People

Fresh faces to know: The Indigenous Australian models you need on your radar

With native flowers selected by florist Monique Wardley, this new generation of Indigenous Australian models are proudly taking us into the future. Let them introduce themselves …

 

Dubs Yunupingu @ Priscillas

My name is… Serene Dharpaloco Djapunun Yunupingu …but you can call me … Dubs.

The first thing we should know about me is
... I come from the Boorooberongal clan of the Dharug Nation, western Sydney and the Gumatj Clan in North East Arnhem Land, Yolngu people.

My star sign is
… Cancer… and it suits me because… I am a creative spiritual being.

My friends would describe me as
… a free spirit.

My biggest fear is
… Loosing connection to culture.

My greatest joy comes from
… Being with family.

A legacy I hope to leave behind is
… I’m not sure, I’m still figuring out who I am.

The future looks
… Very interesting.

I used to think … I wouldn’t make it this far …but now I know… I can do anything.

My hidden talent is
… telling stories through art.

I’m most proud of
… My family.

The quality I admire most in a person is
… just being yourself!

Tell us about your childhood and upbringing.
I had a beautiful childhood surrounded by family and culture.

Which word or phrase do you most overuse?
“Yasss Queen!”

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… I dance with Jannawi Dance Clan, my amazing Mother’s dance company and I also do theatre.

What do you want to do more of?
I want to travel more and spend time in my community.

I’m most looking forward to
… Seeing where life takes me.

 

 

Gerald @ Kult Australia

The first thing you should know about me is ... I don’t trust people easily.

My star sign is… Virgo.

Tell us about your childhood and upbringing
. I grew up in Sydney I come from a big family, I have 4
brothers and 2 sisters and a niece. I’ve done years of swimming training , playing basketball. I’m a black belt in Kung fu, but now my main focus is basketball.

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… Trying to be my best self and work on my goals.

What do you want to do more of?
Hanging out with my mates.

My friends would describe me as
… a pretty kickback person.

The word or phrase I most overuse is
… Eetswaa…

The quality I admire most in a person is
… Respect.

My biggest fear is
… dying.

My greatest joy comes from … my best mates.

My star sign is
… I’m a Virgo.

A legacy I hope to leave behind is
… that I made a good change in the world

The future looks
… bright.

I’m most looking forward to
… making it into the NBA.

I used to
… be suspicious about others …but now I know… most people are trustworthy.

My hidden talent is
… I’m still figuring it out

I’m most proud of
… Myself.

 

 

Kiesha @ Kult Australia

My name is… Kiesha …but you can call me Quiche (like the food).

The first thing you should know about me is
... I’m a 21 year old proud Kamillaroi woman.

My star sign is
… Pisces …and it suits me because … like water I like to go with the flow.

My friends would describe me as… being straight up.

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… I still live on the Central Coast so for the next few months I’m planning on relocating to Sydney to better my work opportunities and to be closer to my family.

What do you want to do more of?
Turn off my phone and get off social media!

A word or phrase I most overuse is
… “Can we put on some music?”

Tell us about your childhood and upbringing.
I grew up on Darkinjung country on the Central Coast, NSW raised by my single Mother. During my early childhood I danced competitively until I was 9 years old then left that to get involved in competitive sports such as swimming, netball and nippers. With my swimming I medaled at state and national levels and trained up to 7 times a week before giving it away when I was 14. A lot of my childhood was dedicated to the activities I did outside of school which took me all around Australia for competitions and events.

My greatest joy comes from
… My family, job, and culture.

I hope through my work I can inspire other young Indigenous women to feel like they can live a positive life in a system that wasn’t built for them

A legacy I hope to leave behind is … for young aboriginal women to be able to stand up for themselves and feel proud to be in their skin. I grew up in a white community with my non-Indigenous mother, so I always felt ashamed of who I was growing up because I stuck out from what was considered normal and no one ever talked about my culture at school or in the media. I hope through my work I can inspire other young Indigenous women to feel like they can live a positive life in a system that wasn’t built for them and that I encourage there to be more positive representation of Indigenous models within the industry.

The future looks … confusing, because of COVID-19.

The quality I admire most in a person is
… A sense of humour.

My biggest fear is
… my outfit not matching.

I’m most looking forward to
… Retiring and getting a dog.

I used to think
… social media was important …but now I know… it doesn’t mean s#!*

My hidden talent is
… writing.

I’m most proud of
… My culture, the things I’ve overcome, and the person I’ve become.

 

 

Jarwyn @ Chadwicks

The first thing you should know about me is ... I am Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta and very proud of my First Nation heritage.

My star sign isAquariusand it suits me because… I’m easygoing, I love being challenged mentally and physically and I love the ocean.

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… I am a carpenter and find creating and building unique and challenging structures rewarding. I enjoy working with my mind and my hands and the more physically challenging the better.

Tell us about your childhood and upbringing.
My childhood was easygoing filled with love and laughter by the ocean in NSW. My parents weren’t together but parented together and always made sure I felt secure, safe, loved and an important member of both of my large and extended families. I was mad about sport. Footy, AFL, surfing, skating. Anything physical. I was always encouraged to be the best I could be in whatever I chose to do and to be proud of my heritage and culture even though life and other people could be cruel and hurtful at times. My family are everything.
What do you want to do more of? Travel. One of my sisters lives in London so hoping to get there one day!

My friends would describe me as
… Easygoing, reliable and Respectful.

The word or phrase I most overuse is
… Hectic!

I was always encouraged to be the best I could be in whatever I chose to do and to be proud of my heritage and culture even though life and other people could be cruel and hurtful at times.

