Delve into the teenage world and nine times out of ten, what you will find is low self esteem, uncertainty about one’s place in the world, even depression. It can be a difficult time of life, and one that is perhaps not dealt with very well in our society.
That’s why the work that Elizabeth Lund does is so incredibly important, and why her courses are being thoroughly embraced by our community.
But let’s start at the beginning. Elizabeth grew up on the Central coast where her mother Denise Lund ran a modelliing and casting agency for 15 years.
So Elizabeth spent her whole childhood participating in the school, both as a student learning with her peers, and later as a teacher. She spent some time working in casting, providing actors for commercials like Kelloggs, Fosters and Lotto.
That all ended when Denise retired and Elizabeth got married, had four boys and moved to Tintenbar.
Elizabeth had no plans to continue with the modelling or deportment classes, until some girlfriends who knew her history asked her to run a class for their girls. Since then she hasn’t stopped.
‘My focus has never been on modelling or casting, but primarily on building confidence and self esteem,’ she says.
‘I tell the girls (because it is mostly girls who enrol although there have been some boys too) that we are all different, and we cannot realistically aim to have the bodies that we see on TV.’
‘I build a relationship with the girls, make them feel comfortable and safe—relaxed enough to open up and talk about what matters to them,’ she says.
‘I tell them that everyone has problems and it’s important to feel supported and not judged at these times.’
Once that level of trust is built, then Elizabeth moves onto subjects like social etiquette, makeup, deportment, posture, speech, image and style..
‘It is not about trying to change their appearance,’ she says, ‘or to seek approval of others or to conform to some kind of media image or ideal.’
‘It’s the same message as their mothers are giving them, but sometimes teens just don’t want to listen to their mothers.’
Elizabeth offers intensive school holiday programs with up to 30 girls in a class. She is also involved in staging fashion events for Lismore Square and is a major sponsor of Miss Country Girl Australia.
‘I love making a difference in people’s lives. I guess I have an extreme passion for helping people.’
And if all that plus raising four boys is not enough, she has also enrolled in an events management course this year with the aim of continuing the work she is doing.