Activism

Meet your Girlfriend Role Model Search finalists!

Get to know the girls (and guy!)

We’ve searched far and wide across Australia, sorting through hundreds of entries to narrow it down to our top eight finalists. And let us tell you, it was SO hard to choose.

You guys absolutely blew us away with your amazing entries and each and every one of you is an incredible role model in our eyes.

But now, we’re thrilled to announce the  amazing people who are in the running to be named Girlfriend’s 2020 Role Model, in partnership with TANNED Australia.  These inspiring girls (and one amazing guy!) truly shine from the inside out, and impressed us with their passion, creativity— and, of course, their epic poses! Now, they’ll be heading to Sydney on March 26 to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime masterclass and photoshoot that will appear in the winter issue of Girlfriend. 

But don’t worry, we’ll be keeping you up to date across our socials so you can check out everything happening at the masterclass. We’ve got some amazing guests in store, plus the gorgeous TANNED Australia ambassadors, Natalie Roser and Kris Smith, on hand to mentor our finalists.

So, without further ado, let’s get to know our finalists!

1. Ali Kitinas, 18, NSW

Ali

Ali is Australia’s youngest CEO, having started her own business Freedom Scrub at just 11 years old. In case that’s not impressive enough, she works with Sydney-based organisation Freedom Hub to help provide rehabilitation and education to women rescued from modern day slavery in Australia. She’s also a passionate advocate for youth mental health, having experienced bullying in both primary and high school.

2. Arame Nicolls, 16, NSW

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A fearless leader in the making, Arame is her school’s captain. Despite facing some tough challenges in life including losing her mum, she’s come out stronger on the other side. When she’s not at school, Arame loves singing, dancing and spending time with her friends. At 186 cm, she loves that being tall makes her different and wants to show others that it’s okay to stand out!

3. Georgia Rink, 16, QLD

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To say that Georgia is seriously reppin’ for women in sport would be an understatement! Not only is she a competitive horserider, but she was recently signed to play soccer for a top National League team in Brisbane. In her spare time, she mentors other young women in the Lions Football Club to help them prepare for professional leagues. Talk about a powerhouse!

4. Benjamin Duke, 21, Vic

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Yep that’s right — for the very first time, we have guy in the Model Search mix. And what a guy Benjamin is! Despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19, he hasn’t let the challenge set him back in life. When he’s not operating heavy machinery in the mines for his job, you’ll find him playing basketball, boxing, tap dancing, skateboarding or doing ballet. Oh, and he also volunteers as a firefighter for his local Country Fire Authority. Our hero!

5. Makyra Sands, 13, QLD

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Makyra may be only 13, but she’s already using her inspiring voice to shine a light on her community. As a proud member of the Mununjali (QLD) and Kamilaroi (NSW) tribes, her dream is to become an Aboriginal supermodel on a global scale. In doing so, she hopes to lead the way for other young Indigenous women like her idol Samantha Harris. Go girl!

6. Sophia Wilson, 15, QLD

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Kindness is the key for this down-to-earth beach girl. She’s all about encouraging others to find their confidence and tackle every mountain put in front of them. She practically lives in the ocean, but when Sophia isn’t swimming you’ll find her playing AFL for the Yeppoon Swans women’s team.

7. Lili Waddell, 13, QLD

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Growing up on a small farm in Queensland, Lili is a country girl at heart! She loves caring for her two horses and competes in Interschool Jumping. When she’s not on horseback, you’ll find her playing volleyball, netball and cricket. This kind soul is all about making others feel valued and included. Oh, and making them laugh, too

8. Marisa Pavela, 13, NSW

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The energetic and determined Marisa isn’t one to sit still for too long! Not only does she do taekwondo, athletics and basketball, but she also plays the piano and loves to express her emotions through dance. She never backs down from a challenge and will give anything a go. Marisa is a strong believer in just being yourself, and that you don’t need to hide parts of you to impress others. 

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