This stunning 19-year-old model, hailing from the remote community of Yirrkala in North Eastern Arnhem Land, in the North Territory has become the first-ever Indigenous model to be chosen as a finalist to represent her state at the annual Miss World Australia competition.
Originally having declined the offer to do modelling when director of Northern Territory Fashion Week, Mehali Tsangaris, first discovered her to focus on studies, Magnolia Maymuru leapt at the opportunity when fate allowed the two to meet again.
With the lack of Indigenous representation in media and especially in the fashion industry and a recreational officer for children in her community, Maymuru states that she took up the offer because she wants “to become a good role model and inspire many young people all over Australia, as I have been given the privilege to do so.” With Tsangaris’ support for her blossoming career and her leading example, he hopes that Maymuru will excel and succeed to lead others [within the industry] to work with local communities for an inclusive and more wholesome industry.
The 5’10 beauty, never having considered modelling a career at all, while describing herself as more of an outdoorsy girl, took at the chance to compete in the Miss World Australia pageant with an important mission to help allow young Indigenous girls to embrace their culture and beauty. For her, this opportunity isn’t just a kick-start to her future career in the fashion industry, but rather a chance for her to inspire young women and show them “anything is possible if you continue to do it and you work hard.”
Not only is Maymuru’s presence in the competition a positive element in itself, organisers of the pageant have also decided to skip the swimsuit section to preserve cultural norms [of Maymuru’s community], to work closely with community groups and charities, as well as feature more contestants with diverse backgrounds. The Australian finalist, along with other finalists all around the country, will come to compete in July, with the winner travelling to London to represent Australia in the global contest.
Fingers crossed for Maymuru, as her win would potentially change the game for the industry.