Ipswich model to 'make history' in New York
MOUNT Crosby model Madeline Stuart is preparing to make it even bigger in the Big Apple.
Since her first modelling photos went viral in May, 2015 the teen with Down syndrome has strutted on catwalks all over the world.
After plenty of visits to New York, Madeline's visa to live and work in America has now been accepted.
"So today I am so proud to announce I finally got my visa to work and live in the USA approved. I am now officially a professional. New York here I come," she posted on her Facebook page, which boasts 628,000 likes.
Madeline's mother Rosanne has been with her every step of the way, travelling the world to support her daughter's career.
Ms Stuart also took to social media after Madeline's visa was accepted.
"I think she just made history as the first person with an intellectual disability to do this," she said.
"I have cried a lot of happy tears today. I think back to the hospital and the doctor telling me she would never achieve anything.
"So to my baby girl, congrats, and to our doctor, well, I want a second opinion."
While she spends a lot of time overseas, the 20-year-old model still keeps in strong connections to her hometown of Ipswich.
Madeline and Rosanne helped found the city's InsideOutside Dance Ensemble, a dance class for young people with disabilities starting back this year on January 23.
"We now have almost 20 classes with students learning hip hop and contemporary dance in safe spaces where they grow in confidence, learn new skills and make friends. It is truly joyful to watch," Ms Stuart said.
InsideOutside co-founder Angela Witcher said many of her students went on to do great things.
"Some of our dancers have formed a performance group and have danced in Melbourne, alongside Home and Away stars in Bundaberg and this year we will be fundraising so our students can dance at New York Fashion Week thanks to the encouragement and influence of our Ambassador, model Madeline Stuart," she said.
Classes start back on Monday 23 January in Bundaberg, Caboolture, Darra, Enogerra, Ipswich, Jindalee, Kippa Ring, Mt. Ommaney and Oxley.
Students pay just $10 per week to attend as many classes as they wish.
For more information phone Rosanne on 0428 156 688 or Angela on 0499 002 989 or email email@example.com.