22 February 2023

'Take the leap': The Miss Wagga Wagga Quest is looking for the next generation

| Chris Roe
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Miss Wagga Wagga winners

Miss Wagga Wagga Kate Pevere and Community Princess Haylee Burkinshaw. Photo: Supplied.

“Take the leap!” declared 2023 Miss Wagga Wagga Kate Pevere on social media as the call went out for a new generation of quest entrants.

“Everyone that has joined the quest has each had a different reason why,” she said.

“I personally wanted to raise money for local charity. I got this and so much more, from great new friendships to experience in event planning and public speaking.”

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Miss Wagga Wagga chair Ali Tanner said there were just a couple of weeks left to sign up and get involved.

“It’s a really supportive, warm, encouraging, uplifting experience where entrants come out the other end saying, ‘I didn’t think I could do that!’ and I think that’s really lovely,” Ali said.

Whether it’s running an event, doorknocking for donations or managing a social media page, entrants are encouraged to push themselves and become involved in the community.

“It’s a really huge program that empowers young women to believe in themselves, to know that what they’re doing is the right thing,” Ali said.

Miss Wagga Wagga entrants

Miss Wagga Wagga 2023 entrants. Photo: Supplied.

Ali said entrants had the opportunity to meet dignitaries, from the Mayor to the Governor, and learn to do it with confidence.

“They get to know how to present themselves, to feel confident walking into a room and walking up to somebody and speaking to them,” she says, explaining that it’s a pleasure to watch entrants grow in confidence through the program.

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“There’s nothing you can’t try and there’s no such thing as failure because you attempted to do it and we’ll support you all the way to help you succeed.”

Begun in 1948, the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest is all about empowering young women, and over the years has raised millions of dollars for charity and lent a helping hand throughout the community.

Haylee Burkinshaw

Community Princess and landscaper Haylee Burkinshaw delivers a giant cheque in her workboots. Photo: Supplied.

The 2023 Community Princess Haylee Burkinshaw said that before entering the quest, she had no idea how many amazing things were happening in the Wagga community.

“I didn’t play sport much growing up and was never really a part of community groups,” she said.

“I think you don’t realise how much Wagga does until you get involved and become part of the community.

“You just make so many different networks throughout the quest and different volunteer groups, it gives you a whole new appreciation of that, and it also gives you the development along the way for you to become a part of it.”

Haylee said she had gained new skills and confidence and shifted her perspective on life and career.

“It’s opened my eyes up completely,” she laughed.

“I always thought I knew where I was going to go in life, whereas now, just within the six months of being an entrant, I’ve realised that there are so many other opportunities.”

Miss Wagga Wagga

The 2023 Community Princess Haylee Burkinshaw says the quest has changed her perspective on life. Photo: Supplied.

Haylee’s message for those considering giving it a go?

“The Miss Wagga Wagga Quest is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that can lead you in many different directions for your future,” she said.

“It gives you confidence and empowerment between the support of the committee, fellow entrants and the Wagga Wagga community.

“All I can say is that the quest is a journey you will never regret.”

Applications from entrants remain open and there are also opportunities for local charities to become beneficiaries.

All the information and application forms can be found here.

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