A huge congratulations to City of Fremantle employee Tiarna Wynne for taking out Miss NAIDOC Perth 2021!
Watch the announcement and Tiarna's speech from the crowning event on the Miss NAIDOC Perth Facebook page (from the 20:00 minute mark).
"My name is Tiarna Wynne and I proudly descend from the Yinggarda, Nyul-Nyul and Minang clans; Yinggarda covering Carnarvon the Mighty Gascoyne area, pearl country of Nyul-Nyul Broome and Minang waters of Albany. I was born on Whadjuk country, Perth and raised in Carnarvon. Today, I call Perth home. I am a first time Mum to my beautiful 10-month-old son who I beyond love and adore.
When I stand on Country, it gives me a great sense of belonging and ownership. The knowledge that the land I walk on today is the same land that my ancestors and elders walked on feels intrinsically magical and powerful. I take every chance available to me when I am not working to connect to Country, frequently visiting my hometown of Carnarvon as well as travelling up and down the West Coast from Albany to Broome. Travelling Country in this way makes me feel more in-tune with my identity and instils a proudness in me of who I am and where I am from.
I have not always felt confident in my identity. Growing up, I experienced heavy racism from a young age. These attacks beat me to a point where I felt no love for myself. Only in recent years have I recognised my strength in overcoming such aggression to a point where I no longer feel the way that I did. Today I am able to say that I am truly proud of who I am, my people and my culture. I hope to impart this strength and sense of self to my son, siblings and wider Aboriginal community. I will never be ashamed of who I am or who we are again. I am empowered by the stories of our ancestors throughout history and driven to continue listening, learning and teaching our culture with my own family.
I consider myself lucky to have connection to the land in the North and South. Over the last 22 years I have lived in both the country and the city. Experiencing and witnessing country and city life I’ve observed many differences yet many similarities. One common theme that has stuck with me is the drug and alcohol abuse which is prevalent within our Aboriginal community. This is an issue I feel determined to advocate for and work to change. I have personally witnessed too many innocent souls wrestle with the addictive nature of alcohol and substances and have in the past, felt helpless watching it take control of their lives. I would like to work with our youth and focus on solutions to breaking this generational cycle of abuse.
I am so excited and grateful to be on this personal and cultural journey as a 2021 Miss Naidoc finalist. Already it has challenged me, made me feel empowered, vulnerable, and beautiful. I am determined to learn as much as I can from my teachers and peers and eager to gain skills which will help me on my own ambitious journey to reduce the statistics of alcohol and substance abuse in the next generation. I hope that my being here encourages my son, siblings, and others to remain strong, rise to challenges and continue to support one another."
- Tiarna Wynne
About Miss NAIDOC Perth
Miss NAIDOC Perth is an Empowerment and Leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Perth, 18 up to 30 years of age, which which culminated in the crowning of Miss NAIDOC Perth on Saturday 17 July 2021, at the Crown Burswood.
The program ran over a six-week period, and includes a cultural day with Elders, professional photoshoot, sponsors dinner and governance workshop.
The crowning of Miss NAIDOC Perth was postponed from earlier this month due to COVID-19 restrictions.
For more information, visit the NAIDOC Perth website.