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Fremantle Dockers WAG Julia Edwards reveals why the Ukrainian crisis is so close to her heart


Raised in Russia with a Ukrainian mother and Russian father, Julia Edwards believed that her soul was sick, watching the war in Ukraine go from bad to worse.

With her mother’s family mostly in Ukraine, Fremantle Dockers model and girlfriend Bailey Benfield heard firsthand from her relatives in Ukraine how the conflict was unfolding.

“From what they said, it’s just devastating. Just live in a state of tension all the time, ”she said.

Her cousin, who was in Melitopol, 200 kilometers from the coastal city of Mariupol when Russia invaded Ukraine, told Edwards about shells falling on their city and rockets hitting the airport. She has since fled closer to the Polish border.

Camera iconJulia Edwards and Bailey Banfield. Credit: Instagram/Julia Edwards

“She has a two-year-old child and they are hiding in the basement of their house, and her husband is on the front line fighting Russian troops,” Edwards said.

“She was just telling me how her two-year-old son knows what a siren means, like ‘oh, we need to hide.’

“It just caused so much emotion, just tightened my heart.”

Edwards, whose native language was Russian, translated a message from her cousin to TikTok and asked others to help by donating and raising awareness.

But Edwards, who turns 24 on Saturday, has teamed up with The Square Mirrabooka for We Welcome Ukraine in partnership with the Ukrainian WA Association and the Red Cross.

The event, which will take place today at 11 am, is an opportunity to come together in solidarity with the Ukrainian community WA and those who have moved as a result of the conflict, which is now called Perth home. The funds raised will go to Ukrainian refugees in Australia and Ukraine.

“I really want to meet as many Ukrainians as possible. . . and give them some reassurance and tell them we are here. We are just worried about what you went through, ”she said.

The famous stylist from Melbourne Elliott Garnaut also supported this case. At the back of styling 150 for this week’s Fashion Week headline show Future of Fashion Garnaut jumped on a plane Friday to join his father Chris of the Fawkner investment group that owns Square Mirrabooka Mall.

“I think it’s very important to be able to use your voice and fulfill your small role,” he said.

“I also think that working in the fashion industry, you have a minimal opportunity to use your voice really effectively. I think we’re very lucky to be able to use our voices for things like diversity, inclusiveness and sustainability, and they’re also really important pillars, but when someone’s livelihood is at stake, I think it’s it is equally important to use your voice. “

Edwards, who moved from St. Petersburg to Perth when she was 12 years old.

“I was really against moving to Australia,” she said. “But looking back on it now, I’m very happy that we all did it and I know very well that it could have been wrong and I could be there and I absolutely don’t know what I would have done, especially if I would be in Russia knowing that our Ukrainian family is under attack from our country.

“We have not returned to Ukraine for years. I believe the last time I was 11 years old. But my dad still lives in Russia. That’s why we visit every two years. “

After moving to Australia, she discovered modeling skills – and was named Miss West Coast 2019 – and aspires to become a psychologist.

“I thought I would finish my diploma and just go and become a great business lady and work in the city, and I thought that was the best thing,” she said.

Looking back on it, she admits she was a little naive and wanted something more saturated.

I just realized, “Okay, I don’t feel like I’m helping anyone.” . . so I realized I wanted to be a psychologist, ”she said.

“I started doing Lifeline as well as working to support people with disabilities. So it’s just a lot, a lot, a lot more on the path I wanted to take in terms of doing the job, ”she said.

She joined Lifeline as a crisis advocate while studying with honors and then a master’s degree in psychology.

COUPLE Julia Edward and Bailey Benfield
Camera iconJulia Edward and Bailey Benfield. Credit: Instagram/Instagram

Being around someone in the darkest moments can be a clash, but Edwards describes it as “the best”.

(It’s) one of the best things I’ve ever done, ”she said.

“I think it was (confrontation) in the beginning. But you get on stage because I think I’ve been doing it for almost a year now, where literally little can shock you.

“You almost assume a different person as I change the way I speak. I change the tone of my voice. I’m not 23-year-old Julia, who is a model and likes to write on Instagram. “

Instagram and TikTok Edwards have an enviable ribbon of highlights, but she also shares candid posts, from unfiltered photos of her acne to details of her relationship with Fremantle forward Benfield, who will meet the Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.

“I have never shared so much with my followers. But then I decided what do you know? I want people to know me as if they had met me, ”she said.

“I’m not private. I just don’t. “

The couple was introduced by a mutual friend, but Banfield invited her to a meeting.

They went to dinner, and Edwards was fascinated by his love of reading and cooking and the fact that he could speak French rather than his skills on the football field.

Three years later, they live happily with Edwards ’cat, and she is impressed by his culinary skills in the kitchen.

“It was one of his ways to get me on one of our first dates,” she said.

Benfield invited her over and showed her how to cook shrimp and chicken delicacy, which she described as a scene with a rum coma.

“It was a classic when they stood next to each other and cut things, just looked into each other’s eyes,” she laughed.

“And so far every time he does something to me, I say, ‘I need to shut this man up, he’s cooking so well.’


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