stacey gemmell - portfolio

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  1. 1. Stacey Gemmell Portfolio
  2. 2. Page 2 of 11 Stacey Gemmell Biography Appendix (1) Ngiyaginya Aboriginal Festival Fashion Program Appendix (2) Fantasea Runway Fashion Show Appendix (3) Charles Sturt University Event Design, Coordination Appendix (4) Wiradjuri Christian Development Ministries Community Work Appendix (5)
  3. 3. Page 3 of 11 Appendix (1) Stacey Gemmell Born 2nd November 1985 I have had the best experience over the past ten years. I have worked alongside so many talented people. Working with Florence Grant in 2004 is where all the dreams I had about fashion came alive. I never thought that having a dream would be something so real and so possible; that it was doable at every depth. I was always told to dream big, focus on my dreams and every aspiration so that they would come true. Not only have I done things I thought were never possible, but I have experienced so many unbelievable experiences. I left school after finishing my HSC, and I was working with Community Development Employment Program (C.D.E.P), which has now become Ganambarra Enterprises. I was working on the front desk one day a week, while the other day I was involved in arts and crafts activities including Jewellery making. I attended several workshops at a shop called Beads on Gurwood here in Wagga, learning how to put together several different jewellery pieces. I have always been interested in making things involving fashion and the performing arts. Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for music, singing and dance. This is something I am still very passionate about to this day. I have sung in choirs, sung solo at several events, including Eisteddfods and even at the Sydney Opera House. Aunty Flo approached the C.D.E.P with an idea involving fashion. My ears pricked at the thought that a training opportunity was being discussed involving fashion my other passion I was stoked and took up the opportunity of doing a placement through C.D.E.P to work with Aunty Flo in this area. This was the start of a life changing experience for me. First on the agenda was working in partnership alongside June Dally Watkins. This to me was so exciting and unbelievable. June Dally Watkins; can you believe it! I knew Miss Watkins ran the Business School for Ladies, and was also the first Australian model. This to me was big time. The first show was underway. This was huge, I was a little nervous but more excited. The feelings I had at this stage were amazing. It was the beginning of something so exciting; my future. The show with Miss June Dally Watkins was an introduction and launch of the new fashion program in conjunction with Yalbalingada which is an Indigenous Community Outreach Enterprise. Aunty Flo brought the fashion program to Wagga, and I had the chance to be involved. I was ecstatic; this
  4. 4. Page 4 of 11 fashion show was a mix of community fashion businesses, and some talented local designers who donated their clothing to be used for this event. Then I started to think more seriously about fashion and what my interest was. I came to the decision to start a course at TAFE doing Certificate IV in Fashion Design and Pattern Making. This was a full time course over 12 months. This is where I met Christy Brooks who had similar interests to me in this field. Christy and I decided to team up. We received a Wagga Wagga City Council Crows Award grant to fund this show. This amazing show was based on land and water and was my chance to start using my own designs, and incorporate them into the show. There were still several community businesses on board donating clothing, but there was room on the cat walk for my own personal designs. I learnt a lot from TAFE, how to sew & make patterns fit. To me TAFE was a great investment in the realisation of my dream. I learnt the correct way to do the things I imagined; I learnt so much. I used to improvise when I was making things; Id buy old clothes from second hand stores and revamp them with my own style. But it was a lot easier to do things the right way, it meant less time I had to unpicking and re sewing things. Christy and I had great ideas to match with the theme of land and water. We created some nice t-shirt designs, a couple of different dress designs, and some formal wear. We auctioned off a formal dress and matching formal tie. The auction was a huge success. We sold the dress and tie for nearly $300. I was so happy that someone in the audience actually wanted to pay money for articles that Christy and I had made. I still wanted to make something a little different, something using natural fibres. I decided to make a dress kind of like a mini wedding dress made of feathers. A really great family friend owned an ostrich farm and he donated the feathers I needed. I decided to stay with the original colours of the feathers trying to keep it all natural and it turned out better than I expected. I was so proud and