The idea for a BaconFest came to our first Chief Baconeer Kathryn Stevens one night while doing the washing up. This light bulb moment was discussed at length over coffee and wine and slowly but surely began to gain some momentum. Before long, an impressive team of enthusiastic and bacon-loving volunteers had signed up to the cause and committed themselves to delivering a weekend-long celebration of the pig. These creative individuals are passionate about the South Burnett region and committed to using their professional skills and talents to give back to the community by delivering a truly delicious event.
Meet The Team
Chief Baconeer & Miss BaconFest Coordinator
Kristy is a fun and vivacious Baconeer with 1950's flair and a deep love of music, red lipstick, laughing out loud and of course... bacon. Kristy has a vested interest in the economy of the South Burnett, and takes on all of her BaconFest tasks with local business front of mind. After visiting the South Burnett five years ago to pick up a horse, Kristy fell in love with the beauty, diversity and spirit of the region. It didn't take much for her and her husband to make the decision to pack up their family for the tree change of a lifetime. When Kristy was asked what her favourite bacon recipe was, she responded "Why devils on horseback of course, can't beat a warm prune wrapped in bacony goodness, it takes me back to my Aunty Fay's dinner party's in the 80's".
Vice Chief Baconeer
Stephanie has had a lifelong connection with the pig industry. From her younger years visiting family pig farms in the South Burnett through to working with pig producers to develop their business operations in her current role in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Pork products and pig production is something that is in her genes. Her favourite bacon dish is roasted potato skins with apple sauce, grilled bacon pieces and sour cream.
I’m Michelle. I enjoy fresh air, fresh sheets and fresh bacon. I love being part of the amazing team bringIng bacon to the people. As a relative newcomer to Kingaroy, I have been so impressed with the people, produce and natural beauty of the South Burnett. My favorite bacon dish is Canadian Pancakes.
Debbie was born in Nanango but has lived in Kingaroy all her life. Debbie had also supported community groups from when her children were young. Debbie always puts her hand and Dales hand up whenever things need to be done. Debbie is very passionate about her children and grandchildren, and still is there to support them. Debbie enjoys craft, reading and sleeping. Debbie’s favourite bacon recipe is bacon, Bree and cranberry tarts.
Dale was born in Kingaroy and has always had a strong connection with community groups. Dale will always be there to lend a hand to make an event come together. Dale has been in business for over thirty years and strives to be a calm member of any group. Dale’s favourite bacon dish is bacon sandwiches.
Kath Stevens - BaconFest Founder & Publicity Coordinator
Kathryn grew up in the Blue Mountains near Sydney and arrived in the South Burnett seven and half years ago with plans to grow vegies and start a family. While on maternity leave, from a career in radio journalism and public relations, she came up with a hair brained scheme for a festival celebrating the sizzling deliciousness of bacon.
The Kingaroy BaconFest journey has taught Kathryn there is no such thing as too many pig puns and no problem is too big for a committee motivated by bacon. Kathryn likes to think of bacon as the gaffer tape of the food world, it can fix just about anything! When she’s not planning a food festival Kathryn spends time enjoying the company of her exceedingly patient husband and two fabulous kids.
Kylie Van Schyndel
Kylie grew up in the South Burnett and is passionate about supporting her local community. When she heard the name of some of the events planned for Kingaroy BaconFest, Kevin Bacon Movie Night, Wine and Swine and Little Piggies in the Park" she couldn't resist jumping on board the committee. Kylie is helping coordinate the Kevin Bacon Movie Night and the Volunteers. Kylie is excited about working with a group of like minded passionate community members.
Little Piggies & Stall Holder Coordinator
Suzanne, a QLD cattleman’s daughter and now married to a horticulturalist with a litter of kids has lived around the world. She settled in the South Burnett 12 years ago after responding to the call of the country; and realising that a fuller life is experienced in rural communities.
Suzanne’s hobbies include eating and talking. Luckily her day job working with children of the South Burnett allows her to pursue her love of talking. Joining the BaconFest committee has enabled her to pursue her love of eating. Suzanne’s favourite bacon meal is “Bacon & Vegie Frittata”. Easy to make and pleases the whole family.
Catch Suzanne at the Little Piggies!
