FAMILY SUPPORT: Fiona and Anna Rixon at the Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival for 2017.
FAMILY SUPPORT: Fiona and Anna Rixon at the Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival for 2017. Rebekah Yelland

Highest fundraiser takes Sunflower quest title

NOW that Anna Rixon has been crowned Sunflower Queen, the next job on her to-do list is to get a passport.

As part of her duties as queen, Ms Rixon will travel to Altona in the province of Manitoba, Canada, for its sunflower celebrations in July where she will represent the Central Highlands.

"I've never left Queensland before so to even leave Australia will be an amazing experience,” she said.

"I don't have a passport but it's on the to-do list.

"I did think of sorting it earlier but I thought if I was lucky enough to win it hopefully I'll have enough time to get one after.”

Luckily she has holidays saved up, having never taken a holiday from work prior to the week off before Easter so she could attend all the events she was required to as part of the queen quest.

"I've never had a holiday from work before this week and now I'll also be going to Canada in July,” she said.

"I'm looking forward to the experience and representing my home town of Emerald.”

With plenty of family and friends in the crowd to show their support, the 20-year-old said she was feeling "mixed emotions of shock and excitement” to be crowned queen.

"My sister came back from uni for it, and mum and dad were here,” she said.

"They were very emotional, I think dad even got some tears in.

"Without mum I wouldn't have been able to get as far as I have.

"She's helped with fundraising support and she's definitely my biggest cheerleader.”

Having grown up in Emerald attending the Sunflower festival and watching girls before her crowned queen, Ms Rixon said it was an honour to be included in the Sunflower royalty.

"It will be something I'll be passing on to generations and family,” she said.

"Now I can say I've been part of something spectacular in the Central Highlands.”

Ms Rixon was also named the highest fundraiser in the week leading up to Easter, raiseing more than $15,200.

She has been busy for the past couple of months, holding morning teas, sausage sizzles, multi-draw raffles and cent sales, selling homemade Anzac biscuits at markets, and organising bigger events including Sip of Summer and The Game Show Quiz evenings.

Ms Rixon chose to fundraise for the Emerald RSL, which she said she held dear.

"I've had a lot of family who fought and one who lost their life,” she said.

"I have medals I wear every Anzac Day, I feel very strongly about it.

"I didn't think I could win after being named highest fundraiser, that's why it was a shock.”

Ms Rixon thanked the other entrants for their support and said the queen quest was an opportunity to form friendships.

"There were so many amazing entrants this year,” she said.

Jacinda Fehlhaber was crowned Sunflower Princess and Chloe Kelly was named Junior Sunflower Princess at the Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival on Saturday.

Mati Rose Boutique won best decorated window display, as judged by the Canadian Sunflower Queen Tiana Reimer and first princess Angela Froese.

Central Highlands Regional Council won

best decorated float in the Easter street parade and Emerald Dance Centre came second.

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