AUTHOR Tanya Saad has accepted the invitation to be the 2014 Manning Winter Festival ambassador.
The appointment means Tanya will represent the festival and people of the Manning Valley over the next two years until the next Manning Winter Festival in 2016.
She follows in the footsteps of the 2012 festival ambassador, talented musician, Michael Bardon.
Of Lebanese heritage and born and educated in Taree, Tanya is the acclaimed author of the recently released book, "From the Feet Up".
This is a compelling memoir of her journey of self -discovery after learning that she carried the BRCA 1 gene fault, which meant that she had a lifetime risk of 80 per cent for breast cancer and up to 60 per cent risk for ovarian cancer.
Her decision to have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery has led her to become an advocate for raising awareness of preventative health opportunities.
She also sees it as an opportunity to encourage people to overcome life's challenges with self-determination and courage.
"I am very proud to be the 2014 Manning Winter Festival ambassador," said Tanya.
"Not only does it mean that I can help promote the wonderful creative talent in the Manning Valley, but also encourage the people of the Manning to showcase and embrace the diversity of cultures among us."
Raised in a family which enjoyed music, Tanya studied piano for 10 years before deciding on a move to concentrate on athletics and go on to tertiary studies.
She has worked as a strategic advisor for local, State and federal governments for much of her career. She has retained a love of the arts and is considering writing another book.
"We are absolutely delighted Tanya is giving us some of her valuable time to support and promote the 2014 Manning Winter Festival," said committee president George Hoad.
"Tanya is a vibrant and talented person who shares our pride in our beautiful Manning Valley."
Tanya will attend a number of events during the festival, which runs from June 14 to June 29.
Look for the program of events which extend across the valley. It will be out soon.
"I would love to use my new found literary achievements to encourage the young and the not-so-young, to share their creative work and to persevere in their artistic endeavours," said Tanya.
"The Manning Valley provides a perfectly beautiful setting to invoke the imagination and creative flair in each of us."
If you wish to talk with Tanya about her book you can contact her on mobile 0404 604 517.
For festival inquiries contact president George Hoad on 6550 5890 or program director Mave Richardson on 6553 5412, or visit the website: www: manningwinterfestival.com.