By Angela Norval
Well-known Bundaberg local Ruby Mills is sharing with Australians her sense of community pride.
Iconic brand XXXX has given its prominent branding on the sleeve of the Qld Maroons jersey to regional Queensland communities, swapping out its iconic XXXX logo with individual Queensland postcodes so every time the Maroons run out, players will be proudly representing not just Queensland but communities right across the state.
XXXX has also created a three-part docuseries focusing on three communities – Bundaberg, Barcaldine, and Charleville with the docuseries spotlighting real Queensland communities and showing what makes the state the best in the country.
Developing a name for herself throughout Australia and, in fact, the world through her musical talent, Ruby was approached by a film company to be a part of the campaign by XXXX showcasing regional Queensland towns.
Ruby said it was an honour to represent Bundaberg on this project for the State of Origin and continuing ad series for XXXX, saying one of the directors had even flown from LA to Bundy to shoot this.
“I really believe in shining a light on regional and rural towns, not only in Queensland but across the country,” she said.
“Growing up in Bundaberg, I have always recognised the importance of community and the resilience of some of our people. It’s in our blood, and I am proud to be a part of a community that want to help their mates.
“As I mentioned in the campaign, that’s what it’s all about.
“With this campaign reflecting on community spirit, it reminded me how important it is, and how good it makes me feel, to be a part of a small regional town; I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I love the scenery in this docuseries because its real, on the land, the trawler, singing and, of course, with my family who are the most important people in my life, although unfortunately my sister Bonnie lives interstate and couldn’t make it back for the filming.”
Bundaberg is an area that Ruby knows a lot about having lived here for 25 years, so for her it is home and she finds real comfort in the feelings that surround it.
“I have lived away for quite a while but recently moved back for the lifestyle.
I have always been a real homebody and over the years have come back to Bundaberg every chance I would get, even if it was just for the night.
“Although since relocating back to where I grew up, I have definitely found a new appreciation for small town living – local coffee shops, running into people you know in the street and chatting to others you don’t while you buy the morning paper, time on the land, swimming in the ocean and hiking and visiting the surrounding areas.
“I also really value how much great produce we have in our area so I enjoy shopping local!
“Obviously my background is in family business with Red Shed Seafood, and it honestly continues to be such a privilege to be able to provide such awesome fresh seafood that we have in our backyard. That goes for all our fruit and vegetable farming, meat, flowers, chocolate, beer. We are so lucky and I think too many people don’t yet recognise that. “
While known in Bundaberg for her music, Ruby has appreciated that this campaign has shown her in a different light.
“Coming from a regional town like Bundaberg, I hold strength in where I come from and I love that people challenge that when I am trying to achieve something, I find it to be a motivator.
“I do feel a great responsibility in what I achieve in the music industry though because my win is your win, really.
“The whole town has supported me for a long time now and I like to think I bring joy to people through my music. I am so grateful for that opportunity and connection.
“So, I think in this campaign it was so nice that they touched on my music but also showed my day-to-day, because that’s important to me. I have learnt so many lessons in resilience and finding support and strength in the people around you.
“I think the docuseries is a perfect representation of who I am and what my values are, showcasing what #4670 means to me.”
It fit perfectly that Felise Kaufusi, also from Bundaberg, scored the first try for Queensland in game two and is someone that Ruby went to high school with and has stayed in contact with.
“Somehow it feels like we are doing this together and I hope I have done Bundaberg proud.”