Australia’s biggest First Nations drag pageant is coming to Melbourne

Miss First Nation, Australia’s only national competition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Drag entertainers is coming to Melbourne as part of YIRRAMBOI Festival.

During a weeklong competition, eight Drag Queens from around the country will compete for the ‘ultimate drag crown’ on Saturday 11th of May, following a gruelling week of heats.

The inaugural competition was launched in 2017 during the Darwin Pride Festival. Last year the coveted crown moved to Sydney, crowning Lismore Queen Lacey Dunaman, before an international adventure saw Miss First Nation Taiwan, Rose Mary, crowned through a collaboration with YIRRAMBOI and Pulima, Taiwan’s First Nations arts festival.

This year the competition will move to Melbourne for the first time, presented in partnership with YIRRAMBOI Festival, Australia’s premier First Nations arts and cultural event.

“We are absolutely thrilled to present the Melbourne premiere of Miss First Nation at YIRRAMBOI,” Festival Creative Director Caroline Martin says. “We warmly welcome the Divas with open arms and can’t wait to share in their fabulousness, as they take over YIRRAMBOI Weelam, the Festival Hub at Meat Market.”

Pageant organisers agree that the Melbourne premiere is very exciting. “The competition is growing each year, the talent pool is expanding and performing at YIRRAMBOI Festival is an amazing opportunity for all of the Queens”, says coordinator Daniel Cunningham.

“This year the competition is fierce! We are astounded that the talent in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Drag scene is so often overlooked. We have contestants coming from Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga and even Broome! We are so happy to be hosting such talented entertainers,” says Cunningham.

“This competition is different to any other, we are really looking for the most talented performers in the country and the stories they share are unique and beautiful”.

Organised by events and entertainment dynamos PARTY PASSPORT, the pageant is open to all Drag Performers, Drag Queens and Sista Girls from Australia’s First Nations, and will test the Queen’s looks, glamour under pressure and ability to entertain a crowd.

PARTY PASSPORT Co-Director, Ben Graetz says, “It’s a full-on week for everyone involved, but very rewarding.”

“Being an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Drag Queen is different because you are representing all the Mob out there who don’t feel safe to express themselves or are restricted from being themselves because of geographical or social factors. That’s why this competition is important.” said Graetz.

Join the fabulous contestants along their journey in the four-day-long competition to fight for the 2019 Miss First Nation crown:

Wed 8 May – Heat 1: Lip Sync Superstar
A night of big voices and big hair. Play Drag Wheel of Fortune with musical divas from pop history.

Thu 9 May – Departure Lounge Drag Queen Bingo
This ain’t your granny’s bingo. Legs 11 and prizes galore.

Fri 10 May – Heat 2: Best National Costume & Miss Talent
Queens display fabulous frocks from their culture and heritage, and share talent performances from singing, dancing, comedy, acrobatics and more. Anything can happen!

Sat 11 May – Miss First Nation 2019 Grand Final
The big one! Contestants show off their best drag in the grand final and live crowning at YIRRAMBOI’s Closing Night Party.