Indigenous models rule the runway

Lizzy, Taylor and Taaligah are three of the talented young models appearing.
Lizzy, Taylor and Taaligah are three of the talented young models appearing.

AN INNOVATIVE fashion parade featuring a swathe of stunning Aboriginal models who have gained a raft of new skills, will made its debut at Ewingsdale Hall on Friday evening.

But it's not your usual show full of vacuous faces and bored professionals.

Instead, according to Joanne the event creator, the models comprise 20 young women and eight young men, all of whom are all thrilled to have an opportunity to show off their new found skills.

"I'm trying to get on board the people in Byron Bay who need casual staff,” she said.

"I'm aiming at trying to get attention for these talented young women and men who are looking for work in hospitality, retail or as models.”

Joanne said one of those striding the catwalk on Friday has done some modelling and she has trained the others, who have been practising hard and picked up the skills very quickly.

"I want to encourage people from the region to realise there is a pool of enthusiastic, talented youngsters keen to develop their skills and find work,” she said.

Joanne said she came up with an idea for a fashion show when noticed the young women and men and thought of her large collection of clothing.

"I live in Lismore near Shearman Drive and I noticed the lovely young Aboriginal women dressing up and putting on high heels on and I thought they looked like models,” she said.

"I thought they don't seem to be going anywhere, a lot of them don't have work and get off that hill very much ...and I had it my heart to do something for them like a fashion parade.”

Joanne said once she started going through her extensive wardrobes, she realised just how much red, black and yellow clothing was suitable for the show.

"I was amazed as this is all their colours and have them in my heart, so now I have all the models arrayed ready to go,” she said.

"The girls are over the moon and are so excited and it's about celebrating the individual beauty rather than them fitting into a pigeon-hole.”

Once inspiration struck, Joanne enlisted the help of a respected elder to help persuade the youngsters.

"Auntie Doris Roberts Gordon the Bundjalung elder from this area has provided marvellous support,” she said.

"She is the Mother Theresa of Goonellabah, it is through her I've been able to do this.”

Joanne said the event includes entertainers such as Billy Smith Jub and Shelly Nagas who will also perform on the night at the Ewingsdale Hall.

"It starts at 7pm and is a drug and alcohol free, family friendly event,” she said.

"We don't have EFTPOS but the ticket price does include a supper including tea and coffee, cakes and cookies. Students from SEA in Ewingsdale are kindly supplying the lighting and sound and Three Blue Ducks and the Bread Social Farm are also supporting us.”

Tickets are: singles $15, single family $20, family of two adults and children $30.

Ewingsdale Hall is in William Flick Lane. More information call Joanne on 0407 857 738.

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