Rose of Tralee set for date at the White House
Rose of Tralee winner Tara Talbot may be a native of Queensland but she certainly has the luck of the Irish.
The 28-year-old schoolteacher has revealed that she will be joining US President Barack Obama for the St Patrick's Day festivities at the White House in March.
Ms Talbot, who is from the Bribane suburb West End, said she was thrilled at being given the opportunity to meet the Obamas.
"It is very exciting. Myself, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and a few TDs will be heading over," she told the Irish Echo.
"Not many people get such a wonderful opportunity to spend St Patrick's Day at the White House so I am really looking forward to it. I haven't received a personal invitation from the Obamas yet, but I am hoping I will.
"I don't know what I will wear but possibly something green. It will have to be very special because I know Michelle Obama has a fantastic wardrobe."
Ms Talbot, whose father is from Dublin and mother is from the Philippines, is currently in Ireland after spending Christmas with her boyfriend's family in Dublin.
Although Ms Talbot is more used to enjoying sunshine over the Christmas holidays, she said she was loving her time in Ireland.
"I love Ireland. I spent Christmas with my boyfriend's family and St Stephen's Day with my extended family so it was really nice, " she said.
"Everybody is very welcoming and I am being treated like royalty. The only thing is getting used to navigating the roads – and the cold weather."
She added that the first half of her reign as the Rose of Tralee has been "absolutely life-changing", and is looking forward to her plans for 2012.
"I met some great people when I travelled to Kolkata, and recently I met the President Michael D Higgins, who was lovely. I am really looking forward to spending the next few months travelling and doing some charity work.
" I will be going to Chernobyl in February, America in March and I will be back in Australia in May, which I am really looking forward to."