The quality I admire most in a person is … Wisdom.

My biggest fear is
… Not being good enough and being accepted.

My greatest joy comes from
… Surfing, my family, My friends.

My star sign is
… Aquarius …and it suits me because… I’m easygoing, I love being challenged mentally and physically and I love the ocean.

A legacy I hope to leave behind is
… My strength, my culture and my story.

My hidden talent is
… my analytical brain and creativity.

I am most proud of
... My courage, strength, compassion and resilience.

The future looks
… Exciting but honouring my family and my ancestors, their journeys and making them proud is always forefront in my mind

I’m most looking forward to
… My life journey and where it takes me.

I used to think
… Life was sometimes just too hard …but now I know… my life journey is already mapped out and guided by my ancestors and I just need to relax into it and walk the road.

 

 

Shaneiva @ Kult Australia

The first thing you should know about me is ... I am a Proud Gamilaroi Woman and I am passionate about breaking Australia’s cycle of turning a blind eye to important issues throughout our country.

My star sign is
… Virgo… and it suits me because… apparently Virgos are known for me straight up honest. I am all about keeping it 100% real and authentic.

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… A big part of my culture is storytelling. I am a very passionate artist who uses my art as a way to amplify the Indigenous voice of Australia, raise awareness of the issues and challenges that our people face, and also to generate much needed conversations around Australia’s history. I often look at my art as a bridge between two worlds that don’t fully understand each other.

I want more of
.... I want to create more content that inspires our mob. I want to see the descendants of the oldest living culture on earth feeling immensely connected with their ancient roots, and feeling empowered to use their voices. I want us all to be reminded of who we are and where we come from.

My friends would describe me as
… strong and deadly! I’m all about having fun and embracing the courageous side of you that doesn’t fear judgement from others, this part of me often gets described as crazy.



Tell us about your childhood and upbringing
. The first lesson I learnt in life was that family doesn’t always mean blood. After being neglected as a child, I was very blessed to have been adopted into a beautiful family alongside four brothers. Although we didn’t have much and struggled a lot financially, we had everything we needed and that was each other. I grew up in a predominantly white town which left little to no avenues to be immersed in my culture, making it difficult for me for me to find my sense of identity and sense of belonging in the community. Despite all of this, my dad always made sure that we stayed proud of who we were even in times when we didn’t feel accepted. It has always been important lesson of his to never forget where you come from.

My greatest joy comes from
… putting a smile on someone’s face. As well as my loved ones putting a smile on mine.

Whenever I feel lost, all I have to do is remember what the people before me have overcome and conquered, and this reminds me that I can truly do anything I set my mind to.

A legacy I hope to leave behind is… the same one that has been left behind for me, my ancestors legacy of strength and resilience.

I used to think
… that being Indigenous meant that my capabilities were limited. This was because of the racial profiling and negative stereotypes that I was constantly exposed to. But now I know… that being Indigenous means my capabilities are limitless. Whenever I feel lost, all I have to do is remember what the people before me have overcome and conquered, and this reminds me that I can truly do anything I set my mind to.

My hidden talent is… when I concentrate too much on my painting I have an amazing ability in being able to accidentally dribble on my work. Pure skill if you ask me.

I am most proud of
… who I am and where I come from, as well as my brothers and sisters. We should all be proud of each other

The future looks
… United. Because we all know deep down that in order to moved forward and reconcile, we must embrace our differences and come together as one.
I’m most looking forward to… seeing all Australians embrace and celebrate Indigenous culture in our country. We should all be proud to be living in a country which is home to the oldest living culture on the earth.

 

 

Abby @ Kult Australia

The first thing you should know about me is ... I’m shy until you get to know me.

Tell us about your childhood and upbringing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, My family are Kamiliori and Kulkagau. I am born and raised in Sydney, Inner city. Being raised in Sydney has allowed me to meet and grow up with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait people from all over Australia as it is a very central place being the main city.

Outside of modelling, I’m currently working on
… I work a full time job but besides that I also enjoy radio and traditional dancing and Aboriginal contemporary dancing I am not a trained dancer but I love to dance. I feel very connected to my heritage and land when I do traditional dance.

What do you want to do more of? I live in the moment and am quite spontaneous. I’ve travelled in Australia and would like to continue to travel the country more.

My friends would describe me as
… I believe my friends would say independent and goes for what she wants.

The quality I admire most in a person is… people that encourage others.

The word or phrase do I most overuse is
… I say ‘AY’ all the time!

My biggest fear is
… Sky diving. I would like to overcome it one day but I hate the feeling in my stomach even from theme park rides.

My greatest joy comes from
… Laughing, Dancing enjoying company of Family and friends

My star sign is
… I am a Taurus …and it suits me because … it’s very much my star sign, its quite accurate.

A legacy I hope to leave behind is
… That I wasn’t scared to try new things and loved life.

The future looks
… Not sure as of yet… to be continued!

I’m most looking forward to
Coronavirus being over so I can travel to my family in the Torres Strait Islands.

I used to
… hold myself back with doubts …but now… I love trying new things and experiences.

I’m most proud of
… Everything I do is for myself, my family and my people/culture.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Lilli Boisselet
MODELS Abby, Gerald, Kiesha, Shanevia @ Kult, Dubs @ Priscillas and Jarwyn @ Chadwicks wear Sunshine Symbol.
HAIR & MAKE UP Sharon Massey and Tri-Anh Nguyen using Viseart and Kosas.
CASTING Mahalia Handley
FLORALS Monique Wardley @ The Bloom Movement
Shot at Innkeeper Studio.

 

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