MARANI’S STORY OF SUCCESS
TWO motivated young women from Atwell and White Gum Valley are in the running to be crowned Miss Naidoc Perth 2020 this weekend.
The pair are among 10 finalists in the six-week empowerment and leadership program, which provides young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women the opportunity to strengthen their public presentation and life skills.
Atwell resident and Yamatji woman Taylor-Jane Bellotti said she was determined to be a positive role model within the community and had completed a vet nursing degree before shifting her focus.
A previous Polytechnic West Aboriginal student of the year, Ms Bellotti said she was passionate about improving mental health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“I didn’t feel like I was doing enough for people being a vet nurse,” she said.
“I have a passion for criminal behaviour and understanding why people offend and how to break that cycle, so I did a combined psychology and criminology degree.
“The two main things that I would love to see as the smallest step is a way for inmates to communicate with emergency mental health hotlines 24/7 in their cell and for Aboriginal people to be employed at a greater rate in the mental health system.”
Fellow finalist and White Gum Valley resident Marani Greotorex (23) is a proud Jabirr Jabirr,
Nyikina woman from Broome.
Ms Greotorex, who works as an Aboriginal support officer at the WA Museum, said her values were strongly tied to the promotion of cultural awareness while advocating for Aboriginal women to celebrate their identity.
“I was drawn to the idea that this program was a leadership and empowerment program for young Aboriginal women, and to have that opportunity to have a platform, and to use our voice and speak on issues that we deem important to us and our community,” she said. “I’m extremely passionate about the culture and arts sector and how important it is to create meaningful and ongoing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to enable them to have the right to self-determination and give them the voice to tell their stories in that way.”
The winner will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Crown Perth on Saturday.
Taylor-Jane Bellotti and, inset, Marani Greotorex, are finalists in Miss Naidoc.