Gympie's Jillaroo Jess musters up internet fame
GYMPIE girl Jessica Edwards is a social media sensation and is set to become a television starlet, with her persona of "Jillaroo Jess” set for a television series based in the Pilbara.
Ms Edwards, who turns 27 in July, works on a cattle station north of Karratha, Western Australia, and has over 50,000 followers on Facebook and 10,000 on Instagram.
The former Victory College student shot to internet fame following a short video on "truckie safety”.
The video was a clip of the truck she drove, which addressed some misconceptions about truck drivers.
It went viral with over 1.9 million views, and after she posted a photo of her ute, she was asked to join a television production from Melbourne-based company Terrain Tamer.
Ms Edwards said Gympie molded her into who she is today, but she never planned on becoming an online personality.
"I didn't set out to become an online personality. What was first a creative outlet in the way of story telling and photos has become so much more,” Ms Edwards said.
Originally a blog launched in 2012, Jillaroojess.com became too hard to manage with a busy life. Ms Edwards then created the Facebook page, which has been a hit.
"I had gained minor popularity and was sitting at 8000 followers until a tongue-in-cheek truck video I had made went viral. I've now just hit the 50,000 follower mark on Facebook and 10,000 on Instagram,” Ms Edwards said.
"I feel humbled. I wasn't a popular kid at school, never the smartest or the fastest. It is truly humbling to have the respect of so many people.
"I am fully aware of the responsibility that has been given to me to be a role model for our young people. I try my best to be a good one, especially to young women.”
Gympie Regional Council community directorate event coordinator Matt Allard worked with Jess, who volunteered with The Noise Magazine as well as local radio 91.5.
"I couldn't be more happy for Jess and what she has achieved so far. She was always destined for great things. Wonderful to work with a colleague who always brought great joy whenever she was around,” Mr Allard said.
Ms Edwards has kept her feet firmly planted on the ground.
"I didn't come into this with any expectations of fame or fortune so everything that happens is a blessing.
"When it stops being fun, I'll stop doing what I do. Until then, the world is my oyster.”
The yet to be revealed show will be released later this year.