She was first noticed on a Melbourne tram by a fashion scout who urged her to get into modelling.
After being passed a business card, Tiwi woman Cassie Puruntatameri took the plunge and decided to pursue a career in modelling.
Now, Puruntatameri has recently walked in three Australian Fashion Week shows, signed with Chadwick models and strutted her stuff on the European runway.
Puruntatameri said her journey to become a model was not something she would have ever considered if she wasn’t scouted.
“Before then I wasn’t really thinking about modelling as a career,” she said.
“Like it did come to mind because sometimes my family or friends would say ‘oh you should try modelling’.
“So I kind of had that idea in my mind, and then I just fell into it.”
Having been a model in the industry for a few years, Puruntatameri said she loves how each day is a different challenge for her to tackle.
“I love doing different things, like I love that you can do runways or campaigns,” she said.
“I love being able to model Indigenous fashion designs, that’s probably my favourite thing to model.
“And I love meeting new people, meeting other models and becoming good friends with other people in the fashion industry.”
Puruntatameri said the best part of walking in AAFW was the ability to be part of two Indigenous runways.
“I felt really happy to be there just to be with other Indigenous models as well that were part of the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway and the First Nations Fashion and Design runway,” she said.
“It was really exciting to be in that space and I’m so glad I was able to make it to Australian Fashion Week.”
Signing to a professional modelling agency, Puruntatameri said she couldn’t believe the opportunity.
“A week before I went to Australian Fashion Week, my agent, Yorta Yorta man Rhys Ripper, set up a meeting with Chadwick models in Melbourne,” she said.
“And I met up with them on a Friday and the following Monday Rhys got back to me and gave me the exciting news and I was crying.
“I was crying happy tears, because I was really excited. It had been a long time that I was sort of freelancing and managing myself…it was really good to hear that Chadwicks wanted to sign me in Melbourne.”
Puruntatameri said she wants to use her platform as a model to be a role model to the young Indigenous people in her community.
“As a Tiwi woman and someone that’s passionate about our young people, I want to be a good role model,” she said.
“I want the young women in my community to see me and see me on the runway or in big campaigns.
“And I want them to see me and like see themselves and be proud and chase their dreams.
“I just want them to feel beautiful.”
Puruntatameri is currently travelling with the Indigenous fashion delegates who are touring Europe.
When she returns to Melbourne she hopes to continue taking on more modelling work.