Kiah Fernando is a Gamilaroi woman deriving from western NSW and is a natural beauty inside and out. A proud mother of two, she is an inspirational woman who has strong female role models and believes that education is key for our future generations to live strong and well. Kiah is an aspiring make-up artist with a natural flare for big bold colours and shares her colourful looks on Bulungs Beauty. Get to know Kiah here.
Q: What is your story? Who is ya mob and where are you from?
A: My name is Kiah and I am a 23 year old born and raised in Queanbeyan, NSW. My tribe is Gamilaroi and most of my mob is from Mungindi, Moree, Walgett and Coonamble.
Q: How would your friends and family describe you?
A: Athletic, artistic, caring, proud, strait forward and busy.
Q: Reflecting back, how was the Gillawarra Arts photoshoot experience? What were your favourite looks?
A: It was amazing for me because I didn’t have lots of opportunities to go away to places when I was younger. Also just being able to be around and meet a group of such strong beautiful women that encouraged me and believed in me. It’s hard to choose my favourite looks, but I loved the white dress and the ochre dress that I wore.
Q: What are some of your favourite pieces in Gillawarra Arts’s collection and why?
A: Sunset beach weave earrings are definitely a favourite. The Mother Witjagit Necklace and the Mikiri necklace. The Dhinawan (emu) necklace means a lot to my tribe and is a totem for some. There are lots of dhinawans in Kamilaroi Country. I think they are beautiful.
Q: Your water shots are amazing! How was your experience modelling in the ocean?
A: Thankyou! It was my first time, but I loved it. I was nervous and it was pretty cold, but we soldiered on. I knew the pictures would be worth it!
Q: Besides modelling, what are your hobbies, interests or favourite things to do?
A: Some of my hobbies include sports, being with my son’s and family. I also love makeup and cooking.
Q: Tell us about Bulungs Beauty and why you started your social media page. What are your future plans for Bulungs Beauty?
A: Bulungs Beauty is my makeup page. It’s been running since February last year I decided to make it because I have always been into art and colours. I ended up loving makeup and being able to try different things. I also don’t see many Indigenous makeup artists in Canberra or surrounding areas, so I’m proud of that. I am hoping to maybe one day have a small studio where I could do makeup and eventually look into face and beauty. I am currently applying for CMA Canberra.
Q: Who is your role model, and why?
A: My mum Fiona is a big role model for me, her resilience is like no other. She raised 10 kids, works every day and has lost a lot! She is super strong and very caring. Another role model is my big sister Skyan Fernando. She has worked very hard to get to where she is, and she is the eldest of all 10 kids, so she has to be strong. But she has done the hard work and deserves every bit. I hope one day I can overcome my self doubts and follow even a little bit in her shoes.
Q: What are your tips for self-care for looking and feeling your best?
A: My self-care tips would be just having fun with everything and try not to be so serious and do the things that you love! Keep your mind body and soul happy, it’s your temple.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
A: I’ve had a lot of challenges in life but my main one would be losing two people that were very close to me. I’ll never overcome it, but I live with it and I will always celebrate them. I know they are always with me and guiding me.
Q: What is some great piece of advice you wished you received when you were younger?
A: Stay in school! Also remember that you will go through tough situations in life, but they won’t define you.
Q: How do you measure success?
A: I think success can play many different roles. But to me, I have been a successful mum, daughter, sister, friend and student. But eventually I would love to have real success in the way of doing something I love everyday and making a real difference in the things I love and that I think matter. That would be true success for me.
Q: What is your vision for our future generations to come?
A: I hope we can finally come to a place where everyone is equal. A place where technology doesn’t get much crazier and that more culture is installed into schools and communities for our kids to be young, black and deadly!
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