Young teen is people’s choice

Maria Brereton is looking for more talent and catwalk opportunities on the world stage after bringing home the People’s Choice sash and being named fourth runner-up in the Kids Star International, held in Thailand in early December.

Maria, 13, of Slacks Creek and a student at John Paul College, learned of the pageant from Queensland director Lyn Shadbolt almost accidentally when she was asked to walk with a sash on stage for just five minutes.

Her mother Helen said she had been looking for several ways to give Maria a straighter posture, having tried ballet, physiotherapy and chiropractic, but nothing had helped as much as modelling training.

“It was never our idea, but Maria enjoys it a lot and there are health benefits too,” Helen said.

Maria said she had learned a great deal from the experience.

“But mostly I wanted to represent Australia and particularly Logan. We are told this is the Logan Bogan area. That’s not true. There is talent and beauty here. I also wanted to show what migrants can do,” Maria said. Maria migrated with her family at age six from Moldova in Eastern Europe.

“I have seen different countries and different cultures and going to Thailand made me realise and reflect how lucky we are in Australia. It is a safe place,” Maria said.

Maria said she also made some true connections with friends from other countries and cultures.
Judging in the competition was based on talent (Maria plays flute) and walking in an evening gown, resort wear and national costume (koala-themed dress).

“Everyone was so friendly and the girls helped me and taught me things like make-up tips, posing hints and dancing. I definitely came home a lot more mature and with a greater knowledge of other cultures,” Maria said.

Helen said Maria was looking at competing in other pageants in other countries this year.

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