NATIONALS candidate for Orange Yvette Quinn might have hit the headlines for a “bizarre, indescribable” outfit she wore while standing perched in a tree, but she is far from the only politician to dress up for a cause.
The 21-year-old was preselected for the state seat of Orange earlier this year and since then the young woman from Parkes has worked on building her profile across the region.
She has attended country shows, festival launches and on Friday attended an annual community reading day in Parkes.
This year’s theme was ‘Let’s Get Readiculous’ and attendees were encouraged to dress in the most ridiculous outfit they could find.
In a since deleted post to her Facebook page Ms Quinn posted a photo of her in a red pixie outfit up the tree during the event: “Come and find me perched up a tree for reading day outside Westpace on Clarinda St. I’ll be reading Before we go to Bed”.
But, what started out as a fun dress-up event ended up hitting the national media headlines.
One radio announcer said: “This is the Nationals party candidate for Orange, not the Greens candidate for Glebe”.
While a newspaper wrote: “Quinn shouldn’t count on too much support from the party”.
However, the woman in question has been left shocked and a little disappointed that her efforts to promote reading to young people had been ignored in favour of what she said was a story taken “out of context”.
Ms Quinn, who has lived in Parkes her whole life and taken part in the reading day for just as long, said she was honoured to have been selected as one of the readers.
“It’s a bit disappointing [the negative publicity] because it’s just taken away the whole cause of the day,” she said.
“It was a bit of a shock, but personally I could see that it had been taken out of context.”
Ms Quinn denies removing the post herself and said that members of the National party hierarchy were also administrators of her Facebook page and said they probably removed the post.
Just a few weeks ago Orange MP Phil Donato dressed as a pirate to attend a similar community reading day in Forbes. He received no negative publicity following this costume choice.
“It’s been taken out of context, she was there for the community. It’s part of your job in the electorate,” he said of Ms Quinn.
“It’s showing another side of yourself that you don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Ms Quinn said the negative reactions will not deter her from taking part in future community events.
“Definitely not. I think it’s really important to get out there and show your’e willing to get out there and participate because it shows that you’re supporting community matters,” she said.
Fellow nearby Nationals members refused to be drawn on the issue, with Dubbo MP Troy Grant issuing a “no comment”.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro did not respond to Fairfax Media’s request for comment, while the NSW Nationals chose not to take part in this story.