Seen this week at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, were supermodel Sam Harris and NRL star South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback/centre Greg Inglis along with some of Australia’s hottest emerging fashion designers.

The two celebrities were here for the official launch of a National Indigenous Model Search Competition on Tuesday hosted by the Australian Indigenous Fashion Week team in partnership with Chic Model Management.  The partnership aims to find sixteen aspiring Aboriginal or Torres Strait models (male and female) to strut the catwalks at the first Indigenous Fashion Week in April 2014.

The lucky sixteen will be chosen by a panel of industry experts led by supermodel Sam Harris.  Then in February they’ll get intensive modelling training on campus at the NCIE in January / February, before taking to the main stage in April.

Sam says she’s excited to be the Fashion Week ambassador reflecting that “it’s not something that would ever have happened in my mother’s time, so it does feel like we are all making a little bit of history.”

The initiative aims to encourage more diversity within the modelling industry.

AIFW founder and Managing Director, Krystal Perkins said it was also a way to create practical opportunities for young Indigenous people to get involved in our creative industries.

Members of the local community, media and emerging models and designers, witnessed the launch.  Among them were Tyson Jolley, a fashion designer and one of the lead models for AIFW, as well as emerging designer Clair Parker, who was recently announced as the recipient of the first Whitehouse School of Design Indigenous Scholarship.