Tweed girl could be our Su­per­model

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Daniel Mcken­zie daniel.mcken­zie@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

CUT­TING a fig­ure of confidence, model Ka­rina Mon­aghan smiles as she cap­tures the cam­era’s fo­cus amid a sun-drenched Tweed River on a warm win­ter af­ter­noon.

Wear­ing a golden top which catches the sun’s gleam, the 19-year-old Tweed-based model is pre­par­ing for the big­gest event of her short ca­reer, which could see her crowned Aus­tralian Su­per­model of the Year.

Com­pet­ing in the Gold Coast leg of the com­pe­ti­tion next month, Miss Mon­aghan will be one of 40 con­tes­tants from each state vy­ing for a spot in a 20 con­tes­tant grand final in Bali in Novem­ber, and a year’s con­tract with the com­pany.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to work to­wards be­ing a run­way model and be­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised, so it’s a great op­por­tu­nity,” Miss Mon­aghan said.

The confidence re­quired to chase a spot on the world’s top run­ways re­flects a young woman com­fort­able in her own skin, which is a stark con­trast to the shy, anx­ious teenager who em­barked on her modelling dream just over a year ago.

“I had a rough up­bring­ing from mov­ing to dif­fer­ent towns and wit­ness­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the house – just liv­ing in fear,” Miss Mon­aghan said.

“As you grow up, you re­alise that isn’t how life should be. You don’t for­get the past, but when you’re striv­ing for the good, you just think about the fu­ture.”

That fu­ture be­gan when Miss Mon­aghan’s mother and great­est sup­port Shar­ron Bur­rows made a life chang­ing de­ci­sion to make a clean break to the Tweed with her daugh­ter.

“We broke the cy­cle by com­ing to the Tweed three years ago, and this was our new start,” Ms Bur­rows said.

While the new start set the plat­form for a bright fu­ture, the abil­ity to even leave the home was be­yond Miss Mon­aghan for a pe­riod, with her ex­pe­ri­ences hav­ing a pro­found af­fect on her.

“As a kid I was re­ally out­go­ing, did ath­let­ics, dance, soc­cer, then as I got older, I stum­bled into feel­ing like I couldn’t do any­thing, which just got worse. I got sick and was put in hospi­tal and af­ter that I was re­ally lethar­gic and lazy,” Miss Mon­aghan said.

“I did a year of school at Tweed River High, but I had a lot of panic at­tacks, not want­ing to be around many peo­ple, and feel­ing as if I couldn’t do any­thing.

“I was re­ally sick and with­drawn and didn’t know what to do with my­self.”

It was dur­ing this time Miss Mon­aghan sum­moned the courage to at­tend TAFE, which she said turned her life around.

“I’d heard peo­ple talk­ing about modelling, so I pur­sued a TAFE course. TAFE was an adult en­vi­ron­ment and it did a lot for my self es­teem and I gained confidence, from there I’ve learned all about modelling and re­ally loved it,” she said. “My first job was re­ally dif­fi­cult, I found my­self want­ing to back out, but I thought ‘at some point I need to step out of my com­fort zone’.

“I re­ally en­joyed it and anx­i­eties are just a build up, so when I did it, it didn’t make me anx­ious any more.

“Since then, my confidence has a lot to do with modelling, so when jobs come up, (the anx­i­ety’s) not a prob­lem.”

In the past 12 months, Miss Mon­aghan has been build­ing her port­fo­lio.

Signed by KATZ Model Man­age­ment, Miss Mon­aghan is also a face of the Bris­bane-based Madame Honey, was Stu­dio Fas­cino’s Win­ter Queen for 2017, and is a bou­tique model for Luna and So­lis and No ID Cloth­ing.

Out­side of Su­per­model of the Year, Miss Mon­aghan will hit the run­way at the An­gels With Wings fashion event at Bond Uni­ver­sity on Oc­to­ber 28.

While not yet sure of her final desti­na­tion, Miss Mon­aghan hopes to scale the heights of the modelling world. “I’ve al­ways wanted to be a Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret model and travel, tak­ing in dif­fer­ent styles and con­cepts,” she said.

“I feel like I can do any­thing now af­ter go­ing out of my com­fort zone.”

PHOTO: SCOTT DAVIS

RIVER QUEEN: Ka­rina Mon­aghan takes in the win­ter sun on the Tweed River as she pre­pares for the big­gest modelling event of her short ca­reer.

PHOTO: BREANNA SHEATHER

TICKLED PINK: Aus­tralian Su­per­model of the Year con­tes­tant Ka­rina Mon­aghan in her first modelling shoot for Pas­tel Pink.

PHOTO: NADINE SHAW

RIS­ING STAR: Ka­rina Mon­aghan is the face of Madame Honey's Gen­tly Whipped range.

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