Welcome to the Diary of your new Miss Wagga Wagga and Community Princess of 2019, Stina Constantine and Presslea Cowan. We are both feeling shocked, deeply moved and honoured to be named ambassadors for this City that we both love dearly.
We would like to firstly acknowledge that the 9month endeavour we have just come out of was only made possible because of a community that generously gives, quest committee that guides, sponsors who support and family and friends who encourage. Additionally for us, there were 5 other people this endeavour would have been impossible without, namely the other beautiful entrants, Bonnie Jackson-French, Chelsea Sutton, Clare Lawlor, Ebony Neal, and Taylor Lemmon. It was the long hours, and hard work of our collective efforts that ensured our 5 local beneficiaries received funds towards programs and equipment they each required. You ladies are amazing women and knowing you will go on to do wonderful things we can proudly say ‘I was an entrant with her in 2018’.
The month of November started off very quietly having finished our final entrant event. This was most unusual for us and some of us felt a bit lost for the first few days with the sudden halt in business. The remainder of the month consisted in tying up loose ends with final funds, and preparing for the event of the year, the Crowning Ceremony.
We all gathered at the Buete household to feast on amazing Tapa’s and prepare cheques for our beneficiaries. All the hard work came down to an evening of wine and crunching numbers. Thank goodness we had an accountant among us.
2 weeks prior to Crowning we had our mock interview with the committee, followed by a final interview the day before crowning, sealing the deal on who would become 2019’s new titleholders. The panellists were all incredibly friendly, encouraging, and clearly wanted to see each of us succeed in being our best.
Many of the entrants were unable to sleep the night before crowning being filled with either nerves or excitement. For some the Crowning day meant pancakes with guests from out of town, for others it meant going for a morning run, and others having some quiet time. What followed soon after were hair and makeup appointments, and arrival at the Art Gallery in time for a final run through of the ceremony and professional photos by Jessie D Images.
As the 2018 titleholders entered the Art Gallery in their beautiful formal gowns, white sash and crowns reality really sunk in, this is the day, it’s happening now.
As I (Presslea) listened to Maddie give her final speech as Community Princess I thought “wow whoever takes her place has big shoes to fill, what a fantastic role model” and to my disbelief my name was called. I had tears in my eyes and my heart was beating so fast, Maddie placed her crown on my head and I stepped forward as the 2019 Wagga Wagga Community Princess, making a promise to my community to lead and mentor young men and women and be a symbol of empowerment for those who may need someone to believe in.
The Miss Wagga Wagga 2019 crowning is all still very surreal. I (Stina) was so caught up in being excited for Community Princess Presslea Cowan, and reflecting on the year that had been, I actually tuned out for a few moments. Only to hear the Mayor say ‘Drum roll please’. A part of me wondered ‘who will it be?’ and the other ‘please don’t be me’ and the other again ‘it’s ok, it won’t be me’. Once I heard my name, all I could do was drop my head in disbelief, feel the thumps of an increasingly beating heart with a split moment’s meditation, and tears fell. Tears of honour from a heart that felt most unworthy. As I tried to recalibrate my breathing, Zoe smiled placing the crown on my head and uttered the words ‘here we go, this is heavy… with the weight of responsibility’ and we both laughed. But deep down I knew, she was right. So I took a deep breath as that very responsibility became mine.
We were interviewed by the Daily Advertiser Prime 7, and Win news moments after Crowning although the shock had not yet worn off. The entrants who waited for us by the vintage cars, greeted us with joy and encouragement, and we were deeply moved. The evening ended with all our family and friends at dinner celebrating the end of 2018 and the start of 2019. Zoe Martin and Maddie Smith shared stories of their Leavenworth trip, Entrants shared stories of the year, and Melissa Murray thanks Narelle and Larry Buete for their years of service to the quest which is sadly coming to an end. Finally, we were invited to partake in our first official duty, and Zoe and Maddie’s last official duty, cutting of the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest Cake.
The following day the titleholder year kicked off with Miss Wagga Wagga visiting Country Hope (beneficiary) at their Christmas Party and was greeted by several little wide-eyed children with ‘you’re a queen!’ excitement. Later that afternoon, Stina also attended the Inner Wheel Wollundry High Tea for Ovarian Cancer Research and listened to a couple of speakers share of their touched by cancer story, and on tips of maintaining health.
Monday morning began with Radio Interviews with Leigh from Triple M and Herbie and Dane from Hit FM, who are major sponsors of the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest, and as always made us feel very welcome. For a short time only, you can hear these interviews ‘catch up’ on their respective websites.
As we launch into this new role we are excited to be able to roll up our sleeves once more,
-Newly Crowned MW & CP
aka your local Queen & Princess