Former Shepparton resident Merinda Dryden is set to make history at São Paulo Fashion Week in Brazil.

Ms Dryden, 19, will be the first Australian Aboriginal woman to walk the runway at the fashion show and she is beyond thrilled.

São Paulo Fashion Week is held semi-annually and is considered the fifth biggest fashion week behind New York, London, Paris and Milan.

‘‘It’s amazing; it’s a big achievement and a big statement to represent my community in Shepparton and Victoria as a whole,’’ she said.

Ms Dryden lived in Shepparton up until two years ago but still considers it her home and visits often.

‘‘Most of my family are there and I always go back to country, where I’m from, to connect with family,’’ she said.

Since leaving Shepparton, Ms Dryden has continued to be very active in her community and holds the title of Ms NAIDOC 2016.

As a student at Fitzroy High School in Melbourne she played a key role in helping other students learn about Aboriginal culture through different classes she created.

Since finishing school she has attended the National Indigenous Youth Parliament in Canberra and has been invited to attend the World Indigenous Education Conference in Canada next month.

As Ms NAIDOC she has spoken at many schools, universities and indigenous agencies and said the role had opened up many opportunities for her as well as given her a platform to speak about indigenous issues.

For Ms Dryden it is important to understand and share her culture with others.

‘‘Cultural connection offers a place of healing,’’ she said.

‘‘Culture is what makes us complete, without it we have nothing.’’

It is partly because of this — and her love of fashion — that she is excited to be modelling designer Vanessa Moe’s clothing on the Brazilian runway.

‘‘They will be modern garments with Aboriginal designs,’’ she said.

‘‘The amazing thing about (the fashion show) is they’re getting Aboriginal Australian culture and combining it with indigenous Brazilian culture.’’Read more at:bridesmaid dress | formal evening dresses

The Wall

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Added Jun 26 '17, 10:49PM



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