Self belief and having a supportive network around you is what Samantha Harris believes are the building blocks to a successful modelling career.
Having worked in the industry since 13, the age that Harris won the Girlfriend model search, the now 29-year-old understands the importance of having good mentors, which is why she has signed up to be a mentor for the Australis Face of Facon model search.
"I think it's really important for young models to have mentors, someone they can chat with about the industry in general. They are going into a really different industry and they're still kids really, teenagers," Harris said.
"If I can give them some words of wisdom, I'm happy to. Entering the modelling industry at such a young age was really daunting for me, especially as I was painfully shy and often quite homesick.
"Having the support of my agent and mentor, Paul Thomas, general manager of Chic Management, has made all the difference to my life and the amazing experiences I have been afforded.
"He has guided me through tricky situations, listened to me when I felt self-doubt and championed me to become the best version of myself."
Harris is one of Australia's most successful exports and the first Indigenous model to feature in major runway and editorial campaigns.
She graces the front cover of the spring issue of Facon, The Newcastle Style Issue, and will mentor the winner of the Face of Facon model search.
The winner of the regional model search, to be announced during a runway show at Westfield Kotara on October 12, receives a a development contract with Chic Management and a fashion editorial in Facon.
"Modelling can be overwhelming, but in a good way. These girls lead normal lives, they go to school. When they win a model search, their worlds are turned upside down," Harris said.
"I think it's really important that they have a mentor, someone to put them on the right path, to tell them about the industry, the kinds of things they can expect. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences... being a supportive sounding board for all the questions they'll have as they find their way in the industry."