What Is Model MATES ?

Model MATES is a fashion industry event, which highlights that even in the most elite of industries, there is room for the inclusion of people living with disabilities.

It’s a first in Australian fashion: professional models walking alongside models living with disabilities showcasing the season’s latest trends.

High fashion and modeling usually present a glamorous, unattainable ideal of perfection…
Model MATES presents an alternative vision, where models who face challenges daily, take long, proud strides on the catwalk to show the community that there is room for their inclusion, even in the most elite of industries.


Lights, Camera, Action


Model MATES was a 4 -day extravaganza that my son had the privilege to be involved in and I had the pleasure of witnessing.  I use the word extravaganza to describe this but I could have used, spectacular, inspiring, stirring, motivating or even awakening, because these are some of the words, that best describe how I felt as the proud mother of one of the models at the Model Mates Fashion Parade.


It was such an honour for my son Simon to be asked to participate in such an event and we are truly grateful for the opportunity.


Simon plays basketball for Special Olympics and in 2013 won a bronze medal for his efforts.  He was so excited and deeply proud of this achievement speaking about it for months afterwards. However it was nothing compared to the pride and sense of accomplishment he experienced in participating in the Model Mates Fashion Event.  He is filled with sheer joy and pride whenever he recalls this experience; the effect on his sense of self- esteem was immediate and significant.


So if this is what it takes to get the word out about MATES – bring it on, bring on more of it because the models are more than ready for another extravaganza!

Annie Parkes

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