If you are a regular Hip little one reader you have no doubt noticed that I am full of praise for the wonderful Australian Girl dolls, and I am not the only one as many of you have commented on how amazing they are and how much you love the concept. So who created these five Australian girlfriends and how did they come up with the different personalities?
Find out the answers to these questions and more in today’s Sunday Coffee as we sit down with Australian Girl creator Helen, an Australian mother and grandmother who is passionate about promoting a healthy self image under young girls.
What does your ideal Sunday look like?
I can think of some great Sundays I have spent on holidays in some amazing places that I would say were ideal and would love to repeat. Such as when we visited and joined in worship in an early African American (Slave) church or when I was invited to don a choir robe and sing with the choir in a church in Georgia. For a more usual ideal Sunday I like eating my breakfast watching Insiders at 7am on ABC24. Attending a church service and being back home in time to sing along with Songs of Praise on ABC1 which I love. Lunch at our favourite Chinese restaurant or any restaurant for that matter with family or friends. Afternoon walk and easy evening with a book, TV or DVD.
Why did you start Australian Girl?
I found a need in Australia for good quality dolls that girls can relate to that aren’t ‘wearing fish nets’ and heels, sexualised, ridiculously thin and wearing overly much make up. I wanted to buy dolls for my grand daughters who had grown out of the baby doll stage and was forced to import dolls after searching shops in Australia and only being able to find fairly expensive dolls in specialist or boutique stores. Then I discovered there were activists in the community such as Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids and Melinda Tankard Reist who were concerned about the sexualisation of children like I was. I wanted to do something positive and offer an alternative to Australia’s girls.
Where did you draw the inspiration for the Australian Girl doll characters from?
I was on a holiday excursion with a bunch of young women and girls in a mini bus and told them about my idea. I wanted to depict Australian girls somehow. They were all so excited to hear about it they began imagining different dolls with different interests and names, a whole gang of dolls. It grew out of our day at the northern beaches in NSW and was refined in collaboration with our first writer Molly Crombie, who was 16 at the time and has a wonderful imagination and grasp of character development.
Which Australian Girl doll do you like most and why?
I like Belle.
I love her thick dark hair and the fun seeking character she depicts. She looks for the good in people and loves the beach.
Belle lives in beautiful Perth but gets to go to Melbourne (I love Melbourne) to visit her grand parents from time to time.
What is one of the most important things you want to teach Australian girls?
I want to help girls have a healthy view of themselves, their self worth and ability to make a difference in the world.
To find out more about Australian Girl, to take a closer look at the five girls and to order online visit www.australiangirldoll.com.au.