I don’t like calling myself a model because I don’t want people looking at me going, “oh, you’re a model.”

I don’t like the stigma that comes with it, so I don’t really call myself a model, but I get booked for modelling gigs occasionally.

Many people don’t know, but I have worked hard to continue to work part-time for the government, so it’s not as though my work-life is centred around modelling.

I have a nine-to-five office job, that’s four days a week. I literally run to work every day. It’s 5km there, 5km back.

I do that during the week and then, where I can, pursue my passion to model.

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Well, sort of… it’s not like I don’t have confidence in myself, because I’m very confident within who I am as a person… but it is one of the most challenging industries to break into for anyone.

I love that the industry is changing, and more accepting of all diversities and sizes.

When I signed up to do Miss Universe earlier this year, it was a massive step forward for me, in particular as I build my confidence and talent towards doing more TV presenting and acting.

My dream job, since I was a little girl was to be an actress.

I went to L.A. last year in October for two months to do an acting course over there with TAFTA.

I kind of wanted to hate it and not want to do it, but the fact that I went over there and I loved it so much, it made me want to keep doing it more and pursuing it more.

I’m still trying to do more acting and TV presenting than modelling, but there’s more modelling gigs at the moment that I’m getting.

Auditions are far and few, especially here in Australia.

When I applied for Miss Universe, they ask you give a reason as to why you want to do it or why you want to win.

For me, the first reason, was obviously to motivate myself, to work out and feel good about myself. When you do a lot of these things, you kind of question who you are and what you’re about.

It sounds really corny and lame and cliché, but true.

Then you also brush up on social events, current events, and form an opinion and keep up to date with what’s happening.

The second reason was obviously I haven’t seen a very diverse Miss Universe represent Australia.

I wanted to do that to put a bit of diversity into the pageant.

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I was there last year and there was a bit of diversity in the pageant, but I want to encourage more women, with ethnic backgrounds like myself, to push for greater opportunities in the modelling industry.

I am part Indigenous, Malaysian, Chinese and English; so I’ve felt how great it could be if I could create further opportunities for women with backgrounds like myself.

I guess people could say anyone, “Well, you did Big Brother and you got a platform out of that, so surely that helps anyway.”

But this is the weird thing. I got a platform from Big Brother and when I did it, I really wanted diversity as well on TV, which is, I think, part of the reason why I did actually get on the show.

But then, after the show, for some strange reason, I got all these opportunities thrown at me and I was taking them, but then, I think like the first year after Big Brother.

The first six months, you don’t even know what’s happening. You don’t even know what day it is. After that, you kind of go into this weird depression stage.

I’ve spoken to everyone that has been on reality TV. They have shared similar experiences.

I am such a strong-minded person and I was in denial that I was going through depression. David was telling me he had to carry me out of our room some days because I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

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I didn’t want to go to work, I didn’t want to do anything. It was a weird … I’ve never experience anything like it.

I don’t blame Big Brother in any way, but it’s a weird thing.

I’ve spoken to so many reality stars, and everyone’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s because you’re probably not getting attention, the fans are going away.”

I’m like, “Actually, it’s probably the opposite,” because you go from no one knowing who you are to kind of a celebrity; but you’re not a full celebrity, if that makes any sense.

You’re known, but not known enough to completely not go to work.

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You’re not rich enough to not work, but people still know who you are and people still want to chat to you on the street like they know you. That used to give me really bad anxiety.

I am normally very strong, but I think for two years I didn’t even post an Instagram. I was too scared to post anything. I didn’t want people to comment on my shit. I think I posted a picture with my little sister once, and I was pulling a funny face.

All I got was people going, “Oh, why is she doing that? What is this face for?” It was something I’ve never experienced before about posting your picture. It was just a weird thing.

But for me now, I’m really pleased that I am in a really happy place, and making every effort to only do things that make me smile.

So even though I don’t look at myself as a model, I’ll continue to do it for as long as I can and for as long as it continues to make me happy.