Nineteen-year-old Tjapukai woman, Ashanta Tolley, will contest the 2019 Miss Global international beauty pageant in the Phillipines this month as a representative of Aboriginal Australia.
The aspiring model told NITV News she is proud to be representing her culture and intends on incorporating ochre and art in her performance.
“For my international wear, I'll be wearing a black tube dress with ceremonial paint and a large shoulder throw [designed] by Aboriginal artist, Nambooka,” said Ms Tolley.
“I will also be carrying the Indigenous flag with me.”
Ms Tolley grew up around Cairns in far north Queensland until the age of 13, when she moved with her mother to Japan, South Korea and Bahrain.
Ms Tolley said her father, a Tjapukai man, died before she was born and while her exposure to traditional culture has not been constant, she has always felt strongly connected to it.
“Despite my mother not being Indigenous, she always made a big deal of learning a lot and teaching me as I grew up,” she said.
“She put a lot of time into learning the language and then teaching me.”
The winner of the Miss Global competition will be crowned in Manila on February 11.