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Charlee Fraser on co-founding Clearly Music Festival, championing Indigenous culture and her debut film

Phoebe Blogg -

Recognised as one of Australia's leading Indigenous fashion models, few would have predicted that Charlee Fraser would expand her realm of work to co-founding wellness festivals, but in 2023 that is precisely what the twenty-eight-year-old model has done.

No stranger to the spotlight, this month Fraser ventured into a new realm of work with the announcement that she would be taking on the role of co-founder for Clearly Music, Wellness and Arts Festival – held in Kiama.

Joining Clearly Music Festival founder, Dom Furber saw Fraser expand her niche of work whilst also touching on her Indigenous culture as a proud Awabakal woman from the mid-north coast.

"Our founder, Dom Furber, is an incredible friend of mine who's been in the music industry for over 13 years and has founded a number of other amazing festivals such as Your Paradise, Shipfaced harbour boat parties (which is now called 'Let's Go Dancing') and produced Orbit retreats in Ibiza as well as the agent for Jax Jones, Riton, Hannah Laing and Pirra," said model Charlee Fraser.

"He approached me with so much passion and enthusiasm about kickstarting a music festival in his hometown of Kiama.

"With what he does best, this is how he wanted to give back to the community that really nurtured his youth and growth within this industry. I was asked to join him in his quest to give life to this dream of his and it very quickly became a dream of mine too.

Fraser said Clearly Festival is not your typical festival.

"We are Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness festival, so we include all the above. We have amazing music and art and an amazing wellness sector in the pavilion as well. We are really a festival that has all the bits and bobs…There is a little bit for everyone here," she said.

A birds-eye-view of the crowd at Clearly Festival. (Image: Instagram @clearlyfestival @patstevenson @teelstudios @anthonyxgaggero)

Being of both Worimi and Biripi descent from her mother and grandmother, Fraser said the festival featured a variety of First Nations creatives was extremely important to Fraser.

"The festival framework from the very beginning was deeply rooted in supporting Indigenous culture and community prior to my involvement. It's super important to me that my creative endeavours include an element of exchange or return with my heritage, so this venture felt very aligned with my values," she said.

Having featured a diverse range of First Nations talent, Clearly welcomed a variety of established Indigenous creatives including artists Xavier Rudd and Emily Wurramara.

Clearly Festival also announced that $1 from every ticket purchased for the festival would be donated to We Are Warriors, an Indigenous social enterprise dedicated to celebrating blak excellence and empowering Indigenous youth.

Similar to founder Dom Furber, Fraser is also eager to see Clearly return in 2024, with the addition of more First Nations creatives, artists and performers.

"We (Clearly Festival) are an annual event and will be back in the new year and are always looking to expand and include more Indigenous creatives and have mob apart of this experience," she said.

Aside from co-founding a music festival, being an advocate for sustainability and an internationally successful model, Fraser is also an ambassador and on the board of directors for NFP Indigenous organisation, First Nations Fashion Design (FNFD).

First Nations Fashion Design strive to create a platform that honours Indigenous fashion and design whilst also providing a space for Indigenous artisans and designers to showcase their talent, preserve their traditions, and share their stories with the world.

Fraser along with the team at FNFD are committed to promoting ethical and sustainable avenues of growth, fostering partnerships with Indigenous communities, and raising awareness about the contributions of First Nations people to the fashion industry.

In 2020 Fraser became an ambassador for First Nations Fashion and Design, and in 2022 she accepted the role as board member, which she still occupies today.

Charlee Fraser and Dom Furber at Clearly Festival. (Image: Pat Stevenson)

Having fronted the cover of RUSSH, INPRINT and two of Vogue Australia's celebrated all-Indigenous covers, Fraser is once again stepping into the stoplight with her recent acting roles.

Starring in her first film Anyone But You, as well as ABC's latest fashion documentary: The Way We Wore, 2023 has seen the talented model successfully expand her work in front of the camera to acting.

"I have a number of incredible projects in the works. Apart from Clearly Festival I'll be appearing in my first film, Anyone But You, premiering in December. You can also see me in ABC's latest fashion documentary: The Way We Wore, showing November 21st," she said.

When discussing plans for the future, the model-turned-music festival co-founder is careful to not give too much away, but from 2023's achievements we are sure we will see Fraser appear in much more in 2024.

"Keep your eyes peeled because I have more to share in the coming months," Fraser told Style Up.

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