We can’t say for sure there is something special in the Australian waters, but some thing’s for certain, some of the most beautiful women in the world are born on the island continent. While a relatively small continent nation in terms of population, Australia has long been one of the modeling superpowers of the world. Where countries like Russia, Japan, Brazil and the United States win the beauty awards in part due to the statistic probability of having a lot of beautiful women among their high populations, Australia doesn’t have numbers on its side.
While we are apparently no longer in the age of the Supermodel, it often seems like some of the most well-known models in the Western world hail from Australia. Not only do they walk along the Victoria’s Secret runways, they appear in your favourite films and date the world’s biggest movie stars. Australia, for lack of a better word, is subtly taking over the entertainment industry through wealth of beauty they have been blessed with – we can’t say we’re complaining either! Considering how many of these models got their start on reality TV, it almost makes us want to tune into the next Australia’s Next Top Model. For, um, research.
The Australian modeling world is brimming with so much talent that choosing just fifteen models barely scratches the surface of what the country has to offer. Be sure to include your favourite models in the comments and let us know who you think we might have missed.
15. Nicole Trunfio
While the Tyra Banks-helmed America’s Next Top Model seems to be the most high profile, the Australian version of the show seems to have had the most success. After having won the third installment of Australia’s Next Top Model back in 2002, Nicole Trunfio came to the world stage, competing in the international competition for the show, placing quite easily in second place. Stunningly beautiful, Nicole stands out in the blonde dominated world of Australian modelling with her sleek brunette waves. A celebrity in her own right, Trunfio has not only worked on other reality shows but also acted in movies. With legs for days, in 2011 she filled very big shoes by replacing Miranda Kerr as the face of David Jones! In 2014 she became engaged to handsome musician, Gary Clark Jr. and the couple has a son together.
14. Cheyenne Tozzi
Like many Australian models, Cheyenne Tozzi can often be found on reality TV shows about modelling. Not just a model or a part-time reality star though, Cheyenne is also a member of a fairly successful musical group where she is the lead singer. Once called the “next Elle Macpherson“, she began her career at just eight years old and was already on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar when she was just thirteen years old. A truly international star, she has been a cover girl in countries like Mexico, Germany and France – no small feat for someone who moonlights as a musician. Gotta love a woman who follows her dreams without compromise!
13. Megan Gale
Now in her early 40s, Megan Gale is still as hot as ever. After being discovered at the age of eighteen, Gale has only grown and evolved as a model and celebrity. No longer just strutting herself on the runway and posing for editorials, she has become an incredibly industrious businesswoman and pursued a successful acting career. While she officially retired from full-time modelling in 2008, Megan still makes special appearances on the runway and has launched her own swimwear line. As she speaks Italian, her acting career was built on a series of commercials that progressed into feature film roles. Eventually, she got noticed in her native Australia, and is perhaps best known for her role in the awesome Mad Max: Fury Road, where she plays Valkyrie. With a really stunning exotic look, Megan Gale exudes sexual energy and exudes a lot of confidence. Honestly, she’s a bit intimidating!
12. Montana Cox
One of the younger models on this list, Montana Cox won the cycle 7 for Australia’s Next Top Model. Famous for her soft, natural beauty Montana Cox immediately caught the attention of prospective photographers and casting agents. She was the perfect blend of sexy sophisticate and gentle youth. After winning the show, her career really took off and she has found worldwide success. Still quite young, she has yet to fully live up to the promise that she would become a Supermodel, but she has nonetheless appeared as the representative of a number of brands, walked runways all over the world and graced the pages of respected magazines.
11. Samantha Harris
Not to be mistaken for the American television host, Samantha Harris is a beautiful brunette Australian model. Having appeared as a brand representative and in the pages of major publications like Australian Vogue, Samantha Harris has modeled alongside peers like Miranda Kerr. While she didn’t get her starts on shows like Australia’s Next Top Model, like many of her colleagues on this list, she did appear last year on the fifteenth edition of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars. With an incredibly unique look centered on her beautiful lips, it should be no surprise that Samantha Harris has long attracted attention and has graced the cover of Vogue – perhaps the biggest honor in the modeling world.
10. Jennifer Hawkins
The full package, Jennifer Hawkins didn’t just rest her laurels and hope her beauty would carry her through the rest of her life. Far more than just a model, she has become a successful entrepreneur, businesswoman and television host. Stepping into the almost stereotypical shoes of what we have come to expect from an Australian model, Jennifer Hawkins got her start in pageants and transitioned that into a full out modeling career. Stepping into the big shoes of Tyra Banks, she is the current host of Australia’s Next Top Model and helps to bring to the industry fresh faces and new talents. Tall, tanned and blonde, Hawkins is precisely what comes to mind when we image a model on the Australian beaches. She might very well be the perfect embodiment of the typical Australian look.
9. Catherine McNeil
If you’re not into the tanned and blonde beach girl, you will have a hard time finding a better antidote than Catherine McNeil. The perfect combination of goth and editorial, she seems to have stepped directly off the screen of your favourite film noir and could literally stop your heart in its tracks. One of the most famous models in the world, she has represented, at one time or another, nearly every major fashion brand from Dolce & Gabbana to Hugo Boss. Consistently listed as among the most important and respected models of her generation, McNeil may have retreated somewhat from public life but her legacy lives on. Unfortunately for those who might be dreaming of a chance in hell that you might end up by her side, that seems unlikely. McNeil has been out as a lesbian for a number of years with a few high profile partners, including Ruby Rose, who she was reportedly engaged to.
