CQ girl has sights set on Australian Supermodel of the Year
AT ONLY 14-years-old a Rockhampton model is taking the nation by force, with her sights set on the title of Australian Supermodel of the Year.
Australian Super Model of the Year is a fashion focused beauty pageant that aims to represent women (and men) of diverse ethnicities and cultures.
Maria Liebenberg had her big audition yesterday in Brisbane, after finding out she had been accepted into the prestigious pageant under the runway and fashion category.
Maria said she first heard about the pageant through modelling academy Elite Avenue, where she undergoes monthly photographic and catwalk training in Rockhampton.
"Another model, Emily, went to Bali for it and Elite Avenue suggested I give it a go," she said.
"It's definitely a great opportunity."
Up against a lot of fierce competition, Maria said she was going to give it her all and try to go as far as she could in the pageant.
"I was very excited when I found out I had been approved, because they opened to models from India, Indonesia and New Zealand," she said.
"It's a lot harder to get in, so I was pretty proud of myself.
"I am going to give it my best and try to go as far as I can."
To prepare for her big audition, Maria said she had been practicing catwalk and photoshoots to gain more experience.
If Maria gets through her audition, she would go to Bali for 10 days for the finals.
If she wins the pageant, she would share in more than $25,000 worth of contracts and gift vouchers as well as gaining the title of Australian Supermodel of the Year.
Maria started modelling in March last year and said she had competed and won trophies in several competitions in Rockhampton and Mackay.
These included The Elite Avenue Mackay 'Khaos Unleashed' Swimwear Competition at the Mackay Lifesaver's Club and The Elite Avenue Rockhampton Pin-up Competition hosted in September at the Quality Regent Hotel.
"I also did the RACQ Competition and won my age division, as well as the Rockhampton Charity Pageant, which raised awareness for autism, and placed third," she said.
After listening to a friend talk about how much fun she was having modelling, Maria said she decided to give it a go.
"I applied to Elite Avenue and started doing catwalks and photo shoots," she said.
"It's something I had always been interested in.
"I grew up watching shows like America's Next Top Model, wishing that was me.
"Modelling has given me a lot more confidence, it's very fun and I enjoy it a lot.
"It's so rewarding to see the final product of a photo shoot after all the hard work you put in."
When asked what her favourite moment of her modelling journey was, Maria said nothing topped The Elite Avenue Mackay 'Khaos Unleashed' Swimwear Competition.
"Me and all the girls had the biggest laughs, it was a lot of fun," she said.
"However, all my runway training with Louisa Bradley (Elite Avenue founder), is also up there.
"We always have the most laughs, it's very fun and we just talk.
"She doesn't live in Rockhampton, so when she does come up for training, we all just bond."
With a healthy modelling portfolio, Maria said she was looking to broaden her horizons in her field of modelling.
When she is not posing in front of the camera or strutting her stuff down the runway, Maria is hard at work studying at Heights College.
Her dream is to do professional acting and modelling after school, however, she also wants to go to university and get a degree.
"I either want to go into occupational therapy, law or psychology," she said.
"If I were to go into law, I would like to do domestic violence law.
"Just knowing I could help take a kid out of that situation and put them into a better one.
"It would be great to work with kids, it always makes me happy."
Her message to young models looking to try out for Australian Supermodel of the Year 2021 is to definitely give it a go, "but get some experience first".
"Get experience and really try hard for a year," she said.
"Make sure you have done lots of photo shoots, catwalks and smaller competitions before trying out for the big ones. But definitely give it a go.
"At the end of the day, modelling is a lot of fun and shouldn't be taken too seriously."
Maria will find out whether she has made the finals for Australian Supermodel of the Year on December 31.