I had a ball last Saturday afternoon watching a group of courageous and stunning young ladies strut their stuff on television.

Australia’s ABC television documentary ‘Miss South Sudan Australia’ follows the drama, fun, and inspiring stories of a beauty pageant like no other.

The South Sudan Australia extravaganza is held annually in Melbourne, providing a platform for young Sudanese to celebrate their beauty and share their talents and culture with the wider community.

Filmed during the frenetic weeks leading up to the pageant in 2010, the documentary follows organisers Nyabana Dhol and Goaner Tutlam struggle to keep everything on track. It’s a precarious, erratic and fast-paced ride as events are put together on the fly, and anything and everything seems to go wrong.

What makes this pageant so different to others is the contestants themselves. They have all survived unimaginable trauma, including losing parents and siblings in the civil war, living in vast refugee camps and escaping from the jaws of death. But for these beautiful, brave, articulate and proud young Sudanese women, the pageant is a unique opportunity to promote a united Sudanese identity.

And who knows where it can lead? 2009’s winner, Ajak Deng, is now strutting the catwalks of Milan, Paris and New York.

Filmed and edited with a sense of verve, energy and fun, this documentary uses music and montage to follow our contestants on their three-week fast track to the runway, as they transform from schoolgirls to beauty queens.


About The Author


Neva is a storyteller and media strategist with a background in PR, film, advertising and digital marketing who is passionate about technology, new media and the endless possibilities of the social and mobile sphere. Read more about her on our 'About Us' page.

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