Maddie G || Eyes On You
Maddie G is a force to be reckoned with. She's a budding journo, a drop dead gorgeous model, and an all round fantastic chick. She also has brows that give Cara Delevingne a run for her money and has a quirky sense of style that means she looks like a million bucks, but probably acquired her outfit at a salvos or savers. She's the full package. And it would be really easy to dislike her if she wasn't so damn humble and hilarious. Want to know more about her? Read on.
Name, where are you from?
Madeline (Maddie) Grammatopoulos from Adelaide, Australia
What made you want to become a journalist? Was it always something you wanted to do?
Becoming a journalist has never been a life dream. Half way through year twelve I still had no idea what I wanted to do the next year. I ended up choosing a Bachelor of Journalism simply because it sounded like me. I guess this was because of the creative elements, the opportunity to learn more about the world we live in and I also like public speaking type things. Is hasn’t been until now, the end of my final year, that I finally feel I’ve made the right choice and I’m excited for where it’s going to take me.
What are your favourite thing to write about? If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?
I haven’t really had much of an opportunity to write about my favourite area yet. Ideally, I would love to be a travel journalist with a focus on human interest. I want to know individual stories of what makes different people who they are and why. I want to see things and experience things, from misfortune to achievement. Live in places that are so culturally diverse and learn hands on. I would love to do documentaries too. So the only time I’ve had the chance to write about something like this was on my recent internship in Vietnam.
I don’t think I can answer your question about who I would interview if I could interview anyone in the world. Everyone has their own individual and equally interesting stories so I’m struggling to be able to think of one specific person. Someone older who has experienced life to what they believe is it’s fullest maybe.
On further thought though, maybe Erin Brockervich. Her determination, confidence and compassion is incredible. And no, I don’t mean Julia Roberts, although I wouldn’t say no to that!
Why where you recently in Vietnam? Tell me about your experience
In August this year I traveled to Vietnam on an internship with AusCham (the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam). I have to say it was probably the most incredible experience that I have had to date. Between a group of about ten or so of us, there were journalism, media and film students all of which had to look at the relationship between Australia and Vietnam in the past 50 years and towards the future. We were over there for the 50th anniversary since the Battle of the Long Tan, and for anyone who doesn’t know, this was a four hour battle in misty, raining rubber plantations where Australia conquered Vietnam despite a 10-1 amount of soldiers. Going over as Australians to commemorate a day in which Vietnam lost was very interesting. There was supposed to be three official commemoration services for Australian’s, and therefore at least 1000 Aussie’s flew over for it. At the last minute, everything was cancelled by the Vietnamese Government, for reasons that are still unclear. I suspect they were worried the Australian’s were going to celebrate the win of the battle, rather than commemorate the horrific day. From the perspective of a journalist, this made for a very interesting range of stories. As a war veteran, it was extremely disheartening. I met many vets while I was over there. One in which was shot during the battle and was left over night in the pouring rain, and another who was going back to write a book and leave letters at all the places where his friends died. It was an absolute honour to hear their stories and try to understand a glimpse of what they went through. After I heard about the cancellation of the main service on the 18th (people were still able to see the Long Tan Cross briefly in the end without a service), I started researching. I ended up finding a man named Jason Fenech. Jason lives in Nui Dat, about an hour out of Vung Tau where I was. Every single day he goes out into Nui Dat to collect, and preserve left over shrapnel and military items from the war. He has a museum sized collection and a classroom where a hundred students learn english every week for free. He was in East Timor in the war (however is not considered a veteran) and therefore funds the place known as Digger’s Rest with his government pension and donations from viewers. Without Jason, all of the military history that he has preserved would be lost. The Australian and Vietnamese government however, disapprove of his collection, as it isn’t ‘official’. Not only did this make for a variety of interesting stories but I met some incredible people including ‘Number Four’, who is Jason’s fourth vietnamese translator(she doesn’t find this name offensive however, he just can’t pronounce her real name), and Dianne, an Australian woman finding solace and happiness living in Vietnam. Jason took a film student and I to climb the top of SAS Hill and obtain some never seen before footage, and to a lunch where we met a variety of Australian and Vietnamese vets. Alright, I better stop now. This was only one day of the trip, so you can see how much it meant to me and how many hours I could go on for!
