Queer storyteller Skye Lockyer among Miss NAIDOC 2021 finalists

9 of Western Australia’s brightest First Nations women have been announced as finalists for Miss NAIDOC Perth 2021.

Miss NAIDOC Perth is an annual 6-week leadership and empowerment program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Celebrating a decade just last year, this grassroots program has helped over 100 young First Nations women strengthen their cultural connections, and help them find their voice.

With over 500 applications sent in this year, the program’s growth in popularity makes these 9 finalists achievements all the more impressive.

Glenda Kickett, the programs co-founder says, “this year we saw the largest number of applications that we’ve had in recent years and from throughout the State.”

“To me, that really demonstrates a need for a program like this.”

One of this year’s participants, Skye Lockyer, is a Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Yawuru and Nyul Nyul woman, filmmaker, artist and proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“As a queer First Nations woman, my life is committed to advocating for equity and fairness and fighting for social justice. It is innate and something learned from my elders; it’s in our bloodline too,” Lockyer said.

“Being a First Nations woman means being connected to country, culture, and art – it means being part of an amazing and wonderful community and sharing similar stories of resilience to overcome the many obstacles we face in society.”

“As a storyteller, I embrace other people’s stories and see storytelling as a way of empowerment and healing. As a queer woman, I spent many years feeling shame about my identity. Through meeting other queer First Nations people and having them share their stories with me, I was able to start feeling proud about my identity.”

“Growing up, I didn’t see many queer women of colour because many people in the LGBTQIA+ community were made to suppress or hide their sexuality and gender identity to survive after colonisation and Christianisation.”

“I want to break the cycle of shame and show and share positive stories about queer First Nations people in Australia.”

The 9 finalists are set to find out who will be crowned as Miss NAIDOC for this year at the gala event held at Crown Perth, Saturday 10th of July. This is a community event which is open to the public.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 26th June with links to purchase through the Miss NAIDOC Perth Facebook and Instagram pages.

Image: Cybele Malinowski

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