

What has inspired you to become a Jacaranda Queen Candidate?

I have always thought that I might enter the Jacaranda Queen Quest, however, I had not planned for it to be this year. A friend of mine, and also a past Queen, suggested I do it this year, an anniversary year, that way it would be even more memorable. So I started getting organised to put my nomination forward.

What is your favourite aspect of the Jacaranda Festival?

My favourite aspect is definitely how it brings the wider community together. All ages and backgrounds, it doesn’t matter, they are all interested in something at Jacaranda. It is a week where there is something to do for all people, and I love that about Jacaranda.

I have had long associations with many staff at Westlawn and am family friends with many. Westlawn is very involved with Jacaranda and has had experience with past Queen candidates so I believe you have a lot to offer in helping ‘to get somebody over the line’ for an anniversary year. I hope to do you and your organisation proud.

You work at the Village Green, and current Jacaranda Queen Cerene Lowe was sponsored by the Village, has she given you any advice?

Cerene has been very supportive and one of the first people I spoke to about entering the competition. She has offered help with what to organise and what to do with the reporting and what happened for her last year and she has been cooperative in sharing ideas with her experiences in what worked. I am grateful to have her as my friend and helping me.

We’ve heard you are involved with the Grafton Show and the Pony Club, how do you think your previous experiences benefit you as a Jacaranda Queen Candidate?

My previous experience with those groups, I believe, will help in hopefully having more people at events and attending my fundraising activities. I have had experience in running events through these organisations and I hope that it will contribute to running my fundraisers. I have been involved in the community through these events and I believe that entering the Jacaranda Queen competition is another way to be involved in the community that I love.

2014 sees the 80th Jacaranda Festival, how will this make your experience special?

I hope that the events I am able to attend with the 80th year celebrations will be larger and have more community members at them.

I want to be able to meet as many people as I can and learn about their experience especially with Jacaranda Festival. I am looking forward to a Queen reunion and learning about their journeys as I begin on my own Jacaranda journey.

Image courtesy of Daily Examiner.

There is rumoured to be some tough competition for the title this year, how does that impact on you?

I don’t think it will impact me. I will still be myself and that is all I can do. I want to enjoy my months as a candidate and learn and grow through my journey. However, I am a competitive person and will do my best.

What are you looking forward to most?

I am looking forward to my fundraising activities. I have already started raising funds.  I have two 100 club boards at the Village Green and it is fun talking to people when they donate. I am looking forward to doing that on a larger scale as well as holding an event.

Do you have any fundraising ideas or events coming up?

I have a few ideas, and will start to get organised with prizes and donations shortly. Once I am a little more organised with prizes and being set up I will start to advertise what is upcoming. Hopefully a trivia night shortly … stay tuned!

The Daily Examiner featured Madeline in its 27 March story Third Queen candidate for Jacaranda Festival.