Model teens run for Miss Country
THREE North Coast teenagers are in the running for a lucrative modelling contract and the chance to grace the pages of one of Australia's most popular magazines.
Hope Jacky of Goonellabah, Ashleigh Rice of Murwillumbah and Romy Bennie of Newrybar are among 30 women who will travel to Sydney on Monday to compete for the title of Miss Country Girl Australia.
The competition is run by Woman's Day magazine.
Aspiring models entering the competition must be aged 14-28 years.
The winner gains a contract with either Scoop Management or Chic Management, Miranda Kerr's agency.
Ashleigh Rice, 16 of Murwillumbah said she entered the competition for fun.
"I thought it would be a great experience and everyone told me that I should give it a go so I thought 'why not?'," Ms Rice said.
The Mount Saint Patrick College student said she had been practising walking in high heels in the lead-up to the competition.
She said it would be "pretty cool" to be photographed for a fashion spread in Woman's Day and to gain a modelling contract.
"It would be great to be in that platform, to be recognised, to travel the world and make heaps of friends," she said.
Competition organisers say a pattern is forming in the Australian modelling industry, with the nation's most successful models being discovered in regional areas.
They point to Miranda Kerr, who hails from Gunnedah in western NSW, Novocastrian Jennifer Hawkins and Rachael Finch from Townsville as examples of top Australian models who grew up in regional areas.
David Bennie said his 17-year-old daughter Romy, who is an HSC student at Wollongbar TAFE, had also trained for the competition.
"It's about being clever as well as beautiful I think," Mr Bennie said.
"It's also been good for her confidence because she's been going to boot camp and looking after her diet."
The contestants will undergo screen tests, be interviewed by judges and undertake training in presentation.
Mr Bennie said he wasn't worried about his daughter entering the cut-throat world of modelling.
"Not at all. Romy takes everything in her stride," Mr Bennie said.
"She's a very smart, quick-witted and capable 17-year-old so I know she can handle it."