Community & Business

14 July, 2023

Young ladies vie for queen title

SINCE 1959, young women from the Mareeba community have put their hand up to represent their community with pride through the beloved rodeo tradition – the Queen’s Quest.

Young ladies vie for queen title - feature photo

From the first crowning of Noela Connolly in the late 50’s, there has been a Mareeba Rodeo Queen every year, besides 2020 and 2021 due to Covid, who represents the event for the year.

This year, nine young women have stepped up to become a part of the competition and matron Frances Petersen said they have al- ready begun learning about public speaking, wellbeing and deportment.

“We started our program by working on their confidence and public speaking as well as workshops on health, wellbeing and deportment,” she said,

“We have a hairdresser coming in to teach them how to do their hair and have another make up workshop to get them ready for the ball and the exciting judging morning.”

Presenting themselves for the first time at the cowpokes, the young ladies will spend the lead up to the rodeo attending events and get- ting to know the most prominent members of the community.

They attended the annual Mareeba Rodeo Ball on Saturday 8 July, where they had the opportunity to dress up for an evening of excitement.

The next day will be judging day, where they will meet with the judges and be quizzed on their knowledge of the rodeo and the general community.

They then attend the garden competition presentations on 10 July, the committee and

entrant barbeque on 11 July and the agricultural show set to kick off on Friday 14 July.

On Friday night, the Queen and Princess will be crowned during the Downtown Parade after showcasing their creativity with a float.

All entrants will then spend the weekend at the rodeo, participating in activities and meeting with locals and visitors.

Ms Petersen and Karen Blakeney will act as their “adoptive mothers” for the duration of the quest, being there every step of the way to support the young entrants.

“(Ms Blakeney) and I are their mentors and

like an adoptive mother as such because if they have any questions they can come and see us,” Ms Petersen said.

“We are there to steer them all the way and build their confidence and this is a big step- ping-stone for them to get out into the big wide world.

“We had a big chat about winning and losing and getting them ready for that kind of thing and in life we have lots of winning and losing in life and I hope they take everything in their stride and learn from their ups and downs.”


1959 – Noela Connolly, 1960 – Norma Cal- laghan, 1961 – Margaret Remfrey, 1962
– Daphene Tullipan, 1963 – Gail Marshall, 1964 – Beryl Dowling, 1965 – Margaret Emmerson, 1966 – Margaret Wicks,

1967 – Christine Angaard, 1968 – Barbara Kingston, 1969 – Therese Duignan.
1970 – Robyn Milner, 1971 – Nancy Wal- lace, 1972 – Janelle Morris, 1973 – Clare O’Shea. 1974 – Fay Cornish, 1975 – Lynne Mallet, 1976 – Shirley Davis, 1977 – Jennifer Troughton, 1978 – Tracey Roos, 1979 – Linda Copine.

1980 – Maryanne Snell, 1981 – Glennys Bimrose. 1982 – Kim Aqulina, 1983 – Lea McLaghlan, 1984 – Linda Tomic, 1985 – Sue De Faveri, 1986 – Deborah McGrath, 1987 – Leanne Foley, 1988 – Kayleen Stewart, 1989 – Barbara Kerlin.

1990 – Narelle Dati, 1991 – Lenore Gear, 1992 – Rachel Stallan, 1993 – Belinda Blakeney, 1994 – Sharelle Dyer, 1995 – Amanda Williams, 1996 – Jeanie Henning, 1997 – Rebecca Johns, 1998 – Tracey Binnie, 1999 – Kieryn Cornish.

2000 – Tammie Ball, 2001 – Rebecca Merritt, 2002 – Chloe Larsen, 2003 – Faith Hatfield, 2004 – Talitha Carter, 2005 – Natasha Brtevnik, 2006 – Tency Tyler, 2007 – Vicki Bombardieri, 2008 – Katie Rains, 2009 – Natasha Cain.

2010 – Rebecca Trimble, 2011 – Eliza Michael, 2012 – Kendall Axford, 2013 – Alessia Aloyia, 2014 – Rachel Whiteing, 2015 - Chloe Hampton, 2016 – Sarah Bensted, 2017 – Logan Foxwell, 2018 – Lauren Brown, 2019 – Kayla Amos, 2022 – Maia Gambino.


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