Each year, Miss Wattle is given the honour of representing Cootamundra during the traditional period of Wattle Time (August).
This year, that honour belongs to 19-year-old Maddison Rose Baker.
Maddison was born and bred in Cootamundra, the daughter of Alan and Wynette Baker and granddaughter of Lexie O’Connor.
Growing up, she attended Cootamundra Public School then went on to Cootamundra High School.
During her high school years, Maddison was part of the Student Representative Council (SRC) each year.
In her final year last year, Maddison was named school captain alongside Jayden Sutton.
With other SRC representatives, she had the opportunity as school captain to fundraise for events such as Be Brave and Shave, Beyond Blue and Genes for Jeans.
She also acted as a proud school representative at many events including Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Long Tan Memorial and the Wattle Time Parade.
From the age of 15, Maddison has worked at Cootamundra’s Country Target store.
She would spend weekends and school holidays in the store during her education years.
This year, while taking a gap year, Maddison’s happy smile can be spotted during the week also.
She completed an Allied Health Assistance Certificate 3 at TAFE in conjunction with her senior years at high school and hopes to forge a career in allied health.
Maddison is proud to call Cootamundra home.
“It is a beautiful close-knit community; I love that people who live here know eachother and care about eachother,” she said.
While tertiary education and work may take her further afield over the coming years, Maddison said Cootamundra will always be home to her and she hopes to live in the town and raise a family herself in the future.
As Miss Wattle, she will be part of the Wattle Time Street Parade and Community Fair on Saturday, August 26.
During the evening that same date, Maddison will be a guest of honour at the Wattle Time Debutante Ball.
“I was so excited just to be nominated for Miss Wattle and to be chosen is really an honour,” Maddison said.