“I still have to pinch myself sometimes to remind myself it’s real,” Rehana Badat gushed. “I can’t believe I get to be on television!”
The Perth-based graphic designer has been on Channel 10’s reality arts and crafts show Making It Australia which opened on 15 September. So far, she has seen much success, creating some wonderful crafts including a Hometown Diorama showcasing her love for Perth, a go-kart, and a camper cubby from her childhood.
Having scoured every shed and cornered every crafter, the show brought together thirteen talented Makers who will craft their way through a series of challenges, to win the $100,000 grand prize and the title of ‘Master Maker.’
Talking to Indian Link about her experiences on the show, Rehana mentions upfront the community spirit that pervaded throughout.
“The best part of the experience was that we were all running our own race, there wasn’t the thick air of competition around us,” she revealed. “This is something I’ve found in all creative communities I’ve been a part of: there is always someone who has the skills and kindness to offer a helping hand. We’re kindred spirits.”
Rehana cited her diverse background when asked about what influences her to create.
“I’m lucky I have a variety of cultural resources to pull from,” she said. “As a South-African, Indian, Muslim woman who lives in Australia, there’s always something new to learn and something to try for the first time.”
Rehana claims she didn’t expect to come this far on the show. “When a friend sent me a link to the sign-up form, I merely applied for fun. Every time Channel 10 got back for another round of interviews and applications, I was shocked!”
Even though Rehana has been a crafter all her life, she took on a career in accounting following a finance degree from Curtin University. “There weren’t a lot of career options in my household – it was either doctor, accountant, engineer, or wealthy housewife,” she joked.
But she had always been a creative, which can be seen in her consistent devotion to the craft. Rehana had designed websites since high school, and could always be found doodling in the corner of her notebooks.
However, she identifies her first career milestone as telling her parents about her new direction. “It was hard for me to step up and say: I enjoy painting, doing crochet, and being creative. I want to do this as a career.”
“My parents freaked out,” she recalled. “Indian mums don’t let you down gently. She thought I was going to live on a bench.”
And yet now Rehana’s mum is one of her biggest supporters, marking her TV debut in a very special – and creative – way.
“Mum baked me a beautiful cake – in the shape of a book, and with the Making It logo on it! She showed it to me as we watched the premiere together over Zoom.” “That’s how I know she’s proud of me,” Rehana laughed. “Not because she needs to say it, that’s not the Indian mum way, but because she baked me a cake and brags about me to the Auntie WhatsApp Network.”
Rehana’s main goal has always been to help people tell their stories through the medium of visual design. “I always wanted to capture my love for storytelling in my career,” she said. “I am so happy to have accomplished it.”
When asked about her return to University for a third degree, Rehana lit up at the prospect. “I learned so much from my time as a Creative Industries student at Edith Cowan Univiersity,” she said. “But if I were to go back, I would want to do something different and more hands on – something like what George from Making It does.”
George is a prop maker who graduated from NIDA in Sydney, and she taught Rehana that having crazy ideas is merely the first step to creativity – learning how to execute them is the second. “I would love to learn how to weld and sculpt wood,” Rehana mused.
Meeting George and others on the show seems to be one Rehana’s many highlights from the Making It experience. “I got to know twelve other people closely, and every single one of them is amazing. They are the kindest people you will ever come across.”
She added, giggling, “I look so funny on the show! I’m never worried about looking funny to other people… But I learned so much. That is the most important takeaway for me: you don’t need to have a ‘right’ way of doing things – you just need motivation and a story to tell.”
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