Not so often you hear about Debutante Balls, but this year it’s been revived. The idea sprouted from my mother Louise Brown, who was keen to have the tradition back for the young Indigenous girls of Queanbeyan, after my own Debutante Ball back in 1999.
The Ball is aimed at supporting young women to understand the transition to womanhood, to build self-esteem and prepare them to take their place as leaders in the community. Before mum could make this night happen, she required funding. She approached our local ICC (Indigenous Coordination Centre) and was granted successfully.
Nine young women and their partners began dance practice two months ago, Irene Ryan and Robyn Vest volunteered their time to teach them, some of the dances included were the Pride of Erin and Gypsy Tap.
September 15 came around quick, and it was the girl’s time to shine. The night began with a Welcome to Country from my brother, Adrian Brown. Our beautiful Debutantes were presented to Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall and Indigenous sportswoman Katrina Fanning.
It was definitely an emotional night for me seeing my two nieces making their Debut, and my daughter as the flower girl. Mum is looking forward to organising the next ball, which might include our elders, who never had the opportunity to make their Debut.