Starting With Julius, an advocacy group committed to promoting the inclusion of people with disability in Australian advertising, says the boys’ appearance is a massive boost to the cause.
“Very excited to finally see the Kmart Australia Easter catalogue featuring models with #disability! Thank you to Guy Russo and the Kmart family for embracing #adinclusion and sending the message that Kmart welcomes ALL!,” says the Starting With Julius Facebook page.
“We reached out to Kmart and they listened and acted on, it’s wonderful!”
Proud mum Bronwyn told Mouths of Mums that her model son Cooper had the time of his life on the Kmart shoot.
“He has always wanted to be a model and dreams of representing H&M! It was always tricky to explain to him about auditions and that the mainstream media are looking for a certain look that didn’t encompass a disability as such,” she says.
“Until we saw a model call out that would suit him so he auditioned and got the job! His confidence shone through and his humour sparked up the studio.
We are thrilled that Kmart is including kids with disabilities just being typical kids seeing the child first. Cooper has Dystonic Quad CP from a brain injury at birth. He is 11 and in grade 5. He is a food and travel blogger and can be found on Instagram @thewheelfoodie. He’s off to explore Japan, Bali and SriLanka this year.”
Young Aussie boy Julius Malaquias, who has Down syndrome, is the inspiration behind the non-for-profit project.
He has appeared in seven advertising campaigns for Australian and international children’s fashion eeni meeni miini moh since his debut in 2013.