• Lala Bayles has been selected to represent Indigenous Australia in the 2017 World Supermodel Pageant. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
First Nations' model Lala Bayles has been selected to compete in the 2017 World Supermodel Pageant.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

3 Feb 2017 - 2:56 PM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2017 - 11:18 AM

Everybody has a dream, and for last year’s Aboriginal Model Search winner Lala Bayles, it's to represent Aboriginal Australia in the modelling industry.

The Brisbane born babe is now one step closer to achieving her goal, and has recently been selected to represent Indigenous Australia in the 2017 World Supermodel Pageant in China.

But after a difficult year, the humble 17-year-old has had to call for financial help, starting a GoFundMe campaign to assist in physically getting her there.

“We deserve to be represented at the highest level as we are the oldest race of people on the planet."

“I need to be there to represent Aboriginal Australia to show the world how beautiful my country and culture is,” Lala told NITV.

“I was so disheartened knowing there is no Aboriginal representation, I was just wishing I had enough money to go and do my country proud.”

If crowned the winner, Bayles will receive a one year contract with an international modelling agency in New York, a 12-month acting scholarship with Bobbie Chance Shaw in Hollywood, as well as other prizes that will help to launch her career on an international scale.

While it’s a huge opportunity, it’s about more than just winning to her.

The many faces of Indigenous modelling
This weekend we congratulate Magnolia Maymurru on her achievements at the Miss World Australia final. We also continue to celebrate the many Indigenous models who have consistently changed the face of fashion and beauty over the years.

“I'll walk away from competing at my first international pageant, knowing I represented not only my country, but my family and community,” she says.

“We deserve to be represented at the highest level as we are the oldest race of people on the planet."

“That fact alone should be acknowledged and celebrated because we have survived 229 years of invasion and oppression.”

Lala has spent the past couple of years helping her single mum care for her siblings, one of whom is disabled, as well as her elderly aunty. Her pop also sadly passed away recently. 

Meanwhile, all at the same time, she was coping with the challenging task of completing her high-school education and begin her journey to pursue a career in the modelling industry. 

After winning the Aboriginal Model Search last year and being signed with some of Australia's top modelling agencies, Lala made the move away from her close-knit family in Brisbane and started fresh in Sydney's big city.

“I was talking to my aunt about this and she suggested a GoFundMe me but I didn't want to seem desperate and be embarrassed that I couldn't afford it myself as I don't like asking for help,” she says.

“But I had to swallow my pride because I don't want to let another awesome opportunity pass by so I set up the account.”

In just 24 hours she had raised $1000 – enough to secure her place in the pageant. She is hoping to raise a total of $6000 to cover flights, accommodation and other associated costs.

The 2017 World Supermodel Pageant will be held in Macau, China from May 21 – 28.

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