Ex-Mount Isan Dakota Shaw, is the first indigenous representative to take part in a Los Angeles modeling recruitment.
When the 12-year-old moved to Rockhampton two years ago, Dakota found her passion for modelling and competing in a local charity pageant was just the start of her flourishing career.
Dakota then entered in a indigenous model search at Mackay and found herself competing against more than 100 amateur and experienced models. She was required to show three outfits of day wear, swimwear and evening wear and she featured in high heels for the first time.
Although Dakota did not place she received an invitation to compete in the national Aboriginal Model Search in which she placed in the top eight in Rockhampton. She then went to Sydney in October for the final where she competed against over 120 girls.
Not placing in this competition, Dakota entered in an American competition.
“I received an email saying I was successful in The Arts competition and that they has placed me in five categories so I could compete for overall model,” Dakota said.
“They then realised that I was the first aboriginal model that they had chosen to travel to Los Angeles.”
Dakota was surprised when she was chosen and decided to creat her own traditional dress that she would feature in on the runway.
All the model and fashion agencies will attend the show and Dakota could have the opportunity to be take in by one of these agencies.
“I am very nervous but I think it will be a really good experience,” she said.
“I am really looking forward to the fashion side of things and getting to see what the modeling industry is like over in America.”
Dakota’s mum, Sujan Shaw, said every time she got on stage she was proud of how far Dakota had come.
“You can see her confidence and elegance on stage and I look forward to seeing what comes of her trip to America,” she said.
“I think she is a good role model for other Kalkadoon women to be comfortable and embrace your culture.”
Dakota will travel to Los Angeles in December.