IT was a model weekend for Rockhampton girl, Dakota Lee Shaw who was one of eight local finalists selected in the Aboriginal Model Search in Rockhampton on Saturday night.
The 12 year old, who models through Rachelle Louise Modelling Agency in Rockhampton, then received a letter to say she had been selected to represent Australia with The ARTS Australia after auditioning last month.
While she now has a spot in the nationals in Sydney in October for the Aboriginal Model Search, Dakota said that she wasn't as nervous for this competition as she had been previously.
"The biggest competition I have done so far would be the RACQ CQ Model Search in Mackay, which had over 100 models and I was really nervous for that," she said.
"I would really like to travel to LA for modelling and work with the amazing models that are over there," she said.
Dakota, who is originally from Cloncurry and is a descendant of the Kalkadoon, named Jessica Mauboy as her role model, explaining Jessica's self-confidence is inspiring.
"I think she is amazing," she said
"She isn't afraid or held back by the colour of her skin."
Dakota's mother Sujan Shaw said her daughter is so successful at her age because of her confidence and her belief in herself, saying growing up in a big family helped her gain extra confidence.
"She grew up with six older brothers, so she kind of had to be confident and fearless growing up and it has helped her so much with her modelling," she said.
"She is really inspiring her friends and other young Aboriginal girls who think that they can't do certain things.
"Or they are embarrassed by the colour of their skin and they don't believe in themselves as much as they should.
"Dakota helps show them that they can do anything they want."
Dakota said her advice to any young girl wanting to get into the industry was they shouldn't be afraid to be themselves.
"Just be who you are and don't be afraid for everyone to see that you are unique," she said
"Who cares what people think, just do what you love."
Sujan said she is hoping a GoFundMe page will help pay for the expenses that come with the modelling competitions.
"It gets really expensive having to buy dresses and make up and travelling to and from all of these places," she said.
The Aboriginal Model Search national competition will be decided at the finals which will be held in Sydney on October 1 this year.
- Keep an eye out for the other finalists in the Aboriginal Model Search in upcoming editions of The Morning Bulletin
- Dakota's GoFundMe page www.gofundme.com/2csb88k
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