Photos and video from the rehearsal for an Australia Day fashion parade on Wollongong Harbour

Illawarra’s Top Model winner Olivia Strumfin and other finalists from the 2016 Highlights on Mental Health fundraising event have donated their time to help Wollongong Citizen of the Year host a new and exciting Aussie Beachwear Runway Show on Australia Day.

Robyn te Velde OAM is organising the event for Wollongong City Council on Australia Day at Wollongong Harbour.

The summer fashion parade supported by CossiesRus, Bardot Wollongong Central, Surf Dive’n Ski in Wollongong will be presented on the main stage from 5.30pm on January 26.

“As the current Citizen of the year I was honoured to be part of the Australia Day Committee looking at some new ideas for events. I subsequently donated my time to produce and choreograph a wonderful 30 minute fashion show with a meaningful theme 'We are One’,” Mrs te Velde said.

“The show will open with a magical, all inclusive mix of beautiful young models in a spectacular green and gold show that will be a highlight event at Lang Park for locals and visitors.”

Fashion: Gianna Cheung in Surf Dive'n Ski, Kaia Breinen, Olivia Strumfin and Bree Millar wearing Bardot with creative director Robyn te Velde OAM and hair and make-up by Total Bliss, Wollongong. Red carpet donated by Pro Light and Sound. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Fashion: Gianna Cheung in Surf Dive'n Ski, Kaia Breinen, Olivia Strumfin and Bree Millar wearing Bardot with creative director Robyn te Velde OAM and hair and make-up by Total Bliss, Wollongong. Red carpet donated by Pro Light and Sound. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Young local designer Bek Zamros has helped put together a special collection of fun pieces in a green and gold theme for the opening of the fashion show with a red carpet donated by Pro Light and Sound.

Mrs te Velde said it was an opportunity for her to acknowledge the positive story that reflected her personal endeavour during the last year.

She wants to continue to encourage young people to get involved in their community and to participate in worthwhile projects. 

“It has been a big year for me as I was also awarded the Order of Australia Medal,” she said.

“I am not only a proud Illawarrian but a very proud Australian. It has been a privilege to work with these young local people who have so gladly donated their time in true Aussie spirit. And it follows their previous efforts raising funds for Highlights on Mental Health in the Illawarra. It gives me great pleasure to guide and perhaps mentor young people moving forward.”

“ITM grew to be a big event in a couple of years. It is currently on hold as we look at an appropriate ‘not for profit’ model to move it forward, significant sponsors and the right team in view of a more national direction”.

Australia Day fashion parade preview. Video Greg Ellis

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I am not only a proud Illawarrian but a very proud Australian. It has been a privilege to work with these young local people who have so gladly donated their time in true Aussie spirit.

Wollongong Citizen of the Year Robyn te Velde OAM
This story Citizen of Year Robyn te Velde to host Australia Day fashion parade first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.