Bendigo girl meets hero

A 10-year-old Bendigo girl with dreams of becoming an actress took centre stage at the weekend alongside her hero, American actress Victoria Justice.

Zahli Drummond was one five teenagers selected from more than 6000 entries to walk the catwalk with Ms Justice – star of Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious – as part of a fashion event at Melbourne’s Watergardens shopping centre.

But a compulsory three-day school camp over the weekend meant she almost missed out.

Fortunately, with her parents’ permission, Zahli was able to skip the camp and instead take part in the show, where she met her favourite pop star backstage.

To enter, Zahli was asked to say, in 25 words or less, what she would bring to the catwalk.

She said she would be herself, because there was no one else she would rather be.

As part of the prize, Zahli received one night’s accomodation in Taylors Lakes and VIP treatment backstage and was treated to her first makeover on the day.

Zahli walked the length of the stage by herself to model six outfits, cheered on by her mother and father, Nikki and Luke Drummond, and siblings, Jayda, 8, and Axel, 4.

Despite larger than expected crowds, the grade 4 Girton Grammar student said she was not fazed. 

“I couldn’t believe she did it – the crowd would have been in the thousands,” Mrs Drummond said.

“Some people camped overnight to secure a spot front row.” 

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