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Sasha Sarago

The Ascension Woman

Her ancestors are present, guiding her intuitively.
From the highlands, deserts,
grass plains to the rainforest,
her essence is imprinted in these landscapes.
When you look at me, you see her.
When I look at her, I see you.
Skin tones blended with delicate
hues of sienna, ochre, henna and kohl.
Her presence beckons
“See me. Hear me. Know me”
Her scars reveal her past; lessons learned.
She takes flight; rising to the occasion.
Her voice shapes nations;
she breathes life into new beginnings.
Ascension; the emancipation of self.
She is the Ascension Woman.

© Sasha Sarago 2015

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Sasha Sarago

Sasha Sarago is a proud Aboriginal woman of the Wadjanbarra Yidinji and Jirrbal clans 'Rainforest People' of Cairns, Far North…

Sasha Sarago is a proud Aboriginal woman of the Wadjanbarra Yidinji and Jirrbal clans 'Rainforest People' of Cairns, Far North Queensland.  Sasha is also of African-American, Malay, Mauritian and Spanish descent.

Sasha’s upbringing was guided by deep-rooted values in 'culture, community and connection', an ethos she still possesses today.  Sasha was introduced to entrepreneurship at an early age, working alongside her mother in their family business Majal—the first Aboriginal-owned beauty salon in Cairns. This childhood experience later formed a catalyst for a series of firsts in Sasha's career.

In May 2001, Sasha appeared in a fashion editorial in Cosmopolitan Magazine Australia: the first time Cosmopolitan featured four Aboriginal models in an editorial spread.  That same year, Sasha modelled at L'Oreal Fashion Week Melbourne Centenary of Federation fashion parades.

Making her film debut in 2004, Sasha participated in the documentary Endangered produced by Indigenous film director Tracey Rigney. Endangered captured intimate conversations about Aboriginal women looking for love, and the survival of Aboriginal people and culture. Endangered was featured at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2005 and on SBS television.

Sasha went on to co-host Melbourne's Channel 31 Songlines in the City, interviewing various Indigenous personalities across Victoria, airing on the National Indigenous Television Network (NITV). In 2008, Sasha collaborated alongside contemporary Indigenous artist Bindi Cole and curator Jirra Lulla-Harvey in a photographic series A Time Like This: an indigenous perspective into the women’s suffrage movement in Victoria.

Enlivened by her passion to articulate a new definition of beauty, in 2011 Sasha founded Ascension, Australia’s first Indigenous and ethnic women’s lifestyle magazine. On 24 November 2014, Sasha officially launched The Colour of Beauty,  Ascensions first digital edition: a new dialogue of cultural identity and self-representation from an Indigenous and ethnic woman’s point of view.

Prior to Ascension’s launch, Sasha hit the media circuit raising awareness about colourism in the fashion industry in many ways including an article in The Guardian: ‘Where are Indigenous models in our fashion landscape?’, her presence on NITV Awaken’s ‘Black is Beautiful’ forum, and television interviews on SBS World News, ABC News Breakfast and various local and national radio interviews.

Since the launch of Ascension, Sasha now has her sights set on cultivating Ascension into a formidably empowering lifestyle and multimedia company the world has ever seen.