Charlie Smith, a model, primary school teacher & influencer living a life full of passion on the WA coast.
In one sentence, who are you?
Hey! My name is Charlie Smith. I'm 21 years old and I'm a primary school teacher, model and influencer.
But my name is Charlie Smith I love the ocean, talking to people and waking up with somewhere to go each day.
You were recently in the Miss Universe Australia state finals, what part of that experience was the most special to you?
I had an incredible time this year being a part of the Miss Universe Australia program. I met so many incredible people, attended fun events, collaborated with brands where I was able to create authentic content and develop my skills as a professional. BUT the most special part of the program was attending a Camp Quality event myself. I was one of the girls lucky enough to travel down to one of their three day long camps and spent a whole day with 40 children from ages 8-14. We did yoga, dancing, colouring in, arts and crafts and laughed all day long. There wasn’t one moment where the kids and myself weren’t smiling ear to ear. But every single child present on that camp has been touched by cancer someway if not have had/have it themselves. Every child had personally been to hell and back and was just happy to be there. To be lucky enough to be involved in their lives is what I find the most special and what I am most grateful for moving forward everyday.
What inspires you?
Growth. I’m often one for reflection and looking back on where I was and seeing where I am. Whether it’s emotional, physically or in any domain. I love being able to look back and see where and who I was and who I became. That's really why I love creating content mainly to be able to look back on parts of my life. I love being able to see all the moments high and low where I have grown and become something more than I was.
As someone who has travelled solo, what was the best and worst part about it?
The best part is you only have yourself to rely on. The worst part you only have yourself to rely on.
Every day if there’s something you want to do, a place you want to go and an experience you decide you want to have you aren’t waiting around for anyone. It meant though if you planned on going on any bigger style trips you needed to sit down and plan out what time you’d be leaving by to go each morning and how to beat the sun going down to get home. I had some amazing times going where I wanted to go, hiking, finding new places and thinking on my feet.
Every day was a new experience and I cannot count the amount of places especially in the south west where the scenery alone took my breath away. All because I did it, I got out of bed and went with only myself to motivate me. Before I went on my trip I was really lost, I was at one of my lowest points and didn’t feel like I had my spark in life anymore.
My biggest tip to anyone who feels like their life is becoming just simply going through the motions and you really “feel it” anymore. Go chase it, find it, take yourself away from everything you know and start fresh. Make yourself the centre of your own universe again and take accountability of finding your own motivation and drive for your life again. Life’s good the day you start living it again.
You recently hosted an amazing charity fundraising event with Toy Box Australia called Planet Toybox, tell us about how you made that happen?
I’ve always loved working with charities and giving back to the community and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to raise money for these incredible children. But I wanted to create somewhere where the people who were donating could actually be a part of something and I could celebrate their time and generosity that they had given. So I reached out to many, many venues and companies and I was so lucky that Planet Royale in Northbridge, Perth came back and offered to host the night and return 100% profits to the charity. From then I had to hit the ground running, designing the digital, finding suppliers, and selling as many tickets as I could. On the night I remember coming straight from school as I was on my final teaching placement and on my own blowing up balloons, running around hanging streamers.
Then it hit 6 o'clock and the night started. I don't think you could wipe the smile off my face all night! I was surrounded by incredible people celebrating the charity and being able to look around and know that I made this happen. I put in the hard work and I know that I did everything I could! The night was a huge success and in total we raised 4.6 thousand dollars to give directly to the incredible children and families that have personally been to hell and back.
You’re coming to the end of your studies to become a teacher, which part of teaching are you most excited for?
I’m most excited for having an impact on the students I teach. Seeing the kids I teach become better citizens in the world, seeing them make observations about what goes on in their world and return to my class each day and telling me about how something I have spoken about has held a clear relevance in their life excites me the most. When a child walks away with something more than what you wrote on a whiteboard or gave them a worksheet on, they become real people in their own way. To help a child make sense of their own world is what leaves me with the best feeling.
What keeps you grounded amongst your busy schedule of modelling, influencing, working and studying?
The end goal.
I’ve always been someone who has a million things going on at once. I trained in acrobatics and dance when I was 7 five/six days a week until I was 19. I grew up with a crazy schedule and learned how to manage my time and trust me I never leave the house without my hard copy diary to organise my life. But my end goal has always been to build a life for myself where I love what I do. For me, if I love what I do, where I am and who I'm there with, it's not work, it's not any sort of chore. I stay grounded by doing the little things that make me happy - singing to music in my car. I drive A LOT so often I have a lot of down time when I'm driving and listening to music, podcasts and calling friends it gives me that time to center myself again before hitting the ground running. I’m so grateful for all the things I get to do and nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by people who are ambitious and full of life.
My end goal is just to make that the norm in my life, finish university, have my own classroom, continue working with brands and companies where I get to meet and speak with the faces being the idea and come home to a space full of love and light.
Every summer has a story, how do you spend your summers?
For someone who usually spends all my time during the year doing some sort of a balancing act trying to manage working, studying, social life and everything else on my plate. The summer is when I throw out my diary. Over the summer holidays I live as spontaneously as possible, following the sun each day and just enjoying everything I don't normally have the freedom to do.
Who inspires you?
I had a teacher when I was in high school who knew I was struggling with my mathematics and knew how much I was running on my plate. She saw how I was struggling and made adjustments to my schooling schedule so that I could have two study periods each day and only take 4 subjects at school. In one of those periods a day she made plans for me to go into another math class for year 12 so that I was having 8 hours of math away doing double the amount anyone else was doing because I needed it to improve. The simple act of looking at a child and individualising my educational experience resonated with me. Knowing that someone saw me as more than a number has been the driving force behind everything I do know and inspires me everyday to become just like her as a teacher.
What is your favourite Malakai piece?
The Ocean eye hoops! I love the detail and delicate femininity of the design.