Saturday 28th October to Sunday 5th November

 We were lucky winners of the 2016 Clarence Valley Australia Day Awards

2016 Jacaranda Queen Candidates:

Shannon Carter
proudly sponsored by Cranes & Cafe Toast Espresso
24 year old Shannon Carter is our first Candidate for the 2016 Festival. Shannon is employed by Cranes working in aged care & the disability sector and is co-sponsored by Cafe Toast Espresso. Shannon is looking forward to learning more about the fascinating history of the Festival and meeting the other candidates that come along on the journey.

Sharni Wren
proudly sponsored by Bananacoast Credit Union & Kylies Hockey Club

Sharni is the Festival's 2nd Candidate for 2016 and is proudly sponsored by Bananacoast Credit Union & Kylies Hockey Club . Sharni is employed by Dougherty Villa and is a proud member of the SES. Sharni is most looking forward to the community celebrating Jacaranda Week!

heidi madsen
proudly sponsored by Lasting Impressions Bridal & Formal Wear

Heidi has joined the Jacaranda Queen's candidacy for 2016 and is proudly sponsored by Lasting Impressions Bridal & Formal Wear in Prince Street. Heidi will concentrate on overcoming her fear of public speaking and has a great range of fundraising activities planned.
Our 2016 Jacaranda Queen Candidates were proudly taken by Renae May Photography. If you are looking for beautiful photos, look no further! Check out their Facebook Page - Renae May Photography

2016 Jacaranda Matron of Honour:
Mrs Carol Smith

Our 2016 Matron of Honour Carol Smith was nominated by the Grafton Branch CWA. A respected and active member of the club, Carol helps to support and mentor the Queen Candidates throughout their Jacaranda journey.

2016 Jacaranda Guest of Honour:
Cate McQuillen

For many years you knew her as 'Cate from the Two Pot Screamers' or 'Cate who taught drama at the Conservatorium' but more recently she has become 'Cate who made up diftgirlworld and won an Emmy!'
A tad unconventional and a little disarming, she wears her heart on her sleeve and is led by her values. She is a big fan of the Clarence Valley, Jacaranda Trees and the colour purple!.



Maeve is 13 years old and is nominated by City Centre Apartments.

Maeve attends McAuley Catholic College, Maeve enjoys dancing with the Clarence river Dance Academy and has had the privilege of dancing at the Jacaranda Queen Crowning in the past, Maeve enjoys dancing so much that spends her spare time dancing wherever she is, with the occasional cartwheel thrown in. Maeve would like to wish the people of Grafton a prosperous purple season.




Lucy is 13 years old and is Nominated by Toast Espresso.

Lucy attends Mc Auley Catholic College and enjoys dancing with the Clarence River Dance Academy. Lucy has a long history of participating in the Jacaranda Festival, she arrived in the world on the Jacaranda Queen Crowning night of 2002 and was lucky enough to be the 2013 Party Princess.




Chloe is 13 years old and attends Clarence Valley Anglican School. Chloe is nominated by Twisted Scissors. Chloe was born in Grafton and lived on a farm at Calliope where he love of horse riding developed, Chloe also enjoys photography and catching a movie with friends. Chloe has participated in the Relay for Life in recent years, an experience she really enjoyed. Chloe is looking forward to the festival and seeing the vibrant purple flowers in bloom.



Ariana is 13 years old and is nominated by The Daily Examiner.

Ariana attends McAuley Catholic College and one day hopes to continue on with her studies and study Veterinary Science at University and work with sick and injured animals.

Ariana lives at home with her 2 younger brothers and enjoys listening to music, creative arts and netball.


Kate is nominated for this years quest by Fish Scales and Fury Tales. Kate is 14 years old and attends Grafton High School. In 2011 Kate was lucky enough to the Party Princess. Kate enjoys being creative and visual arts, painting on canvas is a hobby that lets her explore her imagination with colour. Kate enjoys travelling and recently has returned from an exciting family holiday to America, a real highlight was Disneyland, of course. Kate would like to wish everyone a happy Jacaranda.

