What “Home” Means To Indigenous Model Charlee Fraser

As a proud Awabakal woman, Fraser has quickly become one of Australia's loudest voices for change

Charlee Fraser may have reached international success since her debut at New York Fashion Week in 2016, walking for the likes of Alexander Wang, Prada, Stella McCartney, Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy, but has always remained strongly grounded to her Australian roots. Fraser, whose Indigenous mother is an Awabakal woman from New South Wales, has long championed for inclusivity in the fashion industry – becoming one of Australia’s loudest voices for change. 

Fraser has since returned home to Australia to spend time with her family amid the ongoing pandemic and was announced as the new face of Australian womenswear brand Auguste’s new HOME collection – photographed in Yuraygir National Park. “It’s been super amazing to be home in Australia,” she says. “I haven’t stopped since I started in this industry and this has been the longest I’ve been able to spend with my family in the last four-and-a-half years, so it’s been really really nice for me to slow down.”

The new collaboration is fitting for the two Australian powerhouses – with the new collection drawing inspiration from the incredible landscape of the country as an “ode to the special land”, which Fraser has admittedly never felt more connected to. “I feel very very connected,” she explains. “Especially when I’m here in Australia and I’m spending time in Newcastle with my family where I was raised. I feel very connected to the land there – I love the environment, I love being outdoors, I love being in nature. That’s very important to me so being back here is super grounding and it clears my mind.” 

charlee fraser
(Credit: Steven Chee)

Auguste founder and creative director, Ebony Eagles, says: “When it came time to shoot the campaign we were so excited to bring the collection to life in our own backyard and when we heard Charlee Fraser had returned home and we could finally work together, it felt like all the stars had aligned.”

“With everything that has happened, we’ve found a silver lining, being grounded has reminded us of what we have right here at home. I think Australians are really starting to appreciate more than ever the magical land we inhabit, and this collection is a celebration of that. There really is no place like home,” she adds. 

Fraser agrees with the sentiment, using the unprecedented time at home to reflect on all that she’s achieved and refresh her love for the land she calls home. I think the biggest thing for me in the last few months is that I’ve been able to stop, reground myself and clear my mind because when you’re constantly on the go you just feel so flooded all the time with what’s next and what’s next and I’ve been able to stop and really appreciate how far I’ve come,” she says. 

It’s not just her appreciation for her Indigenous heritage that Fraser has long been praised for too, but her championing of diversity and sustainability in the industry – making real, tangible choices in her career that advocate change. 

“When people call me a role model I just really kind of get it a bit blushy about it,” she explains. “I never really thought of myself as a role model but I guess now with what I’ve done I guess I kind of am a role model. It’s only when people ask me – I get a bit taken aback when people ask me that question. It’s really humbling and really grounding and very sweet. I still feel like I’m out here and I’m learning and I’m growing and I don’t always have all the answers but I hope that everything that I do is being translated in a very positive way.” 

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