5 Minutes With Lisa Fatnowna

Gritty Pretty chats with the model and mentor about fashion, NAIDOC Week and why hockey is her favourite off-duty hobby.

If Cairns-born model Lisa Fatnowna was considered a rising star at Fashion Week last month, that star has now well and truly risen. The 21-year-old Indigenous model, who is signed to IMG, was a standout in the three shows she walked at during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week and is now a firm fixture in the industry, working with the likes of Sportsgirl, Mecca and InPrint Magazine.

“First Nations Fashion and Design was by far my favourite out of all the shows,” Fatnowna told Gritty Pretty. “I felt so much passion and pride throughout the whole process and just a sense of belonging. I fed off the strength of my brothers and sisters around me, and the power in the performances by the deadly artists and dancers, it’s something that is so hard to express—it was a ‘you had to be there’ moment.”

But it’s not all about fashion for Fatnowna—she is also an ambassador and mentor for the Aspire to be Deadly program, working with young Indigenous women from the Torres Strait Islands, Cape York, Cairns, Tableland and Gulf Savannah communities to provide education, wellbeing and leadership through hockey. Oh yeah, did we mention Fatnowna is a talented hockey player?! 

Here, Gritty Pretty sits down for five minutes with the model, mentor and overall changemaker to discuss all this and more.

Hi Lisa, thanks for chatting with us for 5 Minutes With! Let’s start with NAIDOC Week. What does NAIDOC Week mean to you and how will you be marking the week?

It allows us to all come together to celebrate the connection, the contribution, the history, the culture, and the resilience of our people. It also serves as a platform to create awareness and celebrate the good things our mob are doing in the community. 

The very first Indigenous Hockey Round in Cairns is due to start this weekend coming, which I am very proud of and has been in the making for a few years. Unfortunately due to the lockdown in Sydney I am unable to travel back to be a part of it but will definitely be there in spirit and will be able to spread awareness via social media.

This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country, heal our nation’. How do you think all Australians can honour this theme during NAIDOC Week and beyond?

Heal Country, heal our nation speaks for itself. I feel that this NAIDOC week, all Australians can honour this theme by just taking the time to listen. Listen to our elders and community. Make some effort to learn about Country and the stories and history of Country. I think with anything, you first need to acknowledge the past in order to be present and move forward together in the future. 

I saw you walk at the First Nations Fashion Design show at Sydney’s Fashion Week in June. What was that moment like for you?

In the moment it was so powerful, however and leading up to it I was so nervous. Being named a changemaker also added to my nerves, but once I hit that runway, the feeling of obligation and pressure flew straight over my head. I blocked out the crowd and the photographers, I was in my own world. I honestly felt like I was gliding, and it was just amazing to have the beautiful sounds of the didge from William Barton and the powerful voice of DRMNGNOW and Luke and Cleopatra dancing alongside me.

I’ve read that you’re an extremely good hockey player. How did you get into hockey and what do you love about it?

I’m not that good (haha). I started playing hockey at the age of seven right after doing gymnastics for a couple of years. My family grew up around sports so picking up the hockey stick didn’t seem that difficult. I love that hockey is somewhat a dangerous sport and I love the feeling of the adrenaline running. 

Aside from playing hockey, what do you like to do in your downtime? 

If I’m not playing hockey or modelling, I’m either working in Cairns with the Aspire to Be Deadly program running around with the kids or in Brisbane visiting my boyfriend and watching him play basketball.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

I’m looking forward to bigger opportunities within modelling (as soon as Covid clears up a bit). I’m looking forward to visiting family back home in Cairns and being able to do more work and mentoring with the Aspire Program.

You can follow Lisa Fatnowna on Instagram here.

July 09, 2021

5 Minutes With Lisa Fatnowna

Hi Lisa, thanks for chatting with us for 5 Minutes With! Let’s start with NAIDOC Week. What does NAIDOC Week mean to you and how will you be marking the week?

It allows us to all come together to celebrate the connection, the contribution, the history, the culture, and the resilience of our people. It also serves as a platform to create awareness and celebrate the good things our mob are doing in the community. 

The very first Indigenous Hockey Round in Cairns is due to start this weekend coming, which I am very proud of and has been in the making for a few years. Unfortunately due to the lockdown in Sydney I am unable to travel back to be a part of it but will definitely be there in spirit and will be able to spread awareness via social media.

This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country, heal our nation’. How do you think all Australians can honour this theme during NAIDOC Week and beyond?

Heal Country, heal our nation speaks for itself. I feel that this NAIDOC week, all Australians can honour this theme by just taking the time to listen. Listen to our elders and community. Make some effort to learn about Country and the stories and history of Country. I think with anything, you first need to acknowledge the past in order to be present and move forward together in the future. 

I saw you walk at the First Nations Fashion Design show at Sydney’s Fashion Week in June. What was that moment like for you?

In the moment it was so powerful, however and leading up to it I was so nervous. Being named a changemaker also added to my nerves, but once I hit that runway, the feeling of obligation and pressure flew straight over my head. I blocked out the crowd and the photographers, I was in my own world. I honestly felt like I was gliding, and it was just amazing to have the beautiful sounds of the didge from William Barton and the powerful voice of DRMNGNOW and Luke and Cleopatra dancing alongside me.

I’ve read that you’re an extremely good hockey player. How did you get into hockey and what do you love about it?

I’m not that good (haha). I started playing hockey at the age of seven right after doing gymnastics for a couple of years. My family grew up around sports so picking up the hockey stick didn’t seem that difficult. I love that hockey is somewhat a dangerous sport and I love the feeling of the adrenaline running. 

Aside from playing hockey, what do you like to do in your downtime? 

If I’m not playing hockey or modelling, I’m either working in Cairns with the Aspire to Be Deadly program running around with the kids or in Brisbane visiting my boyfriend and watching him play basketball.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

I’m looking forward to bigger opportunities within modelling (as soon as Covid clears up a bit). I’m looking forward to visiting family back home in Cairns and being able to do more work and mentoring with the Aspire Program.

You can follow Lisa Fatnowna on Instagram here.

Gritty Pretty chats with the model and mentor about fashion, NAIDOC Week and why hockey is her favourite off-duty hobby.

If Cairns-born model Lisa Fatnowna was considered a rising star at Fashion Week last month, that star has now well and truly risen. The 21-year-old Indigenous model, who is signed to IMG, was a standout in the three shows she walked at during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week and is now a firm fixture in the industry, working with the likes of Sportsgirl, Mecca and InPrint Magazine.

“First Nations Fashion and Design was by far my favourite out of all the shows,” Fatnowna told Gritty Pretty. “I felt so much passion and pride throughout the whole process and just a sense of belonging. I fed off the strength of my brothers and sisters around me, and the power in the performances by the deadly artists and dancers, it’s something that is so hard to express—it was a ‘you had to be there’ moment.”

But it’s not all about fashion for Fatnowna—she is also an ambassador and mentor for the Aspire to be Deadly program, working with young Indigenous women from the Torres Strait Islands, Cape York, Cairns, Tableland and Gulf Savannah communities to provide education, wellbeing and leadership through hockey. Oh yeah, did we mention Fatnowna is a talented hockey player?! 

Here, Gritty Pretty sits down for five minutes with the model, mentor and overall changemaker to discuss all this and more.

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