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Fashion project in Fitzroy Crossing inspired by one of the region's brightest stars

Emma Ruben -

Inspired by late Aboriginal actress Ningali Lawford, local artists and fashion designers have partnered with students attending Fitzroy Valley District High School to deliver a dazzling runway show.

The latest Shooting Stars site to complete their Arts with the Stars project was Fitzroy Crossing, who based theirs around all things fashion.

The Arts with the Stars programs hones in on arts-based research methods as a way to help young First Nations people connect with Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing.

Students part of the Fitzroy Crossing site were able to travel to Kupatiya, visiting the area and taking inspiration from where the late Ningali Lawford grew up.

Students learnt from Elders and Fitzroy Crossing Senior Assistant, Bianca Nargoodah who shared stories of Aboriginal people being forced off their land.

Their time spent in Kupatiya worked as inspiration for the young students to tell these stories through their designs.

Nargoodah said the students found a way to use their different talents through the one project.

"Some of them are creative and artistic, some of them were really shy, and didn't know how to put themselves out there," she said.

"So this was the perfect platform.

"And then bringing them out artistically, creatively and also to build their self-esteem up."

A student models one of the designs. Photo: Shooting Stars.

Throughout the design process, designers Lois Hazel and Simone Agius travelled to Fitzroy to help the girls make the collection.

Students were taught to work collaboratively to paint, sew, print and dye fabrics to create a 14-piece collection.

Local artists such as Ivy Nargoodah and Natalie Davy also visited to teach the students new creative techniques such as bush dying outfits and jewellery making.

Their work resulted in a final runway show held for the community and Bangarra dancers to see

The success of the fashion project has seen a lot of the students want to continue next year.

"So we have one confirmed model exhibition in Broome next year which most of the seniors will go over to," Nargoodah said.

"It's setting up a platform for them to grow and break that small town cycle and say okay I love taking photos so I'm going to be a photographer."

The students in Fitzroy Crossing site will partake in another fashion and design project next year.

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