Recently, when the COVID19 restrictions were relaxed in Victoria, Australia, we decided to take a trip to the affected regions of the 2019-2020 bushfires in regional East Gippsland to contribute to the recovery and rebuild of the local communities affected by bushfires and COVID19. Our team of four visited Bruthen, Tambo Upper and Metung and brought our #EmptyEsky to support the local communities. On top of that, we were also able to put together an incredible shoot with the talented Roda Alfred, a young Sudanese model living in Melbourne, to highlight the beautiful scenery of regional Victoria where the ethos of S-kin Studio Jewelry was birthed.
Model: Roda Alfred
Photographer: Eloise Boissevain
Styling: Chi Mai
We sat down with Roda after our shoot (who is such a delightful to work with and all round amazing human, we are so blessed to have met and been able to shoot this incredible beauty), to chat all things life, Black Lives Matter, and living in Australia as a person of colour.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How long you have been in Australia & where do you currently live?
I was born in Sudan; my family and I moved to Egypt for two years as refugees before I came to Australia in 2003, where I resided in Tasmania during my schooling years.
I have lived in Melbourne since I finished high school in 2018. For those two and a half years I have worked various agencies and currently am with WINK Models. During my career, I have done various campaigns, worked in runways and eCommerce. I have also been lucky enough to have some experience in commercial work, including ads for Deakin University and for Mars. During my career, I have also been studying a double degree of criminology and forensic psychology.
I always feel quite naked without my jewelry and watch, growing up I was a tomboy but since recently discovering jewelry I find it quite empowering and a luxury that I enjoy. It definitely lifts my mood to wear jewelry and decorate myself.
I hope that it makes people aware of what is going on around them, for people who aren’t of colour to understand how life might be different for your BIPOC friends. We get too caught up living in our little bubble and I hope we take the energy that has been generated by the movement to continue learning about lives for BIPOC individuals. On a larger scale, I think it’s great to be aware of what’s happening outside your home turf and not just focus on what’s here in Australia but also what is happening in the world; and just because we don’t have it anywhere as bad in Australia doesn’t mean we can’t listen and understand their suffering and educate ourselves on the current state of the world.