Western Queensland Indigenous artists have had a hand in creating a dress made out of recyclable plastic that will be worn by Miss Australia Priya Serrao in this weekend's Miss Universe competition.
The artists, hailing from Birdsville, Bedourie, Blackall and Barcaldine, collaborated with Brisbane-based designer Claudia Williams to develop artwork represented in the lizard-design garment, which features 6200 colourful scales.
The design, dubbed Tyarla-Tyarla, is based on the ochre colours of Indigenous spirituality. Tyarla-Tyarla means lizard in the Wangkangurru language, spoken in the Birdsville area.
The dress will be worn by Serrao in Atlanta, USA on Sunday as Australia's national costume.
Williams connected with the Indigenous artists involved while in the region working as creative director with Red Ridge's Dress the Central West project.
"I was approached to make the dress after I had been working in Western Queensland on and off for six months," she said.
"For me after that experience it was always going to be about the outback."
The scales of the dress were made from bubblewrap, recycled billboard banners and a canvas featuring the art created by the Indigenous artists.
Red Ridge's Aboriginal arts and cultural cfficer, Aunty Joyce Crombie led community workshops in Blackall, Longreach, Birdsville and Bedourie and Barcaldine to develop a collection of artwork that could be represented in the garment.
A total of 11 artworks based on cultural dreaming and stories were created, then photographed and reproduced onto squares of rolled canvas that could be cut into small scale size pieces for the garment.
The original artworks have been held a collection that could potentially be used for a regional touring exhibition.
The artists involved include Wangkangurru / Yarluyandi women from Birdsville, Aunty Joyce Crombie, Josie Schurman, Birdsville's Aunty Jean Barr Crombie, Aunty Jenny Parsons and Aunty Maude Monaghan, Barcaldine's Daryl Frazer and Blackall's Dwayne Kangan.
Maranoa MP Littleproud said he was thrilled that Western Queensland would have limelight shone on it through the colours and design of the wearable art garment.
"We live in a unique and beautiful part of the world that is certainly worthy of global attention for its history, culture and nature," Mr Littleproud said.
"The flow-on effect from this is fantastic and just goes to show what can happen when we work together towards a goal."