Gold Coast's Yuliya has X factor

Endeavour Foundation volunteer Yuliya Rai hasn’t long been on the Gold Coast but she is certainly making an impression.

The 28-year-old petite blonde, who moved from the Ukraine to the Gold Coast last year, volunteers twice a week at Endeavour Recycled Clothing (ERC) Central Park, in Ashmore, and appeared on national television this week as part of the high-profile singing contest The X Factor.

Yuliya impressed The X Factor judges so much in her Queensland audition, which was held in Brisbane in July, that she was selected as part of their top 50 singers from around Australia.

She was then flown to Sydney for The X Factor bootcamp, where she was part of the over 25 group and got to know the show’s judges Natalie Imbruglia, Ronan Keating, Guy Sebastian and Kyle Sandilands.

“Kyle Sandilands is actually very sweet,” she said.

“And I got hugs from Ronan Keating – that was nice.”

Yuliya appeared on Sunday and Monday’s bootcamp episodes, but narrowly missed out on making it through to the next stage.

“It was a great experience and I loved being a part of it,” she said. “Australia is a land of dreams – you can do anything you want to here. One day you could be waitressing, the next you’re in retail and on television.”

Yuliya started volunteering at ERC Central Park last month to gain retail experience and develop retail-related skills, in the hope it may lead to a job in the industry. “It’s also rewarding to know you’re volunteering for a good cause,” she said.

“And of course it makes it easier to go shopping – I’m surrounded by nice clothes,” she said.

ERC Central Park is one of 35 ERCs around Queensland, which sell quality recycled clothing at affordable prices. All proceeds go toward Endeavour’s efforts of providing accommodation, education and employment opportunities to people with a disability.

ERC Central Park is open Monday to Saturday and is located at 3/16 Central Park Avenue, Central Park Plaza, Ashmore.

Along with volunteering for Endeavour, Yuliya has also embraced her new home and opportunities here by singing in local band Zookeepers and performing at community events such as the Ukrainian Independence Day concert in Brisbane last month.


Jo Glover, Media and Communications Officer
Phone: (07) 3908 7257, 0429 065 440
Fax: (07) 3253 7271