Miss Tasmania Quest

The proud parents of Miss Tasmania 1960, Marlene Forsyth, greeet her at Launceston airport (AOT, PH30/1/3572)

The Miss Tasmania Quest was an annual competition held from 1955 to 1999 to raise funds for children with cerebral palsy and heighten community awareness of disability issues. Throughout the state, quest sponsor committees such as Miss Greek Community or Miss Transport Industries devised various fundraising events which culminated in a popular televised crowning ceremony. Sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy Association of Tasmania, the state winner and Miss Fundraiser then competed in the national programme, with three Tasmanian titleholders becoming Miss Australia: Joanne Dick (1993), Suzan Haward (1996) and Kathryn Hay (1999).

While the Quest initially offered entrants the opportunity to acquire new skills and self-confidence, considerable controversy from feminist and disability lobby groups surrounded it from the 1970s. Increased competition for charitable fundraising was another factor in the programme's demise.

Belinda Green's Miss World win (1972) was unrelated to the Miss Tasmania quest, as Miss World is a separate competition.

Further reading: K Beard, Miss Australia, Adelaide, 2001.

Wendy Rimon