Getting to Know Olivia Donaldson


We talk to model Olivia Donaldson about winning “The Face”, about having her mind blown by Naomi Campbell and about studying psychology. Oh, and she shares her recipe for the perfect Caramello Brownie too. What a woman! Here she is, in her own words:

I am peeling. My family and I just came back from a holiday in Bali. Whilst lounging in the sun one afternoon I fell asleep for two hours and maybe, accidentally got really sunburnt. So right now, I am peeling.

Modelling is an industry I am very grateful to be a part of. I started modelling when I was fourteen so I’ve been involved in the industry for a while now! Modelling is kind of a mystery industry to many people and I think that is what appeals most to me about it. People have a very generalised misconception about the lifestyles of models, that we fly first class all over the world and get to wear fancy clothes and look photoshopped all the time. I just let people think what they want. If they want to think I look like how I look in magazines that’s fine with me!

olivia donaldson interviewWinning The Face was surreal. It all happened so quickly. I hadn’t gotten my head around the fact that I was in a TV show before I could even begin to fathom the thought of winning one! The show has opened a lot of doors for me and I will forever be grateful for my time spent on the show. I learnt firsthand from three amazing industry greats and that’s something not many models get to do. I met the most amazing people who I are now some of my closest friends and being on the show has opened so many exciting doors for me and offered me amazing opportunities. Getting to work with Naomi Campbell was both horrifying and mind-blowing. She is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen.

Aside from modelling I am also studying at the University of Western Australia. I remember when my family and I moved from the country to Perth when I was about 11 and we drove past UWA. It is such a beautiful campus located right on the Swan River, abundant with massive old buildings and exquisite gardens. Ever since that first day I saw it, I made it my mission to get accepted there. So in 2011 I got accepted to study a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Communication studies. I am deferred at the moment to focus of my modelling career, but returning to my studies is something very important to me. When I was studying I loved sitting on the Oak Lawn reading books and studying in the Science Library because it made me feel like I was a med student. I’m so lame.


Home is a five hour flight away. Home is where I can stop being a grown up and be a kid again. Home is sleeping in my old room. Home is where my boyfriend is. Home is where my dog Toffee is. Home is where I can walk outside our house and watch the sun set over the ocean. Home is where I know how to get everywhere. Home is not worrying about the food shopping or the bills or where to park my car. Home is where my friends are. Home is warm, inviting, welcoming and calming. Home is Perth.

Olivia-Donaldson-Perth-portfolio-03I spend too much time baking.

Olivia’s Caramello Brownie…. In a bowl, melt together 150g of butter and 180g of dark chocolate. Stir in1/2 cup of sugar and beat in 2 eggs. Add 1 and a 1/4 cups of self raising flour and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Finally, chop up a 220g block of Cadbury Caramello chocolate and mix the little squares of deliciousness into the mix. Bake in a brownie tin for about 20 minutes until just cooked through. Serve immediately and enjoy with a hot cup of tea and an episode of Sex and The City.

It might surprise people to learn that I can’t eat peanut butter? I don’t know… There isn’t too much über surprising about me. I am allergic to nuts though so most people are alarmed that I cannot have peanut butter and Nutella.

Another “surprising” fact about me is that have attended seven schools in my life and lived in nine different towns across Western Australia. I guess that’s pretty cool. I know the alphabet in sign language. I studied French for five years. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like salad, I guess that’s pretty surprising for a model!

In the future I hope I will be a role model for young women. I have two little sisters and being the oldest child of four it has always been very important to me to be someone who my siblings can look up to. Particularly with the industry I work in, I strive to be someone young women can relate to and hopefully provide them with a healthy body image and self confidence. I think it is so important to instil body love and body confidence in young girls so they are able to grow up loving themselves and not wishing they looked like the girls in the magazines. Because, truthfully, the girls in the magazines don’t even look like the girls in the magazines.


Olivia is represented by Vivien’s Model ManagementYou can keep an eye on what she is up to by following her on Instagram.



Interview by Bobby Townsend