From bush to beauty queen

My name is Jenayah Elliott, and I am a Jaru girl from the Kimberley.

I am 17 and originally from Halls Creek, but currently living in Perth with my mum. I’m attending Penrhos College All Girls School and I am in my final year.

When I lived up north I loved going hunting and camping in the bush with my Granny Kathy and Thamu. We would go looking for goannas and kangaroos and make damper.

I have family all over the Kimberly, as well as Geraldton. My Grandma still lives in Halls Creek and my mum’s brother and his family live in Kununurra. I don’t often get the opportunity to travel back home due to being busy with school, but I am still very much in touch with all my family and see them all quite often.

I recently entered a beauty pageant called Australia Galaxy Pageants, which is in the top 10 beauty pageants in the world. I competed at the WA state finals in late January and was ecstatic to be crowned a national finalist.

This meant I would be representing WA on the Gold Coast in April for a week competing against all the finalists from other states for the title of Miss Teen Australia. I am very proud to be representing the Kimberley and indigenous people at a national level, which to me is an achievement I am incredibly proud of.

It’s early days, but I have hopes to compete at an international level and am working very hard to reach my goals. I didn’t even know beauty pageants existed until I stumbled across this one and have grown a large love for beauty pageants and the sisterhood that comes with it.

I am a very charity-driven person so I love that side of beauty pageants. I also enjoy community service and I love giving back to the community. During my time competing, I have volunteered at an retirement village, spoken at an International Women’s Day luncheon celebrating strong successful indigenous women, cooked dinner at the Ronald McDonald house, visited the Cat Haven in WA, the Swan Animal Haven, dog refuge home and many other community activities.

My goal is to become a positive role model for indigenous and non-indigenous people and someone to look up to. I have also made such amazing friends and memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I am so blessed to have the most supportive family to get behind me and I thank God every single day for every blessing he has provided me with along this very daunting but irreplaceable experience.

Although I’m a city girl now many of my bush habits have stayed with me like my love of the bush, nature and damper.

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