CARA Maher (pictured) from Annerley-Ekibin Parish in Brisbane is Queensland’s own Irish rose.
On August 11 she flew to Ireland to represent Queensland at the 45th Rose of Tralee International Festival in County Kerry from August 22-26.
If the 21 year-old concert harpist wins she will be the first Queensland Rose to take the coveted title.
Every year, young women from across the globe, aged between 18 and 25, of Irish birth or ancestry, compete for the title Rose of Tralee, a unique personality contest commemorating one of Ireland’s best known love stories, that of Mary O’Connor, the ‘Rose of Tralee’.
Contestants have to show some skill reflecting Irish culture – Irish dancing, singing, playing the harp or fiddle, and must demonstrate academic ability and achievement.
Cara said a family friend, who had entered the competition two years previously, had encouraged her to enter the Queensland Rose contest.
She beat 13 other girls.
‘It was totally unexpected when they called my name,’ she said.
Cara, who recently finished a Bachelor of Music, majoring in harp, at Griffith University’s Conservatorium of Music, will play the instrument as part of her repertoire.
Cara said if she doesn’t win she will travel around Europe with her brother.
But if she wins, well then the world’s her oyster as the Irish would say.