Carnival Style As Cairns Amateurs Celebrates Its Jubilee

Cairns Amateurs Carnival Ambassador and Fashions on the Field judge Emma Scodellaro is joined by visiting first-time Cairns Amateurs judges and multi-award-winning FOTF competitors, Neil Carpenter, and Crystal Kimber. With new season styles and bursts of spring colour adorning rack and rail within its vibrant retail hub, Cairns Central has been awarded the coveted naming rights and sponsorship of Cairns Amateurs Carnival’s hotly contested Fashions on the Field.

Models Lucy Miller & DJ Moose dressed by Cairns Central
Hair and Makeup: Tokunai Hair
Photography: Veronica Sagredo, Blueclick Photography
Stylist: Chantal Togany,
Empowered By Style

The city’s one-stop destination for race-ready looks on track and glittering gowns and suits after dark, Cairns Central will endow the winners of this year’s style stakes with prizes from fashion and lifestyle retailers within its popular precinct. “The city is already buzzing with excitement in anticipation of this year’s spring racing season and our retailers are ready to go with fashion and accessory options to suit every style and budget,” said Cairns Central Marketing Manager, Louise Struber. In advance of this year’s sartorial clash, Cairns Amateurs’ Fashions on the Field Committee and Cairns Central went to first place on the style podium to assemble its 2023 judging panel who each boast impeccable qualifications both on and off the track.

Setting the fashion pace across both days will be this year’s Carnival Ambassador and racing style icon, Emma Scodellaro, Australia’s multi-award winning “Gentleman of the Day” competitor Neil Carpenter, and Melbourne’s racing fashion enthusiast, many time Fashions on the Field winner, former Myer Fashions on the Field Ambassador (2019) and Victoria Racing Club Ambassador and fashion judge, Crystal Kimber. Adding to the judging panel in 2023 is Sydney milliner and guest judge, Kathryn Lee who will choose the millinery awards at the Fashion High Tea and Fashions on the Field event.

After many decades supporting the Cairns Amateurs Racing Carnival, CityLife Magazine has taken up pride of place as naming rights sponsor of the Fashion Precinct alongside Cairns Central to create a luscious VIP Lounge and Beauty Bar area for fashion fillies to enjoy throughout the racing festivities.

The fashion stage will be emceed on both days by Triple M breakfast radio presenter and experienced event manager, Tammy Barker and is set within shady, open-door surrounds of Cannon Park replete with photo walls, seating, and pop-up bars within the heart of Amateurs’ social and racing activity. Cairns Amateurs Carnival Vice President and fashion committee member Bella Kullack said Emma, Neil and Crystal have been vested with an all-important task to ensure the event continues its tradition of lifting Far North Queensland’s racing fashion benchmark with winners a true reflection of individuality, contemporary trends, style, and elegance. “Cairns Amateurs contestants regularly take line honours at Randwick and Flemington, and we know Cairns is up there and can mix it with the best,” Ms Kullack said.

Competition criteria are based on style and originality, interpretation of latest trends, appropriateness of race wear for a spring carnival in Cairns, attention to detail, style, design, and quality of workmanship of millinery, grooming and deportment.

According to Cairns Amateurs Carnival Ambassador Emma Scodellaro, she will be looking for something completely unique. “I am attracted by originality, colour and an outfit that suits the wearer’s individual style. I am also influenced by a ‘wow’ factor with personal touches that make it stand out from the crowd. Interesting accessories such as bags, jewellery and unique millinery can help your outfit pop. Most of all, I’m looking for every person to have fun with their outfit, enjoy the process of putting it together and bring it to the stage with a big smile. Cairns Amateurs is all about fun, colour and having the opportunity to show off your individual style,” said Ms Scodellaro.

A previous winner of Cairns Amateurs’ Open Men’s Fashions on the Field category, and holder of many racing fashion awards, Neil Carpenter has an eye for detail and if he had one piece of advice for contestants, it would be “confidence is key”. In 2023 Cairns Central will present goody bags to all finalists and will contribute to the major prize packages for the winners and runners-up of seven judging categories and special awards across the two-day Carnival with goods from select lifestyle and fashion retailers within its precinct. In 2023 the Cairns Amateurs Carnival Fashions on the Field committee have added an extra category to Friday’s competition just for local ladies living anywhere between the Cassowary Coast, the tip of Cape York and Torres Strait.
In what is its biggest Fashions on the Field competition to date, Cairns Amateurs Carnival in conjunction with Cairns Central and major event partners have joined forces and resources to promise winners a share in its biggest and most aspirational prize pool to date valued at more than $30,000.

In 2023 Cairns Amateurs Carnival Fashions on the Field judging categories are as follows:

Ladies Day, Friday 8 September:
Gold Class Racewear, Open Ladies Racewear, Local Ladies Racewear and Millinery (special award).

Cairns Amateurs Cup Day, Saturday 9 September:
Best Dressed Couple, Open Classic Racewear, Open Contemporary Racewear, Open Men’s Racewear and sashing of ‘Carnival Champion’

(special award) for the overall winner across both days.

About Cairns Amateurs Carnival
Cairns Amateurs Carnival, The Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club Inc, was established 63 years ago by the late Sir Sydney Williams OBE and Les Gallagher to introduce a coastal version of the historical Oak Park races as a way of bringing city and country people together. The committee of 10 members spanning representatives from outback stations and Cairns businesses, presented the first ever Cairns Amateurs Carnival on 18 and 19 September 1959. In its early days, the Cairns Amateurs ran six races on each day of the two-day program and from the very outset was held under Vice-Regal patronage, with the then Governor, Sir Henry Abel Smith. Jockeys were, as the club’s name suggests, amateur riders and came mainly from the inland stations. Professional riders were not present until many years later due to changes in race regulations. While the club expressed disappointment at the mid-1990 ruling which disallowed amateur riders from competing, the ‘amateurs’ tradition has been retained and is deeply instilled within the spirit of the club’s culture.
Today, the mission of the club is to operate a sustainable and accessible annual racing carnival showcasing the social, cultural, and commercial attributes of Cairns and the tropical north.

“Cairns Amateurs is all about fun, colour and having the opportunity to show off your individual style”