Located on the traditional lands of the Boonwurrung people, the Mornington Peninsula is a coastal oasis just over 40 kilometres south east of Australia's second most populous city. There you'll find one idyllic beach after another and those rainbow-coloured bathing boxes you'd see on a postcard, as well as some of the hemisphere's most renowned wineries, plenty of luxury holiday houses and a few remaining fibro beach shacks. And it's there you'll find Caitlin Murphy living her life, spending time with those dearest to her and working at a chemist full-time while she begins what's set to be a fruitful modelling career.
Though it might seem like a no brainer to anyone bestowed with the gift of sight, it's not like modelling was something Caitlin dreamed about as a kid. Instead, it follows repeated suggestions from people around her — people who, perhaps, realise the need for faces and body types that don't merely replicate the largely white and thin status quo — and came after a chance encounter at a neighbour's barbecue.
Though it was never really something she considered doing, Caitlin is enjoying being a part of the shift in the modelling industry towards diversity in representation.
"I'm not the average sized woman and I am happy with that," she explains. "I enjoy knowing that I am able to give girls the confidence to wear things that they wouldn't usually wear."
Relatable as ever, she experiences self doubt and anxiety about it all and continues to push herself to focus on the positive what ifs rather than the negative.
"The most challenging thing at the start was finding that confidence to start and throw myself in the deep end," she explains. "I'm quite a shy person if I don't know people and can be anxious going into a new environment. And I had no experience. I didn't know how to move or what to do in front of a camera so doubting myself was another challenge."
Keep reading to get to know this befreckled beauty, and scroll through the gallery to see her as photographed by CPC friend Cathy Marshall in the heart of Melbourne as the sun goes down over the Yarra River.
Where do you live now and where do you consider home?
I live on the Mornington Peninsula. However, I would consider home anywhere that my family and or partner is. I am a family girl so guess I feel at home wherever these people are.
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
Depending on the weather I would take them to a nice winery in the Red Hill area for lunch and then finish off with a trip to the hot springs to wind down and relax. Or I would take them to the beach for a beach day and have fish and chips for dinner and watch the sunset. Something chilled and laid back but also fun.
How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
The story of how I started modelling is a random one, but I love the way that it happened.
I've always been told that I should do modelling but I never looked into it because I didn't think I would be good at it or enjoy it. My partner had new neighbours move into the house next door and we all had a barbeque so we could meet everyone.
That night I met Emily Nolan, a tailor and owner of her own clothing brand, E NOLAN, and she told me that I should do modelling. Again, I just put the idea at the back of my head and carried on.
Later on that week I did a spontaneous photo shoot for a couple of Mornington Peninsula small businesses. I posted a photo on my story and Emily then sent that to her friend at Country Road.
A couple months later Country Road reached out to me about an opportunity to do a shoot with them. I anxiously took the opportunity, and I am so glad I did, and that's how it all started. At the time I wasn't signed with an agency. Priscillas had reached out to me earlier on in the year but I wasn't too sure it was something I wanted to do so I didn't take further action. Once the Country Road campaign went live a couple of brands reached out to me and I decided to get in contact again with Priscillas and sign with them, and now here I am!
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?
I don't consider myself as a spiritual person. I have tried to be but it's not really my thing. I believe in some things to a degree.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Stop thinking of all the negatives. Stop saying what if it fails or what if it doesn't work out. Start thinking what if this ends up being amazing and works out to be something great.
I was thinking ‘what if' about modelling but changed my mentality and it has worked out to be something really fun and nothing I ever considered myself doing. I've always been a sporty person and played footy, so modelling never really came across my mind.
What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is being healthy and having a good support group around me. Also, enjoying what I am doing as my day-to-day job.
What would happen if you had to give up social media for a week?
I'm not too sure! I use social media every day to talk to people, to see what people are doing and posting. It would be a very different week I would say.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
First thing I do in the morning is turn my alarm off, check my phone, then get up, cleanse my face, brush my teeth and get ready for work.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a hard one! Anything pasta related, I love love love pasta. I would probably have to say a creamy chicken carbonara with extra mushrooms.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person. Once I'm up and awake I have to get up, I can't waste the day.
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
Helping others and not taking anything for granted. Appreciate what we have and cherish those around us. Also ensuring that we are putting our positive stamp on the world and taking our part to look after Earth.
If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
Think with a different mindset. Don't think you're going to fail with everything because it will stop you from taking some amazing opportunities. Don't worry about what anyone is going to think of you. Do what you want to do.
What are you most looking forward to this year in 2022?
Where modelling is going to take me. I'm excited to see what is going to happen. I've only been doing this for six months so I'm very new so I'm keen to see where the wind will take me. Also excited to go to new places and do new things now that everything is easing.
What books are you reading at the moment?
A bit random but reading two books at the moment: first one is a book called Every Day by David Levithan and the other is called 28 by Brandon Jack.
I don't really have a favourite song at the moment. However, I have had a couple of new songs by Hayden James on repeat.
Either the John Wick series or Creed.
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next 10 years?
This is a hard question. I think a lot needs to change culturally and socially in the way that people are influenced to act and feel by the outside world.
Why do you think friendships are so important?
Friendships are important because you need to have a good support system around you when you need it. You need people that you can go out with, have fun and escape the pressures of everyday life.
What values do you look for in friends?
I appreciate someone who is loyal, there for you and serious when it's needed but can also have a joke and understands my sense of humour.
We acknowledge the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of land on which this shoot took place.