The Queensland Rose of Tralee is part of the International Rose of Tralee Festival which has been held in Co Kerry, Ireland for the past 60 years. Queensland has been participating and sending a Queensland Rose to the festival for over 30 years. It is an integral part of the local celebration of the Irish Diaspora in Queensland.

The core ethos of the International Rose of Tralee Festival is to maintain and celebrate the connectivity of the Irish global community. Young women representing 32 Centres worldwide attend the Festival which runs for ten days every August in Tralee Co. Kerry.  At the culmination of the Festival the International Rose of Tralee is chosen and crowned live on Irish television. She is selected based on her personality and ability to be a true ambassador for the Festival and for Ireland during her travels around the world.  The Rose of Tralee is a celebration of the aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage of modern young women.

Originally, only women from Tralee were eligible to take part in the Festival but in the early 1960s it was extended to include any women from Kerry, and in 1967 it was further extended to include women of Irish birth or ancestry. The International Rose of Tralee Festival has been a part of modern Irish culture since interviews with the Roses from both Ireland and around the world were first televised on RTE in 1967. 

Back in 1988 a group of Brisbane locals decided it was time our sunshine state was represented at the Festival.  A selection was organised and held at the Queensland Irish Association – Tara House. The first Brisbane Rose selected was Carmel Mulhern and so a proud tradition was established. Thirty remarkable young women have followed in Carmel’s footsteps.  They have all shared in the common experience of representing their home and ancestry in a totally unique celebration. Ask any Queensland Rose and she will tell you, those two weeks in Ireland in August gave her opportunities to reconnect with family, wonderful memories and beautiful friendships she will always treasure.

Twice in our history, our Queensland Rose has been selected as the International Rose of Tralee, an honour the Queensland Rose Centre is extremely proud of.  In 2006 Kathryn Feeney was the first Queensland Rose to be crowned and in 2011 Tara Henry (nee Talbot) was the second to receive the privilege of representing the global Rose Community. Both women rose to the challenge, representing Irish women and culture internationally during their years and both have maintained strong ties with Tralee, the International Festival and the Queensland Irish Community.

The Queensland Rose of Tralee is an opportunity for the local Irish Community to celebrate together.  It is an opportunity for young women to celebrate their heritage together and to put their best foot forward in front of their family, friends and community.  For many Rose Entrants it is an experience which helps them grow, learn more about themselves, make lasting friendships and have an absolutely fantastic time. 

At the centre of the Rose of Tralee is the common bond of the Irish Culture and our need to celebrate our origins.  We have a strong Queensland Rose Community who are always eager to welcome new Rose Entrants and their families. We look forward to when we can select our next Queensland Rose. For more information please contact the Queensland Rose Centre at or visit our Facebook page – Queensland Rose of Tralee.