11 May 2021

Model search offers a supportive way of breaking into the industry

| Lottie Twyford
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Ainslie Bull, Lorna Munro, Emma van den Hoek and Grace Robson at party

Ainslie Bull (second from left), winner of the 2021 Danielle Cleary Events Model Host Search, with previous winners (from left) Lorna Munro, Emma van den Hoek and Grace Robson. Photo: Hello Ro Photography.

It’s no surprise that breaking into the modelling industry is hard, and it usually comes with its fair share of perils and pitfalls.

But one Canberra-based model-host search is making the step into the industry just that little bit easier.

Ainslie Bull, who won the 2021 Danielle Cleary Events Model Host Search on 28 April, says she’s surprised and over the moon with the result, as well as excited for the 12 months ahead of her, where she’ll be mentored along the way by Danielle Cleary.

“It’s been an incredible experience already and I’m excited to learn more about the events and the modelling industry, and for all the people I’m going to meet,” says Ainslie.

She is also the recipient of $20,000 worth of prizes donated from businesses around Canberra.

The DCE Model Host Search is about more than looks, according to judges Jemma Mrdak, Brittany Wicks and Janette Wojtaszak.

“We were looking for someone who has a real passion and desire to learn about the industry and what we do every day, as well as someone who has the capacity to commit to a busy events timetable,” says Janette.

“All of the six finalists were lovely so we had to pick the one who stood out the most.”

Each of the participants completed separate interviews with the judges where they were asked a variety of questions about their experience, motivation and availability.

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Based on the experiences of the competition’s previous winners, the mentorship is likely to be invaluable for Ainslie.

The 2020 winner, Grace Robson, says she couldn’t have asked for a better time under Danielle’s wing.

“At every event and shoot I was at, I always felt safe, supported and comfortable, and I know this is not always the case in this industry,” she says.

According to Grace, the great thing about the DCE Model Host Search is it exposes entrants to a whole new network of Canberra creatives who they might otherwise not come across.

“It’s a pretty tight-knit community and it makes going to shoots and events easier because there are always people there who you’ve met before and make you feel comfortable,” she says.

Similar sentiments are echoed by 2019 winner Emma van den Hoek, who has now signed with major modelling agency Priscilla’s Model Management. She is soon to make the move up to Sydney to pursue modelling full-time.

“A big part of working with Danielle was just increasing my confidence so I feel comfortable walking into a room of strangers and having engaging conversations with people,” she says.

Emma adds the other benefit is being introduced to people working in the Sydney modelling circuit.

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Inaugural DCE Model Host Search winner, Lorna Munro, was also in attendance at the 2021 final. She pursued modelling while completing her Master’s in nutrition and dietetics before later working as a model.

“Highlights were definitely working with, and doing campaign shoots for, some massive brands in the ecommerce scene, such as Showpo,” she says.

Lorna now works as a dietitian, but says Danielle remains a close friend and they often catch up.

As for Danielle, it’s clear these girls are like a second family to her and she’ll do what she can to make their entry into the modelling industry as smooth as possible.

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