The story of The Rose of Tralee

2016 PBT New Zealand Rose of Tralee

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The young women of Irish birth or descent listed below will be competing for the honour of being the 2016 PBT New Zealand Rose of Tralee, to succeed Maggie Fea, the 2015 New Zealand Rose of Tralee.

The Roses:

Olivia Masters, representing the Auckland Irish SocietyOlivia Masters - Auckland

Olivia is a 22-year-old registered nurse in Starship Children's Hospital's operating theatre. She is studying towards her masters degree while she works. Her job can be both challenging and rewarding and leaves her feeling immensely satisfied.

Olivia's grandparents were born in Counties Mayo and Tipperary before marrying in England and emigrating to New Zealand in the 1950s.

Keeping active is important to Olivia; she enjoys cycling, attending gym classes, and was an Irish dancer for a decade. During her dancing career she travelled to Ireland, England and America to compete and won the New Zealand Championship three times.

Olivia is a lover of great food and spends her weekends unwinding by trying new brunch spots and cafes around Auckland.

According to Olivia there are few things worse than a weak cup of tea, and one of them is Monday mornings.

Claire Richardson, representing the Taranaki Irish ClubClaire Richardson - Taranaki

Claire is a 24-year-old medical student with the University of Otago. She lives in her hometown of New Plymouth and is hoping to one day become a rural GP.

Claire's Irish heritage stems from Counties Cork, Wicklow, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick, and Louth. Her ancestors travelled to New Zealand in the late-1800s.

She loves Taranaki for its amazing sense of community and close proximity to the sea and mountains. Claire enjoys a good party, surrounding herself with positive attitudes and, of course, chocolate.

Family is important to Claire and she loves big gatherings at Easter and Christmas. Her nana is 88-years-old and Claire values the time she spends looking after her. The Rose of Tralee has become a family tradition for Claire; her mother, sister, cousins, and aunts have entered in the past.

Claire is a very active person, enjoying adventure sport and being in the outdoors. She aspires to become one of New Zealand's top female rugby referees.

Hannah Greally, representing the Hutt Valley Irish SocietyHannah Greally - Hutt Valley

Hannah is a 21-year-old student at Victoria University working towards a Bachelor of Science and a Diploma of Maori Culture.

The Greally family can be traced back to County Galway and County Clare. Their Annaghdown farm is still in the family today.

Hannah is a very busy woman and has volunteered in various roles including teaching English in Thailand and helping international students adapt to the New Zealand way of life.

She has a passion for animals and lives on a lifestyle block, allowing her to have pigs, goats, sheep, horses, cats, and dogs.

A self-confessed fried chicken fan, Hannah also enjoys watching cooking shows, Animal Planet, and learning to play musical instruments.

Lorna Brosnahan, representing Wellington Irish SocietyLorna Brosnahan - Wellington Irish Society

Lorna is a 25-year-old office administrator at Grant Thornton New Zealand. She enjoys living in vibrant Wellington and loves the waterfront along with the theatre and performances.

Lorna's ancestors first arrived from Annaghdown, Galway in 1861. She also has roots in Counties Kerry, Cavan, Tipperary, Tyrone, and Leitrim.

Lorna completed a Bachelor of Arts at Otago University and would like to pursue a career in event management. A lover of family time, Lorna is looking forward to one day having children and a house of her own.

After graduating she set off to travel the world and spent three years living and working in the UK and Europe. Lorna visited 17 countries and made a special trip to Ireland with her father and brother.

When not working Lorna enjoys hot yoga and is a black belt in Seido karate, something she considers to be one of her greatest achievements.

Tara Burke, representing the Christchurch Irish SocietyTara Burke - Christchurch

Tara is a 26-year-old intensive care nurse living in Christchurch. She was born in County Carlow, Ireland, and studied with Trinity College in Dublin.

She aims to complete her masters over the next few years and is considering branching out into neonatal ICU. She loves the emotional connection she gets with her patients and says that every day somebody touches her heart.

A lover of the outdoors, Tara enjoys hiking, animals, and travelling to explore new cultures - a trait which has led her to New Zealand.

Tara is a very social person and could sit and chat all day, something she found particularly useful during the time she worked in a rest home.

Cooking and baking are hobbies of Tara's, particularly eating the finished product!

 Daranee Bolger, representing the Otago Irish Society. Daranee Bolger - Otago

Daranee is a 20-year-old student at Otago University working towards a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts.

Daranee’s Irish ancestors predominantly come from County Antrim. Her great-grandfather William went to buy tickets for the family to sail to Canada. He met a friend at the ticket booth who was heading to New Zealand and, much to his wife’s dismay, came home with tickets for the family to come here.

Daranee is passionate about volunteering and believes everyone on the planet can do something to give back. She also enjoys decorating cakes and is the go-to baker for friend's birthday cakes.

Some of her biggest achievements include being head girl of her high school, gaining her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, a Queen's Scout Award, and winning a scholarship to Outward Bound.

2016 is the year Daranee plans to run a full marathon for the first time. One day she wants to work for a not-for-profit, putting her business degree to good use. Being a Diplomat in Ireland is her ultimate goal.

Kathryn Butler, representing the Invercargill Irish Society.Kathryn Butler - Invercargill

Kathryn is a 23-year-old speech and language therapist with the Ministry of Education in Invercargill. She finds her job hugely rewarding and feels very lucky to be able to help the families she works with.

Kathryn's Irish roots are in Counties Galway and Offaly. Her great-grandfather had to sell the family cow to afford his passage. Recently his letters home were found and are now displayed in the Otago Museum.

Kathryn values a good work/life balance and enjoys getting out of her comfort zone, willing to give anything a go and laugh it off if it doesn't go to plan. In high school she travelled to Cambodia on a missions trip and has spent time in Japan, England, Ireland, and Europe.

Staying active is a priority of Kathryn's, playing dodgeball, netball, and football socially. She loves exploring Southland's landscape and spending time with her family.