Cow Auction
Published 23 September
Grand Central's 2019 Floral Parade Float took it's inspiration from the first street procession in 1950. This original parade was led by a bullock team, with the procession stretching three miles and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong.

This year, the traditional bullock team was re-imagined, with six local artists commissioned to create designs on fibreglass cows through the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers theme, ‘The Power of the Flower’.

Now the parade has finished for another year, we're looking for a new home for these Carnival Cows and are supporting local charities in the process. Each artist has selected as charity or not-for-profit in our local community to benefit from a silent auction of the fibreglass cow that they worked on.

The silent auction will run from 9am Sunday 22 September finishing at 10am Monday 14 October. All funds raised will be donated to the selected charities. Bids for the cows can be placed here.

Details of the artists, their designs and their chosen charities can be found below and on the bidding site. The Carnival Cows will remain on display outside H&M on Level 1 throughout the duration of the silent auction.

Terms and conditions apply.


Joy Heylen supporting Drought Angels

Artist:  Joy Heylen found her purpose and identity for being in sculpture.  The design for her cow drew on symbolic interpretation from the floral spray pattern of a paisley motif, which is a symbol of life and eternity.

Charity:  Drought Angels is committed to providing heartfelt, discrete and personalised support to farmers and their rural communities.  They provide direct and timely financial assistance, essential resources and meaningful relief for primary producers impacted by drought and natural disasters.  The majority of their support is given in the form of prepaid visa cards.  They understand that these hard working people are proud and often struggle to ask for assistance of any kind.  The cards have no markings on them and can be used to pay for groceries, utilities or stock feed.  This gives farmers some control over their situation where they have no control over mother nature.    




Mary-Kate Thomson supporting Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland

Artist:  Mary-Kate Thomson is a graphic designer / illustrator who grew up in Toowoomba and returned to the city to raise her family.  The inspiration for her violet and wattle cow design is the beautiful flora of the Garden City, and the focus is the historically significant and iconic Toowoomba Violet.  Many violet posies were sold post-war to fund the Mother’s Memorial.  Wattle, a native flower, perfectly complements the non-native violet. 

Charity:  Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland is a local community based organisation which offers a range of crisis support and community services.  They provide 26 human services across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to a population in excess of 260,000.  Their services include, but are not limited to, family and individual counselling, emergency relief and suicide prevention.  Lifeline assists the most vulnerable members of our society when they are in distress and services are free to all those who need them.  The funds raised from the silent auction will be used to support their self-funded free, confidential counselling service which is available to anyone who needs it. 



Anna Bartlett supporting Hope Horizons

Artist:  Anna Bartlett is a contemporary painter whose mission is to share the joy of drawing and painting.  Happy colours are her ‘thing’ and she says flowers are a fantastic way to explore colour.  The ‘Graphic Floral Cow’ she painted for Grand Central is a bold, clean, graphic depiction of stylised floral motifs. 

Charity:  Hope Horizons supports all cancers with a Cancer Wellness Centre in Toowoomba.  They strive to enhance the quality of life of all people affected by any cancer within Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region throughout and after their cancer diagnosis, encouraging empowerment through education and awareness. Their clients can expect a welcoming atmosphere with a genuine focus on individual care, where a variety of support services are delivered with professionalism, integrity and confidentiality.



Kym Breeze supporting Emerge

Artist:  Kym Breeze has exhibited at various galleries in Toowoomba, Sydney and surrounding regional areas, and has also sold some works internationally.  The main influence of her art has always been colour and texture.  For her cow, she drew on her earliest memories of Carnival as a child, and the tradition she started with her own children as they grew up – celebrating all the beauty of our city each year as Carnival came around.  Family embraced by the flower, blue skies, green rolling hills and happiness. 

Charity:  Emerge is a youth organisation and social enterprise cafe engaging and empowering youth in the Toowoomba community. They bring together a dedicated youth space, a fully operational cafe and cooking school, crisis resources and boxing and fitness programs for youth in the Toowoomba region who are experiencing hardship such as homelessness, social disadvantage, poverty and racial exclusion.


Jennifer Wright (Summers) supporting Sunrise Way

Artist: is a well-known Toowoomba artist and Arts advocate.  She embraced a ‘walk back in history’ theme for her design.  Each patch of history shows times on this place such as the volcanoes that made our soil rich, the First People going to a Bunya Festival, colonial pioneers, and the long history of where Grand Central now stands.  Jennifer Wright (Summers) 

Charity:  Sunrise Way   It is a 20 bed not-for-profit rehabilitation service based in Toowoomba that facilitates a 26 week program.  The goal of the program is to enable clients to understand their addiction, manage their mental health, develop skills and strategies to maintain sobriety, and rebuild their lives.  is supporting stronger and healthier communities in regional and rural Queensland through helping individuals living with addiction to rebuild their lives.



Katie Whyte supporting RSPCA Queensland

Artist:  Katie Whyte is an abstract painter living in Toowoomba.  She wanted to create a design that was reflective of Spring time in Toowoomba and how the Carnival has helped shape our local identity over time. Katie took two quintessential Toowoomba elements and combined them to form the design – the shape of the horizon over the Toowoomba Range and the outline of flowers in bloom. 

Charity:  RSPCA Queensland is a non-government, community based charity dedicated to protecting the welfare of all animals – great and small.  Their Toowoomba Animal Care Centre’s facilities are long overdue for an upgrade, so they’re currently in the process of building a new adoption centre near Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.  Any funds raised from the auction will be allocated to the fit-out of this adoption centre. 




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