THURSDAY JULY 25
Australia’s first model with Down syndrome, who reached international fame has returned home for what her mother is calling a “full-circle moment”.
Brisbane-born, Madeline Stuart has modelled on runways across the world, appeared in Vogue, started her own dance studio for people with disabilities and created a fashion label.
Her mother Rosanna Stuart said she is thrilled to have her daughter work closer to home.
“Maddie saw her first ever runaway at the Ekka [Royal Queensland Show] in 2014 and said, ‘Mum, me model’ – that’s where it started,” she said.
“She fell in love with it in an instant. About four months later I took her to a photo shoot.
“I put the pictures online and they went completely viral overnight and were published around the world.
“Now we are getting ready for a full-circle moment because we can reveal Maddie will be walking the Ekka runway in August and she’s very excited.”
Ms Stuart said while not being overly verbal, Maddie charms those she meets with her shining personality and undeniable confidence. She described Maddie as a complete professional.
“She loves working, loves modelling,” Ms Stuart said.
“The last four years, our lives have been a complete whirlwind. She’s done the last six seasons of New York Fashion Week, she’s done runways in Dubai, China and London and she’s also done advocacy work in Dubai, Mauritius, we went to the Ukraine, Lebanon.
“You see so many models with Down syndrome now, and that was never like that when Madeleine started – it’s been amazing.”
However, her life is not also glamorous for Madeline, who has battled through two open-heart surgeries in recent years.
Her career was almost cut short in December when her heart problems, resulted in the 22-year-old undergoing open-heart surgery for a second time.
“It’s been a really long road to recovery,” Ms Stuart said.
“We nearly lost her. She was in hospital for 28 days and it was so scary, but it’s been seven months now and she’s getting stronger every day.”
Madeline said she was excited to be walking the catwalk at the Ekka and couldn’t wait to head to New York which is her favourite city.
Thousands of bean bag balls have washed up on a North Queensland island, with locals helping clean up the mess.
It is not clear where the polystyrene balls came from, but they were spread far and wide across Magnetic Island.
Local resident Sarah Swain first came across the beads strewn across Geoffrey, Alma and Nelly Bays while walking her dog.
Ms Swain said members of the community had been using vacuums and dustpans to clean up the mess, due to concerns about the environmental impact.
“It just felt like another thing humans are doing at the moment that is so terribly wrong,” she said.
“Just this disconnection we’ve got with nature – another thing to cleanup.
“With the wind and the tides, it’s becoming more dispersed, so making the clean-up a lot harder.”
Townsville City Council and Queensland Marine Parks staff were helping with the clean-up, using a mechanical beach rake and fine net.
Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said extra environmental staff were on their way to the island to assess the affected bays.
The incident has been reported to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The father of a teenager suspected of murdering three people including an Australian tourist and his girlfriend says his son is “on a suicide” mission.
Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 and Kam McLeod, 19, are being hunted by Canadian police in connection to the shooting deaths of Sydney man Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese, along with the suspicious death of a third unidentified man.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have met on northern Manitoba after confirming a burnt-out car found outside a rural town was used by the pair to flee from British Columbia.
Bryer’s father, Alan Schmegelsky, told Canadian media his son had a troubled upbringing and he is expected to die in a confrontation with police.
“He’s on a suicide mission,” Mr Schmegelsky said.
“He wants his hurt to end.
“They’re going out in a blaze of glory – trust me on this.”
Mr Schmegelsky said he expected his son to die by “today or tomorrow”.
The childhood friends from Port Alberni were first thought to be victims of a crime after they went missing on July 19.
However the pair were declared murder suspects, yesterday.
The manhunt for the pair has now led to the town of Gillam in Manitoba, three provinces away from British Columbia, where the bodies of Mr Fowler, Ms Deese and the third man were found.
Gillam is a town of 1,300 people on the Nelson River in north-east Manitoba that is surrounded by thousands of hectares of forest wilderness.
Mayor Dwayne Forman describes the town as being at “the end of the road”.
“There’s only one way in and one way out by road,” Mr Forman said.
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