THE crowning of Miss Naidoc 2018 on Saturday was a night of female empowerment, staying true to this year’s theme of ‘Because of her we can’.
Held at Crown Perth on National Sorry Day, the evening was a celebration recognising the integral leadership roles women play within indigenous communities around the country.
Nine of those women were on stage as the Miss Naidoc finalists who completed the six-week empowerment and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Each of the young women acknowledged female role models in their lives and vowed to use the Miss Naidoc platform to be positive leaders within their communities.
The title of Miss Naidoc 2018 went to Shenton Park resident Sophie Coffin, a 22-year-old Ngangumarta Yindjibarndi woman from Port Hedland, who said she was honoured to wear the crown and take on her new role.
“It came as such a surprise because of all the strong and beautiful women participating this year,” she said.
“I will use this title to be a strong and positive role model in my community.”
Ms Coffin, a UWA law student who aspires to become a lawyer in the Pilbara to represent and advocate for her people, said she would take the opportunity to address racism and educate non-Aboriginal people about what it means to be indigenous in 2018.
Krystyn Bonney, a 25-year-old Yamatji woman from Geraldton, was named runner up and will take on any responsibilities and engagements Miss Naidoc is unable to commit to.
Ms Bonney, a graduate project officer at the Department of Communities, said she was blessed to be part of the program with such “amazing, intelligent and strong” indigenous women.
Miss Photogenic went to Midland resident Stacey Loveridge, a 20-year-old Ballardong Yuet woman from Moora who works at Woodside Energy Ltd.
Ms Loveridge said being part of the program gave her the confidence to make an impact in her community and to share her story while uplifting the lives of other young indigenous people.
Crowd favourite, Trudy Snow was also popular among the other finalists who voted for her to take the title of Miss Kwobordok (Miss Beautiful), for showing the most support and encouragement to others.
The 22-year-old Murri woman from Brisbane who lives in Bassendean, said the night felt like a dream and that she was overwhelmed by the whole experience.