Win puts spotlight on jailed youth

Ellie HoneyboneMidwest Times
Kearah Ronan gives a speech after being crowned Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017.
Camera IconKearah Ronan gives a speech after being crowned Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017. Credit: Asif Akkas/NAIDOC Perth

Geraldton-born Yamatji woman Kearah Ronan has taken out the title of Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017.

Ms Ronan, 24, one of eight finalists, was crowned at a ceremony in Perth last weekend.

She said she was honoured to have been a part of the empowerment and leadership program.

“To be crowned Miss NAIDOC Perth is a triumph within itself,” she said.

“When my name was called, I was in shock, I wasn’t expecting to win at all.

“I would have been very happy for any one of the other girls to be crowned because they were all amazing.

“Now that I’ve been put on this platform, I can be heard and issues in the community can be spoken about and addressed.”

Ms Ronan is passionate about indigenous education and hopes to travel to remote communities to experience the work that goes into operating remote schools.

“I am also very concerned with the rates of incarceration of our kids, which I think are alarming,” she said.

“I would like to use my platform to work with girls inside Banksia Hill Detention Centre and see if I can spread some awareness.”

Ms Ronan was born in Geraldton and lives in Perth, where she is juggling university education and work commitments with her role as sole parent to daughter Gladys-May, 2.

She will return to Geraldton this weekend to visit family and celebrate her achievements.

Miss NAIDOC Perth convenor and 2015 runner-up Tahlia Payne said finalists were judged on five criteria and Ms Ronan scored very high in each area.

“The girls are judged on presentation, interaction, communication, leadership and cultural awareness,” she said.

“Kearah was the most consistent finalist over the last six weeks and is well deserving of the title.

“She will now fulfil her duties as an ambassador for NAIDOC Perth and already has a number of events and appearances lined up.”

Ms Ronan is due to speak at Clontarf Girls’ Academy and will take part in the NAIDOC Week opening ceremony in July.

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