What is the favourite piece you have ever written
That’s a tough question. I’m not entirely proud of that many articles that I have done. Mostly because I want to write stories that really mean something, and a lot of what I have written lacks a lot of substance. I would say my favourite will be something that I am putting together at the moment on Vietnam (what a surprise).
How did you get into modelling? Was it always something you wanted to do?
I was actually doing an acting course with NIDA years ago, and my teacher was one of the main models at Finesse. He spoke to me after class and asked if he could send pictures of me to the agency. Once I told my aunty about that, she started researching all these agencies and it kind of went from there. So now I’m with Azalea in Adelaide and Brazen in Melbourne. It definitely wasn’t always something I wanted to do, and still isn’t. I like it for a bit of fun and extra money, but it isn’t a career path for me. It has helped me to meet people in the media industry though which has been great for journalism.
What has been your favourite job so far?
I’ve had a few that I’ve really enjoyed, either for Luna Wolf Vintage or an op shop shoot probably. The reasons that they have been my favourite is definitely because they are my kind of style and so I feel very comfortable and just have fun with it.
Do you feel any pressure to look/act a specific way?
There’s definitely still a huge body image issue in the modelling world. I think if a girl is fit, healthy and happy at any size then that’s amazing. Different agencies are more strict about it. I’m a size 8-10 and I know I definitely don’t get some jobs because of that. There have been times where I have felt body conscious and I really hate that. I’ve always felt comfortable with my body and it really upsets me that the industry is still this way. Without naming names, a girl I know was told she wouldn’t be able to be signed by an interstate agency because her hips were too wide. She was literally a size eight to six and they were talking about her bone structure. That kind of thing makes me so angry because I see so many young girls who could possibly be damaged mentally and physically because of it.
When you’re not busy studying/modelling what do you get up to?
I also work at a surf shop part time. I sometimes write for a few online blogs and at the moment I’m also looking for as much journalism experience as possible before I graduate at the end of the year. I’ve got an awesome boyfriend and amazing friends so I spend a lot of my time with them. Between uni, work and modelling I don’t have heaps of spare time. I would love to learn Spanish and horse ride again and learn pottery. We will see.
What influences your style?
I like to wear random stuff. Everything I wear is from op shops, work or vintage markets. I just love wearing one offs or something that has a story behind it. I especially love wearing vintage stuff of the brands we sell at work so I get the best of both worlds. Plus the classic vans or cons.
What do you recommend doing if you were new to Adelaide?
Hmm interesting question. I know a lot of people find Adelaide boring but I actually love it. The best thing about SA is how close we are to really different places. I would go to places like Hahndorf (A German township outside Adelaide), somewhere along the Yorke Peninsula, Port Elliott, and around the Barossa way. The city is alright, and getting better, but I avoid it if I can!
5 favourite Instagrams
@newearthmama is an Australian mum who is the definition of hippy and has the cutest kids in the whole wide world.
@saltyreign because it’s my boyfriends brand.
@vicenews for obvious reasons.
@onfilm has some really cool pics and I really want to learn to use film. Bought a couple of film cameras the other day, wish me luck.
@arekenny is a photographer who is originally from Adelaide. He is so weird and funny, I can’t help but look at his insta stories every day.
What music are you into at the moment?
I like a range of music. I don’t really have any specific music that I only listen to. At the moment I’m loving Group Love’s new song and Sticky Finger’s new song because they are both really happy and I keep getting them stuck in my head.
What is your definition of success?
I guess success is different to every person. If you’re content in life and proud of your accomplishments, then you have achieved. Comparing yourselves to others is only good if it helps you achieve your own personal goals. Do what you love and if you’re happy then you have succeeded. Life is short as.
Follow her: @maddiegramm
Contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org