SKYLA Lauch wants to use her platform as finalist in the Miss Galaxy Australia pageant to lift the profile of Indigenous women and inspire others to reach for the stars.
The 22-year-old from Rosebud, who is representing the Mornington Peninsula in next month’s national finals, has been modelling since she was 12 and is focussing on becoming Miss Galaxy because it would offer her a chance to be a bigger voice for Indigenous people.
“As an Indigenous woman my main goal is to inspire and encourage other Indigenous women to be proud and be who they want to be,” Ms Lauch said.
“We don’t have enough Indigenous women with high profiles, and little things like this are a way of changing that.”
As part of the pageant, contestants raise money for charity, with more than $600,000 given to designated charities over the past six years.
Ms Lauch, a Gunditjmara Bundjalung woman, is raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and after just a few weeks is half way to her $1000 target.
“I’m doing my own fundraising so I’ll be organising more events in the coming weeks, because it’s such a great cause.”
Ms Lauch, who had to undergo a series of interviews explaining her reasons for entering the pageant, said it was not a traditional beauty-focused competition, but more about how contestants were role models in their communities, their confidence and poise.
“I hope that I can go on to be part of international pageant, where I can have the opportunity to lift the profile of Indigenous women even higher,” she said.