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@Ireland Curator: Sinead Burke

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 Sinéad Burke - @minniemelange - is a teacher, a broadcaster, a fashion blogger, a speaker and the Alternative Miss Ireland emeritus.

Having graduated from Coláiste Mhuire, Marino in 2012, studying a Bachelor of Education, Sinéad graduated with a First Class Honours and was also awarded the Vere Foster Medal by the INTO - an award giving to the one student who receives the highest grades in their teaching practices.

In 2012/2013, Sinéad enrolled in IADT, Dun Laoghaire, to complete a Masters in Broadcast Production for TV and Radio (for which she was a First Class Honours) - a domain which she has huge interest in since childhood.

Sinéad has previously worked on a number of National Television and Radio shows and has written articles for the national press including The Irish Independent and Gay Community News.

In 2012, Sinéad entered the final Alternative Miss Ireland pageant, in the Olympia Theatre. Sinéad's alternative-ness was that she stands at 3' 5".

Her entry in the competition challenged the stereotypical archtypes found in the Disney tale 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'. Turning the fairytale on it's head, Sinéad assumed the role of the female protagonist, with a Prince Charming who was also a little person, seven average height 'dwarfs' and a Wicked Queen who poisoned the fair maiden to the tune of Nina Simone's 'I Put A Spell On You'.Unexpectedly, Sinéad won the competition under her stage name Minnie Mélange and is now the Alternative Miss Ireland emeritus.

In this role, Sinéad has been the face of an awareness campaign for Irish Aids Day, scored the Pride 2013 cover of GCN, has spoke at a Dublin Pride / Citi event on 'Redefining the Norm', has worked with LGBT Noise for their Christmas fundraising events, and was a finalist at the GALA Awards for 'Entertainer of the Year'.

Also using the name 'Minnie Mélange' is Sinéad's blog which is a curation of Sinéad's interests in fashion, pop culture, music and living life as a little person. The blog first began as a college project but quickly grew to become an outlet where questions were raised and discussions were had in relation to fashion in Ireland.

Sinéad's parents founded the national organisation for little people in Ireland in 1998: Little People of Ireland.

For over five years, Sinéad has toured both primary and secondary schools around the country speaking with large groups about living life as a little person and the challenges and difficulties she sometimes faces in the physical environment.

Her goal is to illustrate the 'normality' that can be found in difference and how the uniqueness in everyone should be cherished rather than ridiculed or diminished.

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