When Lakota Morris, 15, got the chance to meet her idol Jessica Mauboy recently, she says she was “the happiest person alive”.
Now the high school student from Sydney is reaching for her own dream — to be crowned Miss Teen Australia International.
In February, Miss Morris will line up in Sydney with other pageant hopefuls from around Australia all vying for the chance to represent Australia at the Miss Teen International competition in the US in July.
In the meantime Miss Morris, whose father’s family is Barkindji and whose mother is Gamilaroi, is busy fundraising for her chosen charities — The Starlight Children’s Foundation, Beyond Blue and Kari Aboriginal Resources.
She’s set up a go fund me page to raise money to stage various fundraising events.
Miss Morris, a budding dancer and model, says she was initially unsure about entering the pageant but ultimately decided to give it her best shot.
“It’s always been my dream to be out there and be noticed; to be a model,” she says. “I thought ‘let’s do it’.”
According to the International Pageants website, Miss Teen Australia International is a competition that recognises gifted women from across the continent.
“Unlike pageants that focus mainly on beauty, this contest emphasises the talents, the accomplishments, the personalities, and the societal contributions of its participants,” the site reads.