Kimberley Girl

Kimberley Girl

Top models are plucked from the Kimberley

One Arm Point Aboriginal teenager, Lavinia Ketchell was crowned Kimberley Girl 2011 in front of hundreds of people at a spectacular event in Broome on Friday night, 14th October. 

"I want to go back to my community and others around the Kimberley and help them, share my experience with them," beamed the 16-year-old winner.

“I am so excited and still really nervous. I think anything is possible now.”

This newfound confidence is precisely what Kimberley Girl aims to achieve for young Aboriginal women. 

Kira Fong, Chief Operations Officer of Goolarri Media, former model and Kimberley Girl founder explains why this event and the associated programs are so important for young Aboriginal women.

“2011 is the 8th year that Kimberley Girl has been running and it is exciting to see girls from so many communities involved this year. The participants have worked very hard to get to the final taking part in 10 days of workshops including professional and personal development; deportment, grooming and catwalk as well as doing individual photo shoots.

We hope that each girl will be able to use the skills and knowledge learnt throughout the workshops to apply to every aspect of their lives ensuring they are successful in their endeavours.

Goolarri Media started Kimberley Girl to give young Indigenous women the opportunity to increase their confidence, self-esteem and awareness of themselves in a contemporary environment. After seeing such beautiful Indigenous female youth in the Kimberley, the Kimberley Girl program was an ideal avenue for showcasing this natural beauty.”

Working with Kira has been an inspiration for the young women, and has helped build their self-confidence to tackle any of life’s challenges.  “I’ve been inspired by Kira, she and the other girls (last year’s finalists) have a lot of confidence and show they are not scared. So I think that is pretty inspiring,” explains Lavinia.

The annual event selects four girls from major Kimberley towns including Kununurra, Broome and Fitzroy Crossing. There are twelve girls who compete in the finals. Throughout the Kimberley Girl Program, the teenagers participate in a series of workshops where they learn leadership skills, confidence, deportment, public speaking, goal setting and team building. The program culminates in an annual event in Broome.

Each young girl gets something out of the program.  Lavinia explains what she learnt, “We have learnt about leadership skills and helping to boost our confidence and doing catwalks and photographs and things like that, hair and make up.”

Some important take-outs for Lavinia were,  “I think meeting new people, finding out about their background and why they entered Kimberley Girl and what they want out of it.”

Although the gala evening signified a finale for the 2011 Kimberley Girl, this is only the beginning for Lavinia Ketchell. “This is my last year at school and I hope to go to uni to become an early childhood teacher. I am going to study in Darwin and come back here and work at One Arm Point or go to other communities around the Kimberley,” she said proudly. 

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