Ticked Events Coordinator
Gail came to town in 2018 and loved the idea of the Bacon Festival. She loved the festival season from her home town of Adelaide and wanted to help create that atmosphere in Kingaroy. Gail and her husband own Crowies Paints in town and volunteering was a way to use her skills to promote the town and connect with people. Gail, with her group of bacon lover helpers organise the Long Table Breakfast and the Wine and Swine evening on the Friday night. Every Event is better with bacon! Gail’s favourite bacon delight is Loaded Baked Potatoes with Bacon and Cheddar… mmm
Fitzy moved from Brisbane to the South Burnett with his beautiful family, eight years ago. He loves regional Queensland and had been visiting a local farm stay twice a year for half a decade before taking the plunge and making the move to a property just outside Kingaroy. He loves the friendly locals, vibrant community and beautiful countryside and wouldn’t live anywhere else for quids! As a talented musician, coordinator and communicator, he’s been involved with and supported numerous local fundraising initiatives. He was also President of the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 2017 to 2019 and you can regularly catch him and his wife Clare at local events, pubs and clubs playing in the hugely popular local band, Ryza. Fitzy has been a huge supporter of BaconFest since its inception and performed on the main stage with Ryza in 2018 and 2019. At the start of 2020 he stepped up his involvement to accept the position of Entertainment Coordinator and can’t wait to get his bacon licking chops wrapped around the gig! He’s promised bacon lovers they can expect variety, some surprises and plenty of quality entertainment in 2021.
Fitzy's favorite bacon indulgence is the classic Bacon Butty
Digital Media Coordinator
Kathy was born in Kingaroy but left to explore the world as a teenager and came back about ten years ago. She’s the voice behind our social media platforms and lists her hobbies as trawling the internet for bacon trivia, researching bacon fun facts and experimenting with new ways to cook bacon. Heart-shaped bacon pretzel, anyone?
A big fan of visual storytelling, Kathy loves using social media to combine images and words in a way that makes people connect, smile and visit Kingaroy every August. She believes the only way world peace will be achieved is through a shared love of bacon.
When she’s not baconeering, Kathy runs a freelance business, volunteers for a charity that rescues abused children, blesses/annoys her two children with life-advice, and procrastinates.
Kath's favourite bacon treat ... Bacon flower lollipops.
Jack of All Trades
When Paul first heard of BaconFest, he knew he had to be involved in this sizzling event. Paul has lived in the area for a number of years with his wife and 3 gorgeous daughters. Paul is passionate about supporting his local community and is a valued member of the BaconFest Team. Paul owns and operates a small building company in Kingaroy and is proud to call Kingaroy home.
Sunpork Smokeoff Coordinator
Mark made the move to the South Burnett 15 years ago from the Darling Downs and hasn’t looked back since. This man appreciates good food and the South Burnett grows some of the best, so this dude is here to stay! Mark is a self-confessed bacon enthusiast, in his words “crazy about bacon”, so when the Chief Baconeer tapped him on the shoulder about a position on the Committee, he jumped into it with the enthusiasm only a true Baconeer can possess. Mark and his wife have raised their three Junior Baconeers here in the South Burnett, and all of them like nothing more than a bacon sanga, but Marks favourite…. Chicken Carbonara with loads of extra bacon.
Olivia's enjoyed bacon across Queensland before settling in Kingaroy three years ago to raise her three little piggies with her husband. Over the last decade she's worked on numerous community events and festivals in the arts sector, and embraces every opportunity to weave the arts into the every day.
Olivia's favourite way to enjoy bacon is piled on top of homemade pancakes with maple syrup on a Sunday morning.
After living in the South Burnett for 35 years Damien has taken every opportunity he can to be involved in community events. When Damien heard BaconFest was being planned, he knew he had to be involved in the most exciting new festival in Kingaroy. Damien is a butcher by trade (many years ago) so knows good fresh pork, ham and bacon when he eats it. Keep it simple mate. Damien suggests fresh sliced traditional ham off the bone with real butter and pepper on a crusty sesame seed roll or if you want to really mix it up, make it crispy bacon and add a running egg. Damien is looking forward to announcing everything that will be going on over the weekend and hopes to chat with as many of you as he can!!
VIP Area Coordinator
Melissa's South Burnett love story began when she fell in love with a South Burnett farmer and the farm. They moved away for 25 years and are never moving again – the South Burnett is too good to leave twice! Melissa is passionate about paddock to plate and supporting farmers to educate the people who eat the food they have grown, plus how could she miss an opportunity to expand her repertoire of piggy puns and one liners.
Melissa's favourite bacon recipe is care of an American backpacker, a ”sprightly bunch” of jalapeno bacon poppers.
Stall Holder Coordinator
Jodie knew she had to be on the BaconFest Committee after she and her husband visited the South Burnett for the first BaconFest in August 2018. The couple’s love for the region was instant, which led to them moving to South Burnett from Brisbane just one month later. Jodie and her husband (who just so happens to work at the Swickers Bacon Factory), were valuable volunteers at the 2019 festival, which led Jodie to putting her had up for a committee role in 2020. Jodie’s favourite bacon treat…. Hearty Bacon Soup!