Miss Australian International Pageant Pre Teen Queensland State Finalist, 11-year-old Summer Lambert, is an inspirational local girl with autism, raising money for a worthy cause and living her life with passion.
by Rebecca Mugridge
In 1974 the very beautiful Anne Lambert won Miss Sunshine Coast and Miss Sunshine Coast Charity, and now her granddaughter, Summer Lambert, is following in her footsteps.
Anne is proud to pass the beauty pageant torch down to the motivated and determined Summer, an ambitious 11-year-old who has her sights on a modelling career and fundraising for charity.
“Back when I competed there wasn’t much around in the way of charity events. Miss Australia ran for 45 years and raised upwards of $87 million for The Cerebral Palsy Alliance so there was a huge positive impact on the community,” Anne shares.
Anne believes the experience is as much a benefit to the girls and the community now as it was then.
“Stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something for the community makes you feel good about yourself as well, it gives back to you ten times what you put in.
“I wasn’t a very public person. When I was approached to do the pageant I said, ‘you’re joking aren’t ya?’ Representing a large portion of people was daunting and an important responsibility, however it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.”
Anne won two titles.
“One was specifically Miss Sunshine Coast Charity. I won that title alongside Miss Sunshine Coast. I raised roughly $3,200 which went to the pageant’s chosen charity, The Cerebal Palsy Alliance. I did this through selling a lot, and I mean a lot, of raffle tickets, dinner and show events and donut drives alongside other things. I learnt so much.”
And now Summer is following in her footsteps. The Miss Pre-Teen Australia State Finalist has already attended lunches, important community events, networked with local businesses and is raising money and awareness for her chosen charity.
“It’s all very much about charity. There is the whole pageant side of things, but the charity side is a huge part of it.
“I support a small charity called Citizens Advocacy and they help people with intellectual disabilities. I really wanted to show the great work that they do and help them out.
“I have chosen Sunshine Coast Citizenship Advocacy as my charity platform because not many people actually know about it. Their volunteers give their participants (usually intellectually impaired) a voice,” Summer says proudly.
Citizens Advocacy Group is a charity that establishes one-to-one relationships between a person with an intellectual disability and someone from within the community, who volunteers their time to be a ‘citizen’ that provides practical and emotional support.
It is deliberate that they are not health professionals, as many of the people in the program already have a lot of those in their lives.
For Summer, she has seen first-hand how they help people, and as a young person with autism she knows how important support networks are.
“When my mum was pregnant with my brother Hervey, she was going through a very rough stage with her anxiety … and a person from Citizen Advocacy really helped her out.
“I want to help them out because I believe they need more advocates and funding so they can do this, so they can help other people in the community,” she says proudly.
With an impressive sense of civic duty and empathy on such young shoulders, Summer says she has a lot of inspirational adults in her life.
From her dance teachers, Tony and Tayla Iles from Diamond Dance Company in Woombye, who have always encouraged her, to her stepdad who helps people every day through his chiropractic business, Woombye Chiropractic, to the local businesses that have supported her in her pageant journey, like Gem’s Hair Studio in Coes Creek and Beauty By Kace in Nambour, amongst others.
She has absolutely loved having the chance to meet local leaders along the journey too, a highlight she says is meeting local legend and community icon Jenny McKay, and business owners from the area.
“I’ve met people like Robert Skelton MP. He is really inspiring, he is this cool person and he treats everyone the same, and that’s important. I think leaders should be really involved in the community, and also treat us all like we are the same.”
Summer says she is learning so much about herself, leadership and community and looks forward to how much this experience will help her grow.
“I hope to gain confidence with public speaking, to meet new people, to learn how to speak for a cause and to improve my English, spelling and grammar through all of the pieces of writing which are involved.
“I hope to make a difference to my platform, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy, and also to the lives of children struggling with autism and anxiety.”
Summer’s passion is an inspiration to us all that giving back to our community is often where we can find that joy and an important sense of purpose that so many of us look for.
Summer hopes to raise $3,000 for Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy during her pageant journey.
With many events and catwalks coming up, you can follow along with Summer and support her by liking her Facebook page Summer-Lambert-Miss-Pre-Teen-Australia-International-State-Finalist-QLD or by donating directly via gofund.me/e01db1f1