The West

Hawkins missing Dawson
Jennifer Hawkins. Picture: Supplied

Credited for launching the careers of internationally renowned models Alice Burdeu, Tahnee Atkinson and Montana Cox, Australia's Next Top Model is set to return for its ninth season - and host Jennifer Hawkins can't wait to get started on the national audition tour.

Though Hawkins and judges Alex Perry and Didier Cohen are excited about commencing work on the new season, it's with a sense of sadness that they begin proceedings without close friend and former judge Charlotte Dawson, who died earlier this year.

"It's surreal. I don't know how I'm feeling about it - you can't really put it into words," Hawkins told Access All Areas about working on the FOX8 series without Dawson by her side.

Rather than replacing the vivacious Dawson, the show will feature a guest judge each week who will critique the contestants' performances.

"It's a nice gesture that there's a guest judge rather than someone replacing Charlotte because she's irreplaceable. It will be very different," Hawkins said.

In terms of what the judges will be looking for, the former Miss Universe revealed they were on the hunt for someone who was humble and willing to work hard.

"It's not rocket science but I think girls need to know that it's not all glamorous," Hawkins said.

"The quality that she shouldn't possess is probably arrogance. When you're first starting out you should be wanting to learn and willing to listen and not think that you know it all. That's a big quality that I'm looking for - someone who is kind and has a good work ethic."

Hawkins encouraged aspiring contestants to be as confident as possible when taking to the stage in front of the judges and dress in a way that reflected their personality.

"Expect that it's going to be very hyped, there will be lots of excitement so don't be too daunted by it, and be as confident as possible," the blonde said.

"Think about all of your good attributes and what you want to bring to the stage, and be really confident within yourself."

The Perth leg of the Australia's Next Top Model auditions will take place on August 24 at Garden City Booragoon from 10am. Visit for more information.

The West Australian

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