CLUNES milliner Julie Casey has entered the top tier of Australia's hat-makers after making the preliminary finals at the Melbourne Cup Millinery Awards.
Just being able to enter the awards, which were held at Flemington last night as part of Ladies' Day, is a big deal. Myer and the Victorian Racing Club issue invitations only to a select group of "established and emerging" milliners around Australia.
In the end, the field at Flemington was 81-strong and Ms Casey's placing in the preliminary finals put her among the top 30 milliners in the competition.
It's a mighty achievement for someone who branched into millinery only a few years ago.
Ms Casey said she decided to take up millinery, getting training from top milliners around Australia and from overseas, six years ago after a 20-year career at the National Australia Bank.
While she would have been "humbled" to win one of the main awards last night, Ms Casey said that was not why she entered.
"Personally, it would just be ... I'd feel extremely grateful and humbled by it. I don't think it's something that I'd go out and advertise to the whole world because I'd won it and try and earn business from it, it would just be for my own personal gratification and for my own experience as well," she said.
"I'm not even really doing it to win, I'm doing it for the experience."