Women With GRITT: Proud Yolngu Woman Magnolia Maymuru On Modelling, Trusting Her Instincts And Her Favourite Beauty Tip

“Now that I’m a mother, it’s a real juggling act looking after my daughter and also trying to set aside some ‘me time’. I try to take my daughter to work as much as I can.”

Welcome to Women with GRITT: a series where we interview the resilient, hardworking women who have kicked in the glass ceiling and inspire us to do the same.

Proud Yolngu woman Magnolia Maymuru has been modelling since she was scouted at an ATM in 2014 but it was only this year that her face became familiar to all of us—who could forget that striking Vogue September cover of Maymuru pictured holding her daughter Djarraran?

“Modelling was something I always wanted to do but I never thought it was going to happen for me,” she tells Gritty Pretty. “Miss World 2016 was really my big break moment, it was so special as a lot of people started paying attention to my culture and asking questions about where I’m from and my community.” Maymuru grew up in Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land and is a proud Yolngu woman. She adds: “The Vogue Australia September 2021 cover was also a huge milestone for me.”

The next milestone in her career? Being named the face of Swisse Earth, Swisse’s latest release. Maymuru fronts the range of sustainable beauty supplements, which is made using locally sourced ingredients for a lighter footprint on the planet. “Partnering with Swisse Earth has been one of my biggest highlights, particularly Chris Hemsworth mentioning me and welcoming me to the Swisse family!” says Maymuru.

Here, she chats with Gritty Pretty about the news, her career and motherhood, and (of course) her best beauty tips.

For our Women With GRITT features we always like to start by getting to know you! Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land. I’ve grown up surrounded by strong women in my family—my dad was an only child and when his dad died at age 8. He was raised by my nana. Some of my best childhood memories are of my mum taking me hunting with my sisters—we’d go for a whole day or whole night and set up camp fires with blankets. 

Who inspired you most growing up? Was it your mother? A teacher? A celebrity? And why did they resonate so much with you?

My grandparents inspire me so much, particularly my grandma who was a teacher and worked at the local school. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realise how big her role was in the community not just as a teacher but as a cultural leader, grandmother, aunty and mum. She taught a lot of students more than just education, she taught them gratitude, respect and cultural values. 

What was your first ever job? And how did that job shape you in your professional life?

I worked as a teacher’s aid during high school in Darwin—I had such a passion for children and loved teaching kids my language and my culture.

What has been the hardest thing about your professional journey to date? 

Now that I’m a mother, it’s a real juggling act looking after my daughter and also trying to set aside some ‘me time’. I try to take my daughter to work as much as I can but it can be hard!  

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust my instinct and believe in myself more.

What role does beauty and health play in your life? 

A major role! Growing up in the community, beauty is not a big deal and beauty standards have been the same for centuries. But growing up as a ’90s baby, pop culture and fashion have had a big influence on my upbringing. My mum was always up to date on the latest trends and I am a huge shopaholic—I always had the new eyeliner, lip gloss… but still trying to remain very humble.

You’re the new face of Swisse Earth—congratulations! What does this appointment mean to you?

I am so excited to be working with Swisse on an opportunity that is so close to my heart and impacts my people and all Australians in such  a positive way.

I have a strong connection to the land on which Kakadu Plum is grown and harvested, so to partner with Swisse Earth on their range of products that incorporate this ingredient (and other Indigenous ingredients) as a hero is something I am so proud of. 

It is wonderful to see a brand like Swisse celebrating some of the incredible ingredients we have available in our country, whilst giving back to the community and land from which they are sourced. 

What excites me the most though, is the brand’s commitment to sustainability and the community—in their shared value partnership with growers of Kakadu Plum, Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation

Is sustainability important to you when it comes to the beauty products you ingest and pop on your skin?

Preserving the beautiful land we live on is paramount to me, and I consider this in everything I do on a daily basis – from my health and beauty regime to what I consume. Knowing that the Swisse Earth products not only support my health but are also kind to the environment, and the community,  gives me peace of mind in knowing that I am doing what I can to protect the planet in my day to day routine.

