It’s been just over a month in our royal titles, and it has seen us attend and take part in a range of community events and initiatives.
I (Stina), had the pleasure of attending the Regional Disability Advocacy Service Dance, and was able to meet the clients and carers from across the region. I had the sweet pleasure of helping one of the clients with the Christmas cake cutting duties (He told me he didn’t know why he was chosen for the task, I asked him if he wasn’t the best cake cutter around, and he promptly informed me ‘YES! And the best dancer too!), followed by judging the costumes and handing out certificates to the clients on their achievements. The atmosphere was so full of that Christmas Joy, I left with such a full heart.
'We also visited Epica Jewellers who donated our crowns in 2016 for the 70th MWWQ Anniversary. I (Stina) Met Cowri Sankar, a 3rd generation jeweller who had moved to Wagga from Malaysia and was given his first task at Epica Jewellers by his employer Jake McPherson to hand craft two individual Crowns. Shankar showed me some of his original designs, and how he came up with the ideas and incorporating the Quest Rose. It took many hours to happen, but after that conversation I walked away with a sense of pride knowing the story behind the crown. It couldn't have been more fitting for me knowing the creator came from a diverse cultural background which subsequently influenced the very crowns we wear'.
After several conversations with committee members, and mentors, who gave us everything we needed to know about being a titleholder, we prioritised taking some time as titleholders to discuss what we wanted to focus on and achieve over the next 12 months. We both have areas in the community we are passionate about and want to help make a difference, to help make change for good. We’re both want to contribute to educate and mentor the next generation not only within the Quest but also within the wider Community. I (Presslea) …. And I (Stina) wish to also continue to pursue Cultural Diversity in Wagga, as well as education around toxic relationships as a way forward away from Family & Domestic Violence.
With our chins up and minds full of ambition, we were invited to attend the final South Wagga Rotary Meeting for 2018 and speak about who we are, our journey and the Miss Wagga Crowning with their members. They were so welcoming and encouraging of our endeavours, we truly felt like we had gained some valuable new supporters. Miss Wagga was even caught ballroom dancing with one of the members at the end.
You may have also spotted us on National Television attempting a Royal Wave when Sam Mac visited Wagga Wagga for their A-Z weather endeavours. We had a great time meeting Sam, and Producer Sean Flynn and his team at Sunrise on 7. We also met some amazing local musical talents, some little dancing ballerina cats, and bumped into a former Miss Wagga Entrant, Sarah Brunskill.
We both love to soak up the festive season with Christmas lights and of course Carols! We were delighted by every moment of the Wagga Christmas Spectacular, which had it’s scare of being cancelled but thankfully the Army Band persevered and paired with some local talents and vendors to make it happen. Even Ronald McDonald made his appearance for the kids show. I (Stina) also attended the Interchurch Carols and was privileged to give the Acknowledgement of Country and to meet with some of the little ones eager to purchase candles and meet the local queen. A few days later I was even able to judge a fierce neighbourhood Ginger Bread House competition. Soaking in all the festive spirit.
I (Presslea) had the privilege of attending the handing over of the final cheque from the Community Princess Foundation with former Cummunity Princess Maddie Smith. The cheque went to Kooringal High School who are putting it towards some outdoor furniture in their chill out space. It was so fantastic to see the children in their classroom so grateful for the contribution and how hard they had been working for their new space.
The staff from Kapooka Army Barracks helped me collect hundreds of donations for our 1st Recruit Training Batallion Christmas Appeal that I was then able to donate to Ronald McDonald House, Country Hope and St Vincent De Paul just in time for Christmas, hoping that we could put a smike on a few faces over the festive season.
I then travelled to my home town of Newcastle to spend Christmas with my family and have a couple of weeks close to the beach before returning in the new year ready for the big 2019!
I (Stina) continued the festive season with judging Christmas Shopfront Displays alongside Mayor Conkey, and Co-Business Owners of Papel Paper Caroline and her son Augustine. Augustine’s younger brother also decided to give us a helping hand. There were some solid conversations and deliberations, but we all agreed this was a great initiative with the City Council giving $8000 in prize money to encourage the Christmas Spirit and for people to continue to shop locally.
As a regular Blood Donor, I (Stina) also wanted to take a small step of generosity over this Festive period. December and January see blood banks nationally take a significant dip in donations. With road accidents and hospitalisations on the rise over Christmas and New Year, and Bush Fire season around the corner I asked the Blood Bank if I could help. Cathy Chapman (Community Relations Officer), Neil Wright (Donor Centre Manager), Tracey Horrocks (Centre Service Officer) along with the Team of Wagga Blood Bank Nurses and I launched the Royal Blood Drive on 28th December with the goal of 12 days to save 120 lives. With the first 40 donors to walk through the Wagga Blood Bank Doors receiving a small thank you certificate from me and go in the draw to win a Gift Card to one of my favourite places to dine, the Magpies Nest. A little birdie also told me two of the donors, Isabella Brown, and Rhianna Richards, on the 28thwere making their very first donation, so I couldn’t help it, I had to get them some flowers and a special thank you card. The commitment donors show is more than money can ever buy, and new donors should know just how much they are valued.
Finally, on New Years Eve, I (Stina) will be at the Wagga Sky Works hosted by Thomas Brothers, with proceeds going towards Country Hope, and some of my fellow 2018 entrants have offered to help. So if you spot me, make sure you say Hi.
With the New Year Approaching, we wish you all a very Happy and Safe New Year, and we look forward to working with you in 2019. If you have any ideas you would like to see happen in our community, or would like our involvement in, by all means email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
MWW & CP
aka local Queen & Princess