8. Robyn Lawley
While considered by industry standards to be a plus-sized model, Robyn Lawley argues against that label. By most social standards, Robyn Lawley is anything but plus-sized and she believes that being qualified as such only perpetuates negative or dangerous size standards on women. Lawley made a big splash when she made those comments not long after appearing on the cover of Vogue Italy. In many cases, Lawley is a trailblazer often becoming one of the first “plus-sized” models to grace fashion magazines across the world, including becoming the first plus-sized model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Content in being far more than a pretty face with a curvy figure, Lawley also writes and has published a cookbook. She has also worked as a published photographer, and maybe will go down that path when she retires from modelling full-time.
7. Jessica Gomes
Fans of Sports Illustrated will no doubt recognize the exotic Jessica Gomes. Having appeared in the magazine’s swimsuit edition every year from 2008 to 2015, she’s practically an institution! Half Portuguese and half Chinese, Jessica has a really unique look that sets her apart from most of her modeling colleagues. Incredibly popular in Asia, she has been the face of a number of South Korean brands, an unusual feat for an Australian model. Ridiculously sexy, it should be of no surprise that she regularly ranks highly on the annual Askmen’s most desirable women poll. In South Korea she had her own television show on an english language network and also appeared on Dancing with the Stars in Korea. She also performs musically and has contributed vocals to a number of East Asian hip-hop albums.
6. Elle Macpherson
In some ways, Elle Macpherson is the most famous model in the whole world. Once upon a time she was one of the handful of Supermodels who ruled the earth and now, into her 50s, she is still as hot as ever. With record-breaking five covers of the Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated, Elle has long been the face of the Australian beach scene and helped introduce the world to the rich beauty of the Australian modeling talent. Since retiring, she has diversified her interest working in television in front of and behind the camera, launching a lingerie line and skin care products and working for a number of charitable causes. Interestingly, Elle was discovered in the United States where she began working to save enough money for law school! Also, having dated Billy Joel in the 1980s, a number of his most famous songs are about her, including “This Night”, “And So It Goes” and “Uptown Girl.”
5. Shanina Shaik
This beauty is part Australian, Pakistani and Saudi. In the very blonde world of Australian modeling, Shanina Shaik stands out as having a particularly exotic and unique look. Stunning and sensual, she unsurprisingly caught the eyes of talent scouts from a very early age. While before she was ten years old Shanina started to appear in television commercials. She put her modeling career on hold to focus on her studies in high school where she participated in an accelerated program due to her good grades. After that, her career seemed to take off all over again and since then she only seems to be doing better and better. Working with brands like Victoria’s Secret, Tom Ford and Vivienne Westwood, the now twenty-five-year-old is entering the best stage of her career. Will she make it to the status of a supermodel? Let’s wait and see!
4. Jessica Hart
Another blonde beauty from Australia, Jessica Hart has long made her mark on the high competition world of modeling. Featured on the cover of Australian Vogue, she has appeared numerous times in Victoria’s Secret as well. An internationally respected runway model, she has represented some of the largest world brands. Along with Australian Vogue, she has also been the cover girl for a number of other major publications. While for most models just one cover shoot can make them, Hart has had too many to count! She has also appeared on television, including MTV’s The City. Since 2011, Hart has been dating Greek billionaire Stavros Niarchos III.
3. Gemma Ward
One of the most famous models in the whole world, Gemma Ward was born in Perth, Australia. Instantly recognizable, she has graced the cover of American Vogue, perhaps the most prestigious cover gig in the entire industry. Blonde and blue-eyed, in many ways, she fits our typical image of “model” but her wide cast bedroom eyes make her stand out from the crowd. More than just a model though, Ward has had a pretty successful film career having appeared in movies like The Strangers, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (as a very sexy mermaid) and The Great Gatsby. While many young models are declared the next big thing, Gemma Ward is one of the few to live up to that promise and is now one of the only supermodels working today. Ward, who has threatened to retire since 2008, is still going strong, but for her sake and ours we also hope her acting career takes off as well!
2. Miranda Kerr
Perhaps the most instantly recognizable model still in the business, Miranda Kerr has ignited a thousand and one fantasies. Not only is she wildly famous, she has also regularly been featured as the top-earning model in the world! As one of Victoria’s Secret Angels, she has long occupied a very exclusive modeling club and burrowed into the hearts of men all over the world. In the past, she was married to actor Orlando Bloom, though is now engaged to tech billionaire and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. With each step of her life carefully surveyed by the media, she has consistently demonstrated to be as intelligent and resourceful as she is beautiful. Apparently, she is a lot of fun to work with, as she has made a lot of friends within the industry who only have the very best things to say about her. With her iconic dimples and girl next door looks, we have a feeling that with time, Kerr will be considered one of the greatest models of all time.
1. Abbey Lee Kershaw
Miranda Kerr may very well be the most famous model currently working today, but in many ways, Abbey Lee Kershaw represents the future of the industry. Anything but conventional, Abbey Lee has challenged everything we know about modeling with a strong personal look and preference for extravagant colored hair. Perhaps the most recent Australian model to be dubbed a supermodel, she is very much at the height of her career with one of the more promising acting careers of anyone on this list. She appeared most recently in Mad Max: Fury Road and Neon Demon with no indication of slowing down. Sought after by the world’s biggest fashion brands, Abbey Lee Kershaw is in high demand and we’re not surprised why! In many ways, we can imagine Abbey Lee Kershaw as the ultimate bad girl. She kinda has that devil may care attitude but is able to get her life together as well. With a truly larger than life persona, we completely understand why people envision her as one of the all-time greats of the modeling world.