UPDATE: Australia's Next Top Models- Cripple Style28 Jan 2010
For everyone who is wondering what happened with the Australia’s Next Top Model auditions that Elvira and I attended, here is an update.
As I said, the flight to Melbourne was at 6:30am and we got into Melbourne at about 8am. Todd (my boyfriend) and I met with Elvira and her brother and some of his friends at the airport and caught a maxi taxi to Chadstone Shopping Centre.
We were all wearing matching t-shirts with the slogan ‘Models of Diversity Down Under’ printed on them, even the boys joined in.
We had flyers promoting ‘Models of Diversity ~ Down Under?’ and what the cause is all about and also Jo-Blogs flyers, but when the boys started handing them out to the public, security guards quickly approached them advising that we must have permission from centre management to hand out flyers. The boys went to centre management and were told that a permit is required at the hefty price of $800 and needs to be arranged before the day. Once we learned this, the flyers were promptly put away, but at least we still had our matching t-shirts on.
We were snuck in to the audition early thank goodness, as the line to audition was about a three hour wait.
The first rule to even qualify to audition is to be at least 172cm tall, or close. I am definitely under that and Elvira is close but was unable to stand up next to the ruler. So technically, they didn’t even have to let us audition, but thankfully they did.
One of the PR ladies from Fox8, Sarah-Jane, went off to see how we would be able to access the stage where the judges were sitting, as it had three stairs. According to centre management, it would be against OH&S rules to let us try and access the stage.
So, on we went, with Todd filming us, and the other boys following, with our numbers, 21 and 22 pinned to our chests, and one of the judges, who is also a model mentor, Charlotte Dawson, came down to meet us. We handed her our application forms and she proceeded to introduce us to the crowd as “two very brave women in wheelchairs” and also said that she was very proud to have us there and that what we were doing was for a great cause. We got to do a little model walk (or wheel), through the crowd and everyone was cheering and clapping. Charlotte then thanked us for coming and said again what great work we were doing. We also had the Fox8 camera crew approach us and say how brave we were and that we were doing an awesome job which was really good to hear.
We left the stage area very excited and pumped when we were met yet again by the shopping centre security guards, they asked Todd if he had permission to film in the shopping centre and told us to go to centre management to get authorisation to be able to keep our footage. We said that we already had permission, which wasn’t entirely true but shhhh and then we left the area.
Elvira and I then went and put make up on, as we were not allowed to wear make up for the auditions, and we got some photos of us taken together as we will not be together very much living in different states.
Just as we were discussing leaving, Charlotte walked past, we gave her a Models Of Diversity t-shirt and asked if she would mind posing for a photo with us and she happily agreed. This was very exciting for us as we did not expect anything like that to happen.
Some newspaper articles have been written about us over the past week, with us in the Hawkesbury Gazette yesterday and in the Penrith Press last week. To view the Penrith Press article, click here - http://penrith-press.whereilive.com.au/news/story/disabled-women-plan-to-shake-up-australia-s-next-top-model/
I have included the article from the Hawkesbury Gazette Newspaper and there is also going to be another one appearing in the Mt Druitt Standard in the next week or so.
There will be video footage of the day coming shortly too, I am waiting for it to be edited and put together, but once it’s ready, I will advise you all on this website.