Darwin's 'Rose' set to bloom on international stage 

Kate Hudspith, Darwin's 2008 Rose of Tralee.

This year’s winner of Darwin’s Rose of Tralee, Kate Hudspith, is preparing to travel to Ireland to compete in the International pageant in August.

As well as being elected Darwin’s representative for the 49th International Rose of Tralee International Festival, 23-year-old Kate runs her own events management business and is in her second year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Charles Darwin University.

Keeping up with the young business woman is no mean feat: fitting full-time study into a full-time work schedule, and leaving enough time to participate in an internationally renowned competition.

“The Rose of Tralee isn’t an ordinary, run-of-the-mill pageant,” Kate said.

“It particularly emphasises public speaking. Competitors are judged on their ability to mingle in a crowd, making people feel at ease while letting their own individual personality shine through.”

During the International Festival, held over 10 days at Tralee in Country Kerry on Ireland’s south west coast, 31 young women from nine countries (Australia, Canada, Dubai, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States), will be under the judges’ constant scrutiny, even when they are supposed to be having fun.

“A good sense of humour, ability to have a laugh and not put on false airs is important,” Kate said.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival celebrates modern young women in terms of their aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage.

Judges consider many different attributes, including an indefinable quality that captures “the truth in her eyes”, as sung in William Mulchinock’s 19th Century tribute to Mary O’Connor, The Rose of Tralee.