Gemma Ward drops in on Australia's Next Top Model
GEMMA Ward is slowly getting back into the spotlight.
At the peak of her career, the 28-year-old was a runway regular for high-end designers including Chanel, but she quit the modelling world following the death of her ex-boyfriend Heath Ledger.
Since then she has lived a quieter life with her partner, David Letts, and two-year-old daughter Naia.
Also an aspiring actress, Ward was last seen in 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and 2013's The Great Gatsby.
She and her family now split their time between Sydney and Byron Bay and Ward has eased her way back into modelling again.
On Tuesday the supermodel graces the small screen for the first time in years as a guest mentor on Australia's Next Top Model.
"I feel like there's a lot less pressure (now) and I feel like I'm in a place in my life where I'm really happy and really enjoying seeing a lot of people I worked with previously," she says from the set of Australia's Next Top Model.
"It's amazing being a mum nowadays. You can work and not be chained to it. I feel like I've been able to embrace my work and also be a mum and inhabit these different roles."
Ward says she couldn't turn down the chance to have a guiding hand in the careers of the next generation of Aussie cover girls. Elle Macpherson and Miranda Kerr will also feature in the reality show's milestone 10th season.
"I have a lot of years under my belt and I've done a lot of things in my career, so I feel like the role of a mentor is a rewarding one," she says.
"It is important for the girls to remember that sometimes the photo or the image radiates from the inside. You have to cultivate your inner poise and your inner let-it-be-ness."
Ward says her nurturing instincts immediately kicked in on the set when she was introduced to the contestants, most of whom are still in their teens.
"A really important thing I wanted to get across to them is to make friends and have fun," she says.
"Modelling can be quite rigorous and it shouldn't be all about the work. There are other things you can experience on the path, like making friends for life. You've got to create yourself outside of work."
Australia's Next Top Model airs Tuesdays at 6.30pm Queensland, 7.30pm NSW on Fox8.