By Emilia Terzon.
An Indigenous teenage model whose beauty pageant selection made international headlines has ended her Miss World Australia journey with chants of “Arnhem Land”.
Maminydjama Magnolia Maymuru’s story was widely shared after she was selected as the pageant’s first ever Northern Territory candidate in May.
“It’s been a crazy experience,” Ms Maymuru said.
The Yolngu woman grew up in Yirrkala in North East Arnhem, and was finishing her high school studies in Darwin when a model manager spotted her getting cash out of an ATM in 2014.
She initially knocked back his modelling offer to instead focus on studying, and later debuted as a model at NT Fashion Week in 2015 after completing year 12.
Since being selected for the pageant, Ms Maymuru has been juggling photoshoots and magazine requests with her day job as a sports and recreation officer in Yirrkala.
She said one of the highlights had been hearing about a school in Italy that has started studying Yolngu culture after seeing news stories about her.
“I’m very, very surprised by how far my story has gone,” she said.
“I have achieved my goal. I’ve got one country learning about another country, how we’re multicultural, and how all cultures are created equal.”
The pageant title was awarded to Madeleine Cowe, a law student from Queensland, with Ms Maymuru finishing in the final 10.
Ms Maymuru’s model manager Mehali Tsangaris said she was a winner regardless.