HER two passions, animals and modelling, are almost opposite, but Emerald beauty Mariah Lane may have a tough decision on her hands after winning the Miss Country Girl Australia Model Search 2012 on the weekend.
Up against 19 other girls from the Rockhampton region, Mariah battled it out on the catwalk at Stockland on Sunday to take the winning title and move on to the next round in Sydney next year.
Shocked and excited by the news, Mariah said it wasn't what she expected after entering on a whim.
"I'd heard about the competition a while ago but never got around to entering it, but this year a few friends of mine entered and encouraged me to as well," the 16-year-old said.
"When I got through the heats on Saturday I was just happy to get that, so I'm really excited about where this could take me."
After the Rockhampton Girls Grammar student's first taste of the modelling world, she said it would definitely be an occupation she would consider more seriously now.
"The modelling industry can be very hard and competitive but it's now something I'd really love to pursue," she said. "It's given me a real confidence boost and all my friends and family are really proud and have been very supportive."
Mariah said Miranda Kerr was a model she looked up to and would be very happy to win a modelling contract.
Scoop and Chic management contracts will be awarded to the winners at the national final, with an exclusive photo shoot and many media and career opportunities.
"I hope to gain a better understanding of modelling when I go to the next finals. I think it will be a great experience," Mariah said.
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