Congratulations to all the 2016 Winners

Open Winner 2016, Olivia Strumfin will fly (all expensed paid) to Europe in February to start her working contract with CORE Management based in Hamburg and Berlin. Having just completed her HSC, she is ready to ‘fly’. We wish her every success as she embarks on her dream, a new career and a new chapter of life.

Contracts with CORE Management to work in Europe are being considered with the following winners and finalists for 2017: Chloe Ryan, Jinima Waddy Parsons, Bree Millar, Sam McGlone, Natalie Barker, Wyatt Brennan. Other contracts are being negotiated for two of last year’s finalists, who have now fished their HSC: Kyam Hunt and Savanna McDonagh. Congratulations to Shania Montana as the Top Fundraiser and to Madelaine Baker as the recipient to the Michael Heald Personal Development Award, sponsored by South Coast Private Hospital.

Also another news item – to go with picture of Kirra (see photo below)

Star power: Internationally signed model and Highlights on Mental Health ambassador Kirra Jones with Billie Gurr at Saturday’s ball. Pictures: Robert Peet.

Kirra Jones is a shining example of the possibilities and career outcomes – as a direct result of the multi faceted opportunities brought about by Illawarra’s Top Model.

At the Illawarra Top Model Highlights Ball and Grand Awards Wollongong’s own Kirra Jones, our Ambassador for Highlights on Mental Health and the face of ITM – now a successful International Model, since she was spotted and groomed for an international modelling career – made possible by our Gold Sponsors CORE Management EU. Kirra was launched into Europe 2014 and is now signed with leading agencies in London, Paris, Milan and New York among others, and is featured on runways of the world’s fashion capitals sporting all the top international brands. Kirra spoke so enthusiastically about her worldly experiences, challenges and triumphs. She was also able to express with her own first hand experience how important this cause is to her – and that she was honoured to be our guest again at the 2016 Awards Event.

Another news item (you can drop off the old ones)

As we conclude the fourth year of our campaign we are proud of our progress in the Illawarra – as Highlights on Mental Health and Illawarra’s Top Model have ramped up a significantly improved, positive and accepting attitude towards mental health. Our progress and success have been made possible only due to the extraordinary support and encouragement from our Major Sponsors, Community & Media Partners, Foundation Sponsors – and all the ground troops who have gone beyond the call to support this exciting new initiative. We are confident in our mission to progress and move forward with improved awareness and fundraising for mental health in the Illawarra… and look forward to the continued relationships and support from our valued sponsors, acknowledged here-under.

llawarra Mercury Readers’ Choice Award winner Bree Millar – Photo Josh Brightman – Balanced Image Studio

Winner of 2016 Illawarra’s Top Model Olivia Srumfin – Photo Josh Brightman – Balanced Image Studio



Dapto teenager Olivia Strumfin was announced as the winner of the Illawarra’s Top Model competition at a gala night held at the University Hall on Saturday night.

The 18-year-old was picked out from 12 finalists, with an event spokeswoman saying she had been recognised for being “an all-round package”.

Ms Strumfin will head to Europe to work with German-based modelling agency Core Artist Management as part of her prize.

This year’s second annual modelling competition received more than 100 entrants and raised $52,000. Funding will go towards a mental health “clubhouse”, run out of St John’s Lutheran Church on Burelli Street.

The Wollongong program is based on, but not accredited by, a United States “community-based” treatment approach to mental health, Clubhouse International.

Proceeds from the modelling competition will also go towards providing respite for young carers.

At Saturday’s gala, a number of prizes were awarded including the Mercury Readers’ Choice Award, given to Bree Millar.

Photo Gallery – Photos by Josh Brightman, Balanced Image Studio.