Lisa Sim­mons

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

THE Gold Coast’s Aus­tralia’s Next Top Model con­tender is more than a pretty face.

Shan­non Richard­son, 18, of Up­per Coomera is a Coomera Angli­can Col­lege grad­u­ate, school cap­tain, dux and win­ner of awards for pub­lic speak­ing, de­bat­ing, le­gal stud­ies and com­mu­nity work, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Coomera Ju­nior Cham­ber of Com­merce and net­ball coach who earns her pocket money work­ing as a check­out chick at Coles.

Richard­son be­lieves in dream­ing big. She hopes to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia on the United Na­tions one day.

Still, she de­ferred a dou­ble de­gree in law and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions to com­pete on Aus­tralia’s Next Top Model.

‘‘You get one chance to do some­thing like this – when you’re young,’’ she says.

Richard­son mod­elled as a teen. In grade 10, she was se­lected as the face of Sanc­tu­ary Cove.

‘‘Noth­ing re­ally since then, though,’’ she says.

‘‘I never ex­pected to get through the au­di­tions (for ANTM). You can’t imag­ine how be­ing se­lected for some­thing like this works as a boost to self-con­fi­dence and self-es­teem.’’

Aus­tralia’s Next Top Model is filmed in Syd­ney. Con­tes­tants shared a house and with the ex­cep­tion of mod­el­ling chal­lenges that took them out and about, had lit­tle ac­cess to the out­side world.

They handed in their mo­bile phones and weren’t al­lowed ac­cess to so­cial me­dia or the in­ter­net.

With the ex­cep­tion of the oc­ca­sion short phone call home, there was no con­tact with the out­side world.

‘‘It nearly killed me,’’

ANTM con­tes­tant Shan­non Richard­son dreams big.

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