GROWING up and hearing stories of the region was the draw card Caitlin Smith needed to bring her to the Central Highlands.
Having only just moved to Capella to work at the high school, Caitlin said she feels right at home already.
It was because of the welcome the 22-year-old decided to take part in the Sunflower Queen Quest.
"I'm taking part in the Sunflower Queen Quest because I felt it would be the best way to positively engage with as many members of my local community as is possible," she said.
"I first arrived in Central Queensland a little over a month ago, and have been welcomed with open arms by everyone I've interacted with.
"The Queen Quest seemed like a great way to cement those relationships, and forge new ones with people I might not have otherwise spoken with."
The silver lining on being part of the queen quest was the fundraising aspect which Caitlin said she liked.
"All the queens are in the quest for really good causes, and I'm excited to be helping out my local community through the quest," she said.
"The organisation I'll be donating to is the Capella Fire and Ambulance service.
"I chose this group because I value and appreciate the contribution that fire and ambulance officers make all over Australia, and the contribution of fire and ambulance officers to the well-being and safety of the community is particularly important and noticeable in communities like Capella.
"I hope that the funds I raise assist this group in continuing to function at the high standard I have noted so far."
After graduating from university, Caitlin said it was an easy choice to apply for work in the Central Highlands.
"My father is from Mackay, and my uncle lived in Emerald for many years, so I had heard stories from those two before I came to work here this year, though I had never actually been to the Highlands before then," she explained.
"I applied to work in the region because many teachers I talked to in Brisbane had worked in the Highlands towards the start of their careers and had loved it."
For your chance to meet Caitlin, she will be at the Capella markets this Sunday, selling raffle tickets.
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