A YUED woman from Highgate is in the running to be crowned Miss NAIDOC Perth.
Willara Wyatt, 23, says she was apprehensive about entering the competition, but was tired of feeling like her community didn’t have a voice.
“I was sick of wanting to help my community but not knowing the way to go about it,” she said.
The finals, held at Burswood Crown Casino on May 26, is the highlight of a six-week program to empower young Aboriginal and Torres Strait women in Perth.
“It’s been empowering being in a group of young Indigenous women who are passionate about helping our mob be the best we can,” Ms Wyatt says.
She wants to use the Miss NAIDOC platform to raise awareness about mental health.
“I want people to know that it’s okay to not be okay…to show other young women out there that life isn’t all about the perfect, straight road.
“I’ve suffered with my own mental health; I know that it’s really hard when you are going through stuff.
“I want people to know that there is support out there.”
Ms Wyatt has two children and was inspired to join by other young mums who had entered Miss NAIDOC, including last year’s winner Kearah Ronan.
“For me, having my children makes me want to be the best mother and woman I can possibly be,” Ms Wyatt says.
She says that growing up it can be hard knowing where you fit in, but researching her family’s history and culture and listening to family stories has helped her work it out.
“Now that I know where my ancestors are from, I feel like I have more of an understanding about who I am and where I come from.”
by ALICE ANGELONI