Faith is 13 years old and is nominated by Heart and Soul Wholefood Cafe'. Faith is in Year 8 at the Clarence Valley Anglican School and enjoys photography and exploring her local area. Faith also enjoys 'panning and digging for precious stones' with her family and has recently discovered new fishing spots.


Annelise is nominated by ESP Espresso. Annelise is 13 years old and attends Grafton High School. Annelise enjoys singing and dancing, playing the piano and guitar, but her true love is spending time with family and friends and her dog ‘Rex’.  Annelise has some lovely memories of her childhood growing up in Grafton and attending many festival events but her fondest memory is dressing up at the Children's party.


The Jacaranda Festival Queen & Matron Nominations open for 2017

Our Matron of Honour nominations are now open, please download and fill out nomination form and then forward to our Festival Manager, Donna Hunt.

Click here for the form


2017 Jacaranda Queen Nominations:

Please click here  for the Nomination and Rules of Participation forms

2017 Junior Jacaranda Queen Nominations:

 If you are thinking of becoming a 2017 Junior Jacaranda Queen Candidate, take a peek at this video  to give you a glimpse into what you can experience as a Junior Jacaranda Queen Candidate.

Once you have completed your nomination form, you will receive a welcome pack that will go over what to expect for the year, key dates and when our fortnightly meetings are. If you have any questions in the mean time, please text 0427 000 655 and a member of our team will be in contact with you, within 24 hours.


2015 Jacaranda Queen Crowning DVD

The wonderful 2015 Grafton Jacaranda Festival Queen Crowning DVD ‘PURPLE REIGN’ has just hit the streets! Pick up your copy for $25, only available at I Scream

 Click on PDF to see why you should be part of the 2016 Jacaranda Festival!

Queens & Sponsor Flyer 1.1MB 28 Apr 2016 5:02 AM

What it Means

Nominating to become a Jacaranda Queen Candidate provides a platform for the Candidate to grow as a person, to develop a rapport with the local community and to also learn valuable new skills, essential in today's competitive business environment. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, filled with wonderful memories and a journey they'll never forget.

Drawing from the support of sponsors, festival committee and the community, Candidates learn how to plan and manage events, undertake promotional activity, liaise with local media and keep books.  They are mentored in public speaking, negotiating sponsorships and  fundraising.  

The Queen Candidate Director meets regularly with candidates in preparation for special upcoming events such as the Jacaranda Fashion Parade, Jacaranda Ball, Judges Luncheon, and the prestigious Queen Crowning Ceremony, which are followed by an exciting, whirlwind series of official functions during Jacaranda Week.  

Candidates only need to raise a minimum of $2,500. All funds raised contribute toward the overall running costs of the following years Jacaranda Festival.

Black Toyota loan a vehicle to the Festival in which the Queens Party is escorted from function to function. This has been an ongoing Jacaranda tradition and supported by the local Toyota dealership for many years.

Judging Criteria

The Jacaranda Queen competition is not a beauty quest.

The Jacaranda Queen and Jacaranda Princess are chosen on their suitability as representatives for the Clarence Valley and the City of Grafton.

The Queen and Princess are chosen by a panel of judges, and are awarded points for deportment, etiquette, personality, dress sense, grooming, and general knowledge.

The ladies are initially judged at an informal luncheon on the day of the Queen Crowning Ceremony. During the evening crowning ceremony, the ladies are then awarded points for their speech and presentation.

Would you like a visit from the Jacaranda Queens Party?

If you would like the Jacaranda Queens Party to visit your workplace, celebrate an event or hand out important awards, please get in touch with the Festival Manager - Donna Hunt on 6642 3959 so that we can arrange a member from the Queens Party to attend. The girls will wear their sashes, tiaras, smart dress and these types of requests are available all year round, not just in Jacaranda season time. Please give 2-3 weeks notice of your event request.

Are you thinking about becoming a 2017 candidate?

If you have any questions or would like to nominate for the 2017 Festival, click here to download the forms.