Nicholas Donlen

Nicholas Donlen is the grandson of Aunty Carol Currie who is a Mununjali Bundjalung Elder and 6th generation descendant of King Sandy also known as Bungaree.

Through an Indigenous Traineeship Nicholas was successful in securing a permanent position with the Queensland Government's Public Service Commission, but his passion lies the arts. He studied performing arts at ACPA and creates couture collections every year for his fashion label "Donlen". In addition, he manages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander models through "Unearthed Indigenous Productions". Nicholas says his inspiration for every collection is his Indigenous heritage which he infuses with mainstream contemporary fashion.

Nicholas has been nominated for the Deadly Dressed category at the national Deadly Awards 4 times and won the coveted prize in 2010. Nicholas does a lot of voluntary work to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Brisbane including; photo shoots for Indigenous campaigns, community development workshops with not-for profit organisations and helping young Indigenous people with formal gowns, costumes, hair and make-up for various events. Nicholas likes to keep learning new things and develop creative ways to showcase Indigenous culture and beauty in the fashion industry.

Nicholas motivates and inspires other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to set goals and be determined to reach them. He offers this advice to young people "never let anyone under estimate you, work hard and don't give up".

Nicholas is proud of his accomplishments and says "I can make a dollar look a million bucks -it's not easy, but I do it!".

When we asked Nicholas why he is proud to be Aboriginal, he replied "because there's nothing to not be proud of! I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of my culture. We are a strong, amazing, beautiful, unique breed."