10 Things You Didn’t Know About Perina Drummond

Perina Drummond is a name rapidly making waves in the fashion industry, a revolutionary figure, a model agent intent on fuelling diversity and expanding opportunities for indigenous models in Australia. While you may have seen her in top-notch fashion events or read about her outstanding contributions to the modelling industry, there might be a few things you didn’t know about her. This article unravels ten lesser known facts about Perina Drummond.

1. A Yirrganydji Indigenous Woman

Perina Drummond, the founder and director of Jira Models, is of the Yirrganydji Indigenous tribe. The Yirrganydji people are native to the Cairns Region, in the Australian state of Queensland. Perina has expressed immense pride in her indigenous heritage and tirelessly advocates for the rights and recognition of her people, both within and outside the fashion industry.

The values and traditions of her tribe form a vital part of her identity and her work as she actively works towards increased representation for her people. By breaking barriers in the fashion industry, Perina Drummond is not only propelling her own career but also setting the stage for future Indigenous models.

2. Began Modelling at 1616

Drummond didn’t just stumble upon the modelling industry late in her life, she made contact quite early. In fact, at age 16, she had her first taste of this glamorous and challenging world. Despite her tender age, this experience helped shape her perspectives and establish the strong foundation for what is now the inclusive, diverse Jira Models agency.

It also personally positioned her within the industry, helping her understand, firsthand, the lack of diversity and representation. This early exposure to the modelling industry was a critical turning point in Perina’s life, influencing her to set up Jira Models.

3. Founder of Jira Models

Fueled by her experiences and the blatant lack of representation in the industry, Perina launched Jira Models in 2018, an agency dedicated to bringing diversity into mainstream fashion by giving a platform to indigenous and diverse models. JIRA is actually an acronym derived from the names of her grandmothers, marking a personal and sentimental significance to Drummond.

Her vision for the agency revolves around breaking stereotypes and making the fashion industry more inclusive. This endeavour is not just revolutionary in its approach to representation, but is also opening doors for indigenous models who found it hard to make their presence felt in Australia’s fashion industry.

4. The Meaning Behind ‘Jira’

Not many people know that the name ‘Jira’ holds a significant meaning for Perina. ‘Jira’ is formed from the initials of her two grandmothers’ names: Joyce Inglis and Rita Worby. The two women played a major role in her upbringing, hence instilling deep values that she adheres to in her life and career.

By naming her agency after her grandmothers, Perina recognizes not just her personal heritage, but also pays homage to the strength and resilience of indigenous women. The agency’s name serves as a constant reminder and motivation to pursue her mission to open doors for models of diverse backgrounds in Australia’s fashion industry.

5. Has Been Featured in Vogue Australia

Perina’s dedication to shifting mindsets and promoting diversity hasn’t gone unnoticed. Her revolutionary work in the fashion industry attracted the attention of the iconic Vogue Australia. In July 2019, she was featured in an article that profiled her efforts in boosting diversity within the fashion industry through Jira Models. This glowing recognition from such a prestigious publication is testament to the significant impact Perina is making in the industry.

This feature is a major milestone that catapulted her and her models to a broader audience, giving both parties wider recognition. It’s clear that Perina is making a significant difference in the industry, breaking barriers and bridging the gap between indigenous models and the mainstream model industry.

6. Ambassador for InStyle and Audi’s Women of Style

Commitment to her cause combined with her significant success in the industry has led Drummond to striking partnerships. She is an ambassador for InStyle and Audi’s Women of Style, a position that affords her the opportunity to bring her advocacy to a larger audience.

The Women of Style Awards not only honors Drummond for her own achievements in the fashion world, but also acknowledges her role as a positive influence. Her ambassadorship highlights her as a game changing woman making a difference in style.

7. Fierce Advocate for Mental Health

Outside of her modelling career, Perina is an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. She is both passionate and vocal about supporting those suffering from mental health issues, as she personally battled depression and anxiety.

Her commitment extends beyond mere words. Perina holds a certification in mental health first aid and strives to promote dialogue and end the stigma around mental health, providing a safe space for those in need. It’s an issue close to heart and forms an integral part of her advocacy efforts.

8. She Has a Degree in Business

Wise moves in the fashion industry and savvy business acumen do not just come from intuitive knowledge. Backing her creative approach with solid skills, Perina holds a degree in business. This tertiary qualification has helped her steer Jira Models in the right direction, fusing creativity and strategy to make a significant impact in the fashion industry.

Beyond the recognition and opportunity it fosters for indigenous models, Jira Models is a successful business enterprise. The blend of creativity, cultural understanding, and business acumen is central to the triumph of Drummond’s brainchild, making Jira Models not just an agency but a platform of immense value in the fashion industry.

9. Opposed the Usage of Blackface in Australian Fashion Shows

Perina’s advocacy isn’t limited to establishing a modelling agency or providing opportunities. Her contributions have been instrumental in raising awareness about racial insensitivity in fashion shows. Known for her outspoken nature, Drummond once called out an Australian show for their use of blackface, arguing that it was inappropriate, offensive, and displays an alarming lack of cultural sensitivity.

No stranger to standing up for what’s right, her activism coupled with her influence has had a significant impact. Her courage and resolve to challenge industry norms has been instrumental in voicing the concerns of the indigenous communities in the fashion industry, leading to a broader dialogue about diversity and cultural sensitivity.

10. Using Fashion as a Tool for Social Change

In her relentless pursuit of diversity in fashion, Perina has leveraged the power of fashion as a tool for social change. Her mission to bring indigenous models into the spotlight is about so much more than simply changing the model industry; it’s about showing the power of difference, the strength of diversity and the potential for unity in diversity.

Perina’s belief is that by placing indigenous models on global platforms, she is creating a narrative of acceptance, understanding, and reconciliation. This innovative blend of fashion and social justice goes a long way to challenge and shift societal norms and perceptions, making a tangible difference in both the fashion industry and society as a whole.

You can watch Perina’s TEDx talk, connect with her on LinkedIn, read more about her work at Jira Models, and follow her agency’s Instagram account for more updates.

‘Changing the Face of Australian Fashion’- Perina’s TEDx Talk

Perina Drummond on LinkedIn

Jira Models Official Website

Jira Models Instagram Account