Perth rising star in demand
Simone Heng. Picture: Iain Gillespie/ The West Australian

Establishing yourself as a model and presenter in one country is hard in itself. But at the age of 29, *WA *-raised talent *Simone Heng *has managed to not only cement her place in the *Perth * entertainment scene but she has also broken through in Singapore and become a household name in Dubai.

Already a seasoned radio and TV personality - on the local level alone she is a weekend announcer on Mix 94.5 and has appeared on Postcards WA - the petite Asian beauty scored one of her largest victories to date when she was chosen to front a campaign for legendary French beauty store Sephora throughout South-East Asia.

Marking the first campaign the retailer has shot in the region with a non-Caucasian face, Heng said it was an "emotional" experience to be breaking ground as someone who did not fit the typical model mould.

"That's kind of really cool because they were just using the stuff from the US before that," she told _AAA _.

"They might also go on to use it in the other markets, which is really exciting for a girl who is five-foot-one."

Heng is now primarily based in *Murdoch * but regularly travels between Singapore and Dubai for work, where her credits have ranged from endorsements with Dove and Ponds to broadcasting gigs for CNN, HBO Asia and Virgin Radio, not to mention a successful do-it-yourself blog she can update from anywhere in the world.

She said the biggest challenge at the start of her career was adapting to the countries' different ideas of what they considered "beautiful".

"I remember doing Postcards here and HBO in Singapore at the same time," Heng, who is signed with Chadwick's Perth, recalled.

"I would put fake tan on here and then I would scrub the tan off to shoot there. But I think if you are willing to work hard, you can have anything in the world.

"You can go to the Muslim world and be an Asian woman with a Western accent and you can endorse products if you are strategic and you learn to pick your battles."

Strategy is the key to Heng's schedule, which is planned as far as six months in advance and always includes two back-up options in case a project falls through.

But scoring a permanent role on TV is still a major goal in the driven star's sights.

"To have a TV show that allows me to be myself . . . that would be the dream," Heng said.

JESSIE PAPAIN

'They might

also go on to use

it in the other markets, which is really exciting for

a girl who is five-foot-one.'

The West Australian

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