happy with the finished product. I even shocked myself with the outcome of the dress. The show was a hit. I had the chance to not only help with the fashion side of things, but I also got to help with organising the event. I did the model search; I had to find people who were keen enough to strut our stuff on the cat walk. I was on the prowl, and managed to find a few surprising parties that were keen to model. I somehow convinced the Black Suns to model our clothing, which was great. We had an all star cast. I arranged the practice times, fitting times, and rehearsals, all of which turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. The show was a big hit. We were asked to take the show to many different functions and events including Rotary and other Wagga businesses. After this event I said goodbye to Christie because she decided to move away. I was getting so much experience and a lot of head way. I finished my TAFE course and went on to the next program. This one was a little different from the others I had been involved in. We approached Mount Austin High School with an idea to hold a production with the kids; a mix between a musical and a
  5. 5. Page 5 of 11 performance. The school decided to come on board. We had Michelle Gemmell, the Aboriginal Education Officer (A.E.O.) work with us on our team; she just so happens to be my Mum which was great. I got to work with my mum on a project that, to be honest, scared me a little. Working with kids was something I had never done before, and something I had not thought about. But, I was ready to take on this new challenge. We had the help of a lot of people. We set up a team including Joy Cornish Coordinator of the Black Suns, members of the Black Suns, Shane Atkinson the Indigenous Council Worker, Michelle Gemmell, Aunty Flo, and Sue Hurst the drama teacher from Mount Austin High. Words cant describe what I learnt from Sue who is an amazing lady. She knew what it took to make a production work. So, with the combined group we were ready for community muldungalarna (working together). The show included puppetry, dancing, music, and acting. RIVMED the local Aboriginal Health Clinic had the malbenjerr puppets on their way. These where indigenous puppets used for health and awareness of abuse issues. They looked amazing and we had the chance to incorporate these into the production. So we launched the mamemberra puppets at community muldungalarna performance. We asked the kids to write up scripts for the puppets and they did a lot of role plays. We also had some very talented kids from the school band keen to be in the show, Sammy-Joe Charles, a local Indigenous contemporary dancer, taught dance to interested students. Everything was set in place. I approached my big brother Aaron Gemmell, a great graphic and sketch artist, to design a logo / slogan for the show and something for everyone involved to take with them after the event. I chose a t-shirt, something you could keep and always wear. Everyone loved them. We got funding for the T-shirt from sponsors involved with community muldungalarna. This was the only fashion aspect of this production and I was pleased to incorporate it. The NSW Governor Marie Bashier and the Mayor of Wagga Mr Kerry Pascoe came to this event. I was a little nervous because this was actually my coming out into the whole production process but the kids reassured me there was nothing to be nervous about! The show was a smash hit. I was so glad to have had the chance to be a part of it. I made bonds with all the Mount Austin kids and I realised that working with kids really isnt as hard as I thought would be. At this point I started to think about what I really wanted to do and what I could bring to the community of Wagga. I felt I was ready to do something on my own. My placement with Aunty Flo was about to finish and the C.D.E.P was closing down. I had a lot of community support, family support, and support from former colleagues. I decided to showcase my skills in my own fashion and performing arts show. I applied for the Wagga Wagga City Council Crows Award again and was successful in my application. I had plans for a fashion show called Fantasea to showcase swim wear and incorporate this with an underwater theme. I adored the thought of mermaids, they have been my very favourite thing since I was a child, so I decided to mix things up a bit and have live props on stage surrounding the cat
  6. 6. Page 6 of 11 walk. I had mermaids sitting on paper mach`e rocks that took me months to make but they looked amazing. A colleague Amber Murray did a lot of body painting and body art and she used her talents to transform these people into real live looking mermaids. I thought it would have been hard to convince people to be on stage for the whole production in a tail but you can never tell who else has ambitions to be the next little mermaid. I had the idea to have a male mermaid on stage as well and Steve ONeil a.k.a. My Triton the other A.E.O of Mount Au