Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence


Shepparton News - - SNNEWS - By Patrick Tansey

Indyanna-Rose Ciccone, 14, has been named Miss Hu­man­i­tar­ian of the Year at the Aus­tralian Beauty Pageant Awards.

De­spite lin­ing up against four other fi­nal­ists, all five or more years older, the Yarroweyah teenager swept the field to take home one of the top hon­our at the Hilton in Syd­ney last week­end.

It was an enor­mous achieve­ment just to make it to the fi­nals, with hun­dreds of nom­i­na­tions com­ing in that cat­e­gory from across Aus­tralia.

The Miss Hu­man­i­tar­ian is some­one who had in­spired their lo­cal com­mu­nity by putting char­ity first, de­vot­ing their time, en­ergy and sta­tus to causes big and small and has helped raise aware­ness and bring hope to those who need it most.

Indy was judged the win­ner for her tire­less work with Aussie Helpers, which sup­plies ba­sic es­sen­tials to farm­ing fam­i­lies do­ing it tough.

Judges com­mended Indy on her self­less at­ti­tude and will­ing­ness to make a mea­sur­able dif­fer­ence to the lives of peo­ple in her lo­cal com­mu­nity.

She was pre­sented with her award by for­mer Syd­ney nightlife iden­tity John Ibrahim.

Indy said the event was a whirl­wind ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘It was fairly full on. Once we (the fam­ily) got there we spoke to Win­ner: the di­rec­tor of the pageant Mike IIa­gan, who is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of StarCen­tral mag­a­zine, and then there was a red car­pet,’’ she said.

The Aus­tralian Beauty Pageant Awards con­cept was run for the first time this year, after be­com­ing pop­u­lar in the United States.

‘‘It was the first of its kind held in Aus­tralia. They have the Amer­i­can Beauty Pageant Awards and now they have the Aus­tralian Beauty Pageant Awards, so it was pretty ex­cit­ing to win an award at the first-ever one held here,’’ Indy said.

Indy al­most missed her cue to en­ter the stage to be crowned.

‘‘It was funny, when my name got called out I was sit­ting on our ta­ble hold­ing our friend Kim’s baby and I didn’t even re­alise they had an­nounced me as the win­ner but then Mum screamed in ex­cite­ment and I soon knew.’’

She plans to con­tinue com­pet­ing in pageants.

‘‘After I hand my ti­tle over to the next per­son, I’ll be do­ing the Con­ti­nents Pageant Aus­tralia, and I’ve still got an­other four years in the teen divi­sion.’’

Indy’s pre­ferred path after school is to study medicine and even­tu­ally be­come an or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon.

Her fa­ther Ash was ex­tremely proud of what Indy had achieved so far in her short life.

‘‘When she’s pas­sion­ate about some­thing, par­tic­u­larly fam­i­lyre­lated stuff, she re­ally tries to make a dif­fer­ence and she’s seen the strug­gles of her grand­par­ents with farm­ing and that re­ally spurred her pas­sion to try and help peo­ple where she can,’’ he said.

He said one par­tic­u­lar mo­ment in­volv­ing Indy summed up her per­son­al­ity and en­deav­our to help oth­ers per­fectly.

‘‘We were in Syd­ney and she was in her dress and high heels and I was walk­ing her back to the car and she spot­ted a home­less man and she made me go and get money out of the bank so I could go and give it to him.

‘‘I guess that’s why she got the award. It’s not the first time nor the last time she’ll do some­thing like that, that’s just how she is.’’

— Co­bram Courier

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