Tweed girl could be our Supermodel
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“I was really sick and withdrawn and didn’t know what to do with myself.”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.”
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.
TICKLED PINK: Australian Supermodel of the Year contestant Karina Monaghan in her first modelling shoot for Pastel Pink.
RISING STAR: Karina Monaghan is the face of Madame Honey's Gently Whipped range.