If Billie were a flower, she’d be a rose. Elegant, timeless and captivating. One of those people who have an aura that makes you want to spend a lifetime with her.
We’re big believers in kismet here at CPC, and it truly was nothing else when Billie got scouted. Used to the ease of online classes post-pandemic, it was a rarity for her to go on campus. But as she made her way in one day, it was at Melbourne Central station that Simone Hellicar from The Scouted introduced herself. Billie’s train was two minutes away, but that was enough time for Simone to hand over her card (and her Instagram handle, how 2023). As the saying goes, time truly is of the essence, and the rest is history.
History aside, Billie hopes to change the future with both her education and her heart of gold. Noticing the troubling depiction of young South Sudanese in the media, her soul hurt for her people, inspiring her to study a Bachelor of Youth Work and Youth Studies. She sees it as “a way to empower our younger community by creating and facilitating programs that educate and support young people, while working towards growth and leadership towards our community.”
We were fortunate enough to spend a special moment around Sydney’s Rose Bay with the auspicious Billie. Shot by our new photographer pal Robert Hookey, with styling from our forever mate Monique Moynihan. A truly star-studded ensemble!
Billie is featured in exceptional fashion, such as a Bottega Veneta crab print set and a very fluffy Max Mara coat.
Oh, and P.S. Nature truly was calling for this shoot — with the cutest doggies and bunny making a special guest feature as the team were shooting. But the greatest guest feature of all? Billie’s mind. Read on below to get immersed in her perceptive take on our world.
Where do you live now, and where do you consider home?
I live in Melbourne; I’ve been in Victoria since I was five years old, when we migrated here from Ethiopia. Australia is all I know, so I would say this is very much home for me at the moment.
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
To Grazeland and try different kinds of food, or an art gallery/museum.
How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
I started modelling at the end of 2022. At the time, I was in my last year of university, but I was so used to online classes that I didn’t really go in as much. The one day that I did go in to study with my friend was the day I met Simone Hellicar (The Scouted). I was actually in a rush to catch the train at Melbourne Central, and she jumped in front of me while I wasn’t paying attention. After introducing herself, Simone gave me her card and we quickly exchanged Insta handles as my train was literally 2 minutes away, and I had to go. By the time I was on the train, she had already messaged me.
I had been told I should model in the past, and at that moment, I still wasn't really feeling it was for me. Five months down the track, however, Simone messaged again - I was in my last semester, so I thought… why not! I signed a contract, and within the next couple of months, I was at her house with her beautiful family, and my journey began from there. My mother agent then signed me in Sydney with Kult Models who I am really happy to be placed with. I couldn’t have been more blessed with such amazing people supporting me at the beginning of this career.
We heard you spent a few years studying, could you tell us about that and why you chose the subjects you did?
In university, I studied a Bachelor of Youth Work and Youth Studies. This course caught my eye when I participated in an after-school program in Year 10 and ended up still going till Year 12. It was run by a legal company with community support workers and youth workers. I enjoyed what they were doing, teaching us things that we don’t learn in regular classes, and I was intrigued.
As I got older, I began to see young people, particularly of South Sudanese backgrounds, being involved in criminal activity and seeing how much of a mockery the media was trying to paint about young South Sudanese people, creating moral panic and portraying them as so much worse than they were hit a spot in my heart. As a South Sudanese young woman myself, I decided to practise Youth Work as a way to empower our younger community by creating and facilitating programs that educate and support young people while working towards growth and leadership towards our community.
Also, I’m a big advocate in saying ALL young people deserve a voice, they deserve people who will listen to their needs and help guide them towards their goals and aspirations. Because of that, I did subjects that involved; Drug and Alcohol use/ Drug-related crime, Indigenous Studies and Self-identity and agency (have to know yourself before you’re able to help others)
Youth work needs people who will put young people at the centre of their practice and put them before themselves (when possible), and I think I am more than capable of doing that.
You've also spent some time volunteering in Melbourne recently; can you tell us about that?
As I started modelling while I was in my last semester, I refrained from beginning my work in the Youth Work Department as I feel it requires people that are 100% there and not have so many other things going on. So, I volunteer to facilitate programs with an organisation I did work placement with every now and again. The most recent program I volunteered for was for a basketball tournament with StandOut Basketball as a way of giving back to the community and encouraging more programs that interconnect the community.
What advice would you give anyone reading this who is considering volunteering also?
Volunteering may not pay, but the price of seeing so many people enjoying themselves, meeting new people and being active agents in their lives is worth more than a dollar's worth. Change starts with people stepping up, making efforts to support things that matter to them.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Not going to lie; I look at my phone! It’s so bad, I’ve been consumed by it. But then I get out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth and eat breakfast.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Either pasta or injera and stew (Ethiopian Cuisine).
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
Being present and active in your own life and decisions rather than worrying so much about what other people think.
The Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant). First watched it when I was about fifteen and have loved it ever since.
I haven’t entered my podcast phase yet, but I see clips of the podcast ShxtsNGigs by James and Fuhad and it’s quite interesting
Favourite Tiktok/Instagram account to follow?
Not a specific account but accounts that do Reddit stories like r/AmITtheAsshole/ always has me hooked.
What are you most looking forward to next year in 2024?
Hopefully getting to travel the world and explore as many different places as I can and seeing where my career takes me.
We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which this shoot took place.