PERTH’s Sarah Tilleke is proof even a glamorous model can still be interested competing in the dirty lifestyle of reality television show Australian Survivor.
“Fashion industry people were surprised I’d be the type of person interested in Survivor but I think you can be any type of person and it still draws you in,” Tilleke said.
“I’ve watched the show with my mum since I was six years old and thought I’d be quite good at it, so when they announced auditions after season one of Australian Survivor I had to apply; it was a massive dream come true.”
Tilleke was discovered by agency Vivien’s Models when she was 16 (and still wearing braces), forging a career that has included a cover shoot for Community Newspaper Group’s autumn winter 2015 Perth City Style magazine.
She is now based in Melbourne, flying back to Perth next week and hoping to catch some Perth Fashion Festival events, before making the decision at the end of the year whether to take the next big step by moving to New York.
It was a move Tilleke was about to make when she found out she had been selected for Australian Survivor.
Speaking during her lunch break while on a photo shoot, Tilleke said her career as a model had surprising benefits while competing on the show.
“My job is quite social and you have a lot of egos to deal with a lot of the time and people of varying age groups,” she said.
“I think particularly when I go international it’s more of a cut-throat industry but in Australia people are pretty cool. Internationally you’re dealing with a different kettle of fish and learning to manoeuvre people who might not have your best interest at heart and managing those egos helped me in my social game on the show.
“The program doesn’t show all the subtle things to cement my place in the game but hopefully it starts showing more of me as a bit of a game player out there because I was definitely playing to win.”
Tilleke said Sunday’s ice cream reward was a highlight of her Australian Survivor experience.
“We watched the sunset, stopped worrying about keeping the fire going and it was great because I heard about the clue from Anneliese,” she said.
“That was a relationship I’d worked on since she came to Asaga, so it was really good to see I was receiving some fruit from that relationship. It was a great day.”