Pilbara Girl winner seeks to inspire

Synarah MurphyThe West Australian
2018 Pilbara Girl Verinia Bin Saad.
Camera Icon2018 Pilbara Girl Verinia Bin Saad. Credit: Synarah Murphy

Hedland’s down-to-earth beauty Verinia Bin Saad has not stopped smiling after winning the 2018 Pilbara Girl title.

Goolarri Media hosted its eighth Pilbara Girl final earlier this month in Broome, where 16 Aboriginal women strutted down the catwalk and let their voices be heard with the aim of self-development.

Ms Bin Saad was in shock when her name was announced as the new Pilbara Girl, and she hopes to use this platform as a vehicle to inspire other Aboriginal girls.

“So many girls think it’s not a reachable thing,” she said.

“My hope is to encourage girls who live in remote areas, who do not have the support, resources, and access to these sorts of things.

“I want the no-shame factor for young Aboriginal girls.”

Ms Bin Saad and fellow Pilbara Girl participants made a special bond and the women have walked away with a confident mindset.

“I want Pilbara Girl to be a bigger thing, so that we get the funding to grow and with the hope of drawing more attention to girls like myself,” Ms Bin Saad said.

Each contestant participated in workshops during the week, with topics including community development, leadership, modelling, beauty and other life skills.

“It’s not just about beauty — we did a variety of workshops to learn about lateral violence and how we can better our community as strong leaders,” Ms Bin Saad said.

“It has been a very rewarding outcome for myself but it was not what I thought. When we were in front of the cameras, I thought ‘wow, this is crazy’.”

The 17-year-old Hedland Senior High student has goals for the future, but her short-term goal is to graduate and succeed in secondary education with the hope of becoming a role model in the community.

“I definitely would love to do modelling, but the opportunities are limited in this town and I want Pilbara Girl to grow like Kimberley Girl, so girls can do something and express themselves,” she said.

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