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  • Moree on a Plate

The festival may be cancelled, but the show must go on.

“While it’s disappointing to have to cancel my first festival as president, it’s an unprecedented situation totally out of our hands,” Chloe said.

The festival may be cancelled, but the show must go on.

That’s the message from incoming Moree on a Plate Festival president, Chloe Hayes, whose maiden tenure was abruptly cut short due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“While it’s disappointing to have to cancel my first festival as president, it’s an unprecedented situation totally out of our hands,” Chloe said.

Elected in October, the dedicated volunteer had hit the ground running, proving herself a highly capable leader with maturity beyond her years.

Taking over the reins from former president, Bethany Kelly, Chloe admits she has very big shoes to fill.

“Bethany was an excellent president, her organisational skills and ability to get things done are inspirational and I’d be lost without her as a mentor.”

“The whole committee, and community, thanks Bethany for leading our festival –there are always challenges no one even hears about, and her ability to deal with them promptly and get on with the job is what helps make our festival run so smoothly.”

Bethany remains on the committee, albeit having taken a step back, and reflects fondly on her years as treasurer from 2012 and president from 2016 – over which time the festival grew - in size and reputation.

Highlights from her years as president include securing Destination NSW Regional Flagship Funding, a grant specifically designed to increase marketing efforts, which resulted in a huge campaign around the 2019 festival.

“We had Australian Traveller Magazine visit the festival, as well as Destination NSW stakeholders and it makes us all so proud to know we’re helping put Moree on the map as a wonderful tourist destination and cementing the festival as a signature regional event.”

Producer numbers also have grown under Mrs Kelly’s tenure.

“Producers come for the first time thinking they’re attending a farmer’s market, and are absolutely blown away by the quality and size of the event, and the sales they’re able to make!”

With the community appreciative of quality food and produce, and not always able to access such delights, Mrs Kelly said the festival crowd was always particularly generous.

“We know how generous Moree is, but it still surprises many of our producers – even during the drought most stall holders sold out.”


The growth of the Moree on a Plate Long Lunch, and its subsequent relocation to B&W Rural has also been achieved under Bethany’s leadership, and while this year’s long lunch is still up in the air, she is thrilled the event provides such a fun, relaxed social opportunity.

Mrs Kelly, who also juggles her career as Head Teacher Teaching and Learning at Moree Secondary College plus her three children, said she was extremely rest assured handing her presidency over to Chloe.

“Despite this year’s disruption, I feel confident, and excited, about the future of the festival under Chloe’s lead, she has a fantastic committee supporting her and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Moree on a Plate 2021,” Mrs Kelly said.