50+ PHOTOS: NSW premier visits Jacaranda City
ELBOW bumps were the order of the day as Gladys Berejiklian dropped into Grafton to admire the city's jacarandas and sample purple ice cream before visiting the fire-impacted community of Nymboida.
Ms Berejiklian's whirlwind visit on Monday, October 26 started at Rappville Sports Ground at 8.30am to acknowledge the efforts of the Richmond Valley community impacted by the black summer bushfires.
By 10.15am she was adorning a purple umbrella and strolling along a purple carpet under Market Square's jacaranda trees, before sitting down for some iconic jacaranda ice cream at I Scream.
"Yummo," was her response.
She enjoyed a casual conversation with several people including Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Mr Blackadder, I Scream owner Jeff Smith, Giane Smajstr from Our Healthy Clarence and Skye Sear from New School of Arts, Grafton Chamber of Commerce's Carol Pachos and Justin James.
Hosted by Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, the pair walked down Prince St, stopping to meet and greet many shopkeepers, passers by and members of the public generally wishing the premier well, eventually stopping at Toast Espresso Cafe for some more photo opportunities and a chance to meet some more prominent community members.
The relaxed atmosphere of her visit must have been a relief after enduring constant scrutiny in what was arguably the worst fortnight of her political career amid revelations of her secret romance with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire.
From Grafton the Ms Berejiklian's entourage travelled to Nymboida Community Hall, where local Rural Fire Service volunteers, community members and representatives from Clarence Valley Council greeted the premier.
Again the mood was jovial and the premier shared a genuine laugh with some of the locals, no doubt pleasantly impressed by the Clarence Valley hospitality.
Ms Berejiklian surprised two women - Georgia Foster-Eyles and Hayley Katzen - with NSW Government Community Service Awards during the Nymboida visit.