If you could only pick five beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Well beauty starts from within so supplements are a must, including my favourite Swisse Earth Collagen Boost powder. In addition to natural supplements I love using The Swisse Beauty Hyaluronic 2% Vitamin B5 Glow Booster Serum—which is amazing for plumping and hydrating my skin! Fenty Beauty was the first brand I used. I love what they stand for and how they advocate for beauty products for darker skin.

What is the biggest piece of beauty advice you would like to pass on to women who look up to you?

Drink water every morning! Also make sure you’re nourishing your skin from the inside, out, with good foods and nutrition. Exercise often and get plenty of vitamin D.

For our Women With GRITT features we always like to start by getting to know you! Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land. I’ve grown up surrounded by strong women in my family—my dad was an only child and when his dad died at age 8. He was raised by my nana. Some of my best childhood memories are of my mum taking me hunting with my sisters—we’d go for a whole day or whole night and set up camp fires with blankets. 

Who inspired you most growing up? Was it your mother? A teacher? A celebrity? And why did they resonate so much with you?

My grandparents inspire me so much, particularly my grandma who was a teacher and worked at the local school. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realise how big her role was in the community not just as a teacher but as a cultural leader, grandmother, aunty and mum. She taught a lot of students more than just education, she taught them gratitude, respect and cultural values. 

What was your first ever job? And how did that job shape you in your professional life?

I worked as a teacher’s aid during high school in Darwin—I had such a passion for children and loved teaching kids my language and my culture.

What has been the hardest thing about your professional journey to date? 

Now that I’m a mother, it’s a real juggling act looking after my daughter and also trying to set aside some ‘me time’. I try to take my daughter to work as much as I can but it can be hard!  

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust my instinct and believe in myself more.

What role does beauty and health play in your life? 

A major role! Growing up in the community, beauty is not a big deal and beauty standards have been the same for centuries. But growing up as a ’90s baby, pop culture and fashion have had a big influence on my upbringing. My mum was always up to date on the latest trends and I am a huge shopaholic—I always had the new eyeliner, lip gloss… but still trying to remain very humble.

You’re the new face of Swisse Earth—congratulations! What does this appointment mean to you?

I am so excited to be working with Swisse on an opportunity that is so close to my heart and impacts my people and all Australians in such  a positive way.

I have a strong connection to the land on which Kakadu Plum is grown and harvested, so to partner with Swisse Earth on their range of products that incorporate this ingredient (and other Indigenous ingredients) as a hero is something I am so proud of. 

It is wonderful to see a brand like Swisse celebrating some of the incredible ingredients we have available in our country, whilst giving back to the community and land from which they are sourced. 

What excites me the most though, is the brand’s commitment to sustainability and the community—in their shared value partnership with growers of Kakadu Plum, Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation

Is sustainability important to you when it comes to the beauty products you ingest and pop on your skin?

Preserving the beautiful land we live on is paramount to me, and I consider this in everything I do on a daily basis – from my health and beauty regime to what I consume. Knowing that the Swisse Earth products not only support my health but are also kind to the environment, and the community,  gives me peace of mind in knowing that I am doing what I can to protect the planet in my day to day routine.

If you could only pick five beauty products to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Well beauty starts from within so supplements are a must, including my favourite Swisse Earth Collagen Boost powder. In addition to natural supplements I love using The Swisse Beauty Hyaluronic 2% Vitamin B5 Glow Booster Serum—which is amazing for plumping and hydrating my skin! Fenty Beauty was the first brand I used. I love what they stand for and how they advocate for beauty products for darker skin.

What is the biggest piece of beauty advice you would like to pass on to women who look up to you?

Drink water every morning! Also make sure you’re nourishing your skin from the inside, out, with good foods and nutrition. Exercise often and get plenty of vitamin D.

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