Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - Qatar Air­ways’ new Qsuite in Busi­ness Class will fly daily from Can­berra and Syd­ney to Doha, from Wed­nes­day; qatarair­ways.com/au.

t’s 4.30am and Syd­ney Air­port is still wak­ing up. Trav­ellers wan­der the ter­mi­nal like zom­bies as Stel­lar’s own blearyeyed crew pre­pares for a long day ahead. Then Erin Hol­land ap­proaches – her gait en­vi­ously, mad­den­ingly brisk. There’s an ex­pla­na­tion, she says. Turns out she lives just a few min­utes away which, she tells Stel­lar, is very much a “tac­ti­cal move”. That’s be­cause she flies sev­eral times per week – ei­ther for work or to see her boyfriend, crick­eter Ben Cut­ting, who lives in Bris­bane.

The more you speak to Hol­land, 29, the less sur­pris­ing her de­ci­sion be­comes. The model, singer and TV pre­sen­ter has no is­sue mak­ing it known her ca­reer re­mains her top pri­or­ity. And if liv­ing un­der a flight path en­sures it, well… so be it.

Soon af­ter and on­board a Qatar Air­ways flight bound for Can­berra, Hol­land is vamp­ing in­side the air­line’s new Qsuite Busi­ness Class sec­tion. She is mod­el­ling tai­lored suits in match­ing prints and colours, look­ing far more glamorous than your av­er­age track­suit pant- clad long-haul pas­sen­ger. She seems at home in her sur­rounds, but Hol­land – who is a friend of the Qatar Air­ways brand – ad­mits to Stel­lar, “This is all very new to me; I grew up in Cairns and didn’t travel when I was younger, so I see it as such a priv­i­lege.”

Hol­land is pol­ished, with never a hair (or word) out of place, prob­a­bly the re­sult of her time on the pageant cir­cuit. In 2012, hav­ing grad­u­ated from her Bach­e­lor’s De­gree in Clas­si­cal Voice at the Syd­ney Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic, she be­gan au­di­tion­ing for mu­si­cal the­atre roles. “I was get­ting close but not land­ing any­thing,” she says. “So

I thought, ‘ What can I do to make my­self a more at­trac­tive op­tion and meet the right peo­ple in the in­dus­try?’”

Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the likes of Jen­nifer Hawkins, Jesinta Franklin and Rachael Finch, Hol­land en­tered Miss World Aus­tralia and re­turned a year later to take home the 2013 crown. “It was a huge mo­ment for me,” she says. “Never in a mil­lion years would you have thought I’d be given that ti­tle. I didn’t grow up in the world of fash­ion, I wasn’t a stylish kid. I was com­fort­able in a sin­glet and a pair of thongs. I was a mu­sic geek, an aca­demic geek.”

At the Miss World fi­nals in Indonesia later that year, Hol­land placed in the top 10 out of 130 coun­tries – earn­ing ac­co­lades for the singing abil­i­ties she show­cased in the tal­ent com­po­nent. “It had the de­sired ef­fect, thank god – it re­ally got my face out there,” she says.

Hol­land trav­elled and sang at char­ity events, be­fore turn­ing to pre­sent­ing. Reg­u­lar ap­pear­ances on Syd­ney Week­ender, To­day, The Daily Edi­tion and Sun­rise fol­lowed, along with more mod­el­ling gigs.

With her ca­reer lit­er­ally tak­ing off – and a part­ner of­ten away for stretches at a time – Hol­land has had to make peace with main­tain­ing an un­ortho­dox re­la­tion­ship, at least for the fore­see­able fu­ture. For more than three years, Hol­land and Cut­ting, 31, have split their time be­tween Syd­ney and Bris­bane.

“The dis­tance isn’t some­thing ei­ther of us can change any time soon be­cause of our ca­reers,” Hol­land ex­plains. “Ben is very clucky, though… [Kids] are def­i­nitely some­thing we both want at some point, but I don’t want to un­der­take that un­til I am pre­pared to give them all the op­por­tu­ni­ties I had. And I know that with where my ca­reer’s at, I need to be a lit­tle bit more self­ish for a lit­tle bit longer.”

Her ex­pertly packed suit­case in tow, Hol­land heads for her third flight of the day – this time it’s to Bris­bane, so she can see Cut­ting be­fore he is gone for seven weeks at a tour­na­ment in the Caribbean. Even though she has clocked up “close to 2000 flights” in the past few years alone, Hol­land isn’t sick of the jet-set­ting life just yet: “I must have been a gypsy in an­other life, be­cause home for me is the peo­ple – not the place.”

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