Merindah finds her Life calling
By ADRIAN MILLER
MERINDAH Byrne hasn't been able to smile much lately because of the recent death of her father, but last weekend in Newcastle she had plenty to be positive about.
The 18-year-old Yamba resident took out the Model for Life 2005 title on Saturday which will enable her to make giant strides into the modelling world.
Merindah wasn't the only Clarence Valley resident to taste success, with six-year-old Jasmine Longstaff, from Waterview Heights, the runner-up in the tiny tots category.
Merindah, who models for an agency based in Brisbane, said she was ecstatic with her win.
"It was great and very exciting ? I actually cried after they announced my name," she said.
Merindah, who was a grand finalist in the competition in 2003, said she was optimistic heading into the final, but never expected to win.
"I was confident, but I was really nervous because you don't know what the judges are looking for," she said.
Along with a return trip for two to Los Angeles, Merindah won a 12-month contract with Models & Actors Talent Management, an introduction to the Chadwicks Agency in Sydney as well as a modelling shoot and portfolio prints.
Merindah said the introduction to Chadwicks would be a massive boost to her career.
"I'm mostly excited about being able to speak to Chadwicks because they're so huge and one of the best agencies in Australia," she said.
Jasmine's mum, Sue Longstaff, was understandbly proud of her daughter's achievement.
"We weren't expecting this, we just went in it for fun," she said.
"Her whole family is very proud of her, she has done very well for her age."