The five entrants vying for the 2022 Miss Wagga crown have been announced this week.
Georgie Spora, Emi O'Brien, Molly Burley, Jessikah McCarthy, and Rachael Bowering made their entrance last night at the official launch dinner.
Ms O'Brien is currently studying a bachelor of creative industries at Charles Sturt University while working as a pharmacy assistant in Wagga.
She moved from Sydney in 2019 and decided to join the quest after meeting a committee member at Wagga's mental health recovery unit in January. The 20-year-old spoke openly of her battle with anxiety and depression.
"I owe a lot to Wagga, I came here to escape being in the city," she said.
"Being in Wagga has been so beneficial to my mental health [the recovery unit] was absolutely amazing. I came out feeling like a different person. I feel like I've found myself in Wagga, I feel like it's where I belong."
Ms Burley describes herself as a fifth-generation Wagga girl and can already count herself amongst the city's royalty with the current Miss Wagga representative, Hannah Smith, being her soon-to-be sister-in-law.
The 21-year-old is currently doing her certificate 3 traineeship in childcare at the Inspire early learning centre.
"I enjoy being around kids. I'm into art and creative things, and kids just have a good imagination," she said.
Ms Burley is no stranger to fundraising either. After her 16-year-old cousin's death from leukemia in 2011, Ms Burley decided to take part in the world's greatest shave. For the past 10 years, she has also participated each year in Wagga's Relay for Life.
Ms Spora, 22, has just begun working at Mission Australia in Wagga after finishing her social work degree. She moved to the city in 2017 from her hometown, Gulargambone.
"I've always liked Wagga, my mum's family are in Temora so it's nice to have them nearby," Ms Spora said.
"I felt it was the right time to put down some roots and give back to the community."
Rachael Bowering has this year begun her studies to become an English teacher after completing her Bachelor of Arts in English and art history last year. She works three retail jobs around Wagga.
"I was born and raised in Wagga but I'm a bit of a hermit so this [quest] will help me get out there and meet more people," the 22-year-old said.
"It's never too late to get to know your community."
Ms McCarthy is a PDHPE teacher at Kooringal High School. She grew up at The Rock before studying in Wollongong and returning two years ago to the Riverina.
"I've wanted to be a teacher since I was five, then as I got older I realised PE is where I wanted to be," the 24-year-old said.
Due to last year's pandemic restrictions, the Miss Wagga Quest was cancelled, meaning the next winner will be crowned by 2020 winner Hannah Smith.
With the ongoing closure of international borders, this year's quest will also not feature its usual trip overseas.