The search is on for Illawarra's Top Model 2016; collage of logo and modelling experiences such as photo shoots, the stage and getting make-up done.

Information for entry into Illawarra’s Top Model 2016

2015 Illawarra Top Model Winner Caitlin Bates

The Search is on for Illawarra’s Top Model. Illawarra’s Top Model is a modelling competition open to anyone in the Illawarra who will be 16 years old or older on the 31st December 2016.

Illawarra’s Top Model provides entrants a chance to develop confidence, participate in a Fashion Runway Show, and generally have fun whilst supporting and raising funds for mental health.

100% of funds raised go to supporting Mental Health Services in the Illawarra including the Light and Hope Mental Health Clubhouse and Schizophrenia Fellowship Respite Services, so your efforts will be helping local people improve their lives.


While not all entrants make it through to the ITM Finals (as models), you will be very much eligible for both the Top Fundraiser Category and the Highlights On Personal Progress Award – acknowledging any entrant who has made great progress – who is not necessarily a finalist. For these categories fund raising will continue up to the 15th October… an important period for fundraising… October being mental health month.


Feeling unsure about taking part? Here are some great reasons to give it a go:

  • Participate in a great community fundraising campaign supporting mental health in the Illawarra.
  • There are amazing prizes to be won including a return airfare and all expenses paid International modelling contract with European agency, CORE Management EU.
  • The first 50 entrants to qualify for the Heats (their $500 raised) will go into the draw for a Wollongong Central $500 shopping voucher (which will be drawn and announced at the end of July).
  • No previous experience required. Judges are looking for a fresh and contemporary look.
  • Coaching by Robyn te Velde (once your first $100 is raised and registered on your My Cause Page). Coaching includes runway technique, posture and style and building confidence through personal development for all registered entrants
  • A Certificate of Recognition will be awarded to entrants acknowledging personal achievement and participation in community funding – great on your CV!


To enter you need to go to our My Cause page.

When you enter you will need to pay an initial $50. You can elect to enter the ITM  Modelling or Fundraising categories in the competition – or both.

Remember to carefully read the Terms and Conditions before entering the competition.

My Cause Page for ITM 2016

About the competition

Here’s the ‘heads up’ on how the competition will run:

Coaching sessions

No experience is necessary to take part in Illawarra’s Top Model and you are offered coaching to support you with the skills you may need to compete. You may attend one coaching session obligation free – to understand what the coaching provides. In order to qualify for ongoing coaching, you will need to raise an initial $100 on you’re My Cause page. If you are an experienced model, you you may not require additional coaching.

To Qualify for the ITM Heats as a model entrant, you will be required to fundraise a minimum $500 (tax deductible) on your My Cause page prior to the Heats. All funds will go to supporting the Illawarra Mental Health Clubhouse in Wollongong and Respite Program for Illawarra children and teenagers who have parents or siblings with mental health issues.

How do I fundraise?

It’s a question we get asked a lot and you would be surprised at all the things you can do. Highlights on Mental Health offers you a raffle ticket booklet to help with fundraising or you can use your own ideas to raise funds. Share your My Cause page with friends and family by email, Facebook or Twitter. This will help you on your way with fund raising. Your sponsors can also leave a message to inspire you and other supporters. Your donors will receive their donation receipt immediately. Talk to other entrants to brainstorm fundraising ideas and you’ll be on your way before you know it!

Great Categories and Opportunities

Entrants can stand in line to win any of the following categories and awards:

The Heats

The Heats will be held in Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th September and all models who have qualified by raising their $500 must be available for judging on these days. You will be informed of your Heat allocation times and details  end of August, well before the Heats take place. Judges will select and announce 30 Semi Finalists  who must attend the Semi Finals the following Saturday, September 10th.

The Semi Finals

The Semi Finals will be held on Saturday 10th September. The Semi Finalists will participate in a Runway Fashion Show in the Wollongong City Mall. Registration for all Semi Finalists will take place at 10:30am. The Judging and the Runway Fashion Show will take place between 12pm and 1:30pm when Twelve Finalists will be announced to progress to the Finals. All 12 Finalists must attend the Finals on Saturday October 8th to be held at the Novotel Northbeach. All Twelve Finalists will be photographed and featured for the Illawarra Mercury ITM Finalist Peoples Choice that will take place during the weeks between the Semi Finals in the Mall – leading up to the Finals October 8th at the Novotel Northbeach.

The #ITM2016 Finals

The finals for Illawarra’s Top Model 2016 will be held on Saturday 8th October at the Novotel Northbeach. Finalists will be required to attend a rehearsal the night before, Friday 7th October 2016.

The Novotel Northbeach has generously offered semi-finalists a special discount for one night’s accommodation and breakfast on Friday 7th October, should you choose to accommodate in Wollongong the night before.

The final day will start at 8am with hair and make-up, registration will take place at 9:30am after which there will be a final rehearsal. The Runway Show and judging will start at 11am till 1pm. Most of the Judging will take place at this event, however The Grand Awards will nor be announced untill the Highlights Grand Awards Ball on the 22nd October at the UOW Hall.

The Highlights Ball and Awards Night

All 12 finalists will be the main feature in a modern Runway Fashion Show at the Highlights Grand Awards Ball and all 12 Finalist must attend this final event.  Each of the 12 Finalists will be granted a free ticket to the ball . The final winners for the main awards will be announced at this Ball to be held on 22 October 2016 at the UOW Hall.

Every Finalist will be awarded with a Finalist Certificate, flowers and a beautiful piece of jewellery.


Thank you To Platinum Sponsor South Coast Private - Your care in our hands


Thank you to Gold Sponsor IOH
Thank you to Gold Sponsor CORE Management EU
Thank you to Gold Sponsor Bendigo Bank
Thank you to Gold SPonsor CMG Audio Visual


Thank you to Silver Sponsor De Lorenzo
Thank you to Campaign Partner Novotel Northbeach
Thank you to Media Partner WIN Network
Thank you to Media Partner Illawarra Mercury
Thank you to Media Partner i98FM


Thank you to Campaign Partner Wollongong Central
Thank you to Campaign Partner The City of Wollongong
Thank you to Campaign Partner Destination Wollongong
Thank you to Campaign Partner The Flagstaff Group