Sam Harris on connection to culture and slow living
From natural beauty to her connection to culture and sustainability, there’s a lot to know about this Aussie model
Samantha Harris might be a stalwart of the Australian fashion industry but it’s her work off the catwalk that has been her most impressive to date. She has used her platform to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, and last year was announced as a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision Australia, helping vulnerable women and girls across the globe. A descendant of the Dunghutti tribe, Harris grew up in Northern NSW, and it’s there she feels the most cultural ties. “I feel very connected to that area and the people in it,’ she tells us.
“Growing up my mother always tried to ensure we were connected to our culture, our land and our heritage. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage is such an important part of Australian heritage and I’m so thankful that our mother taught us that. My heritage defines me in many ways – I am proud of the woman that I am and of the people that I come from.”
Here the ambassador for clean skincare brand, Biologi shares her beauty secrets, sustainability ethos and more.
Tell us about your personal sustainability philosophy
I think living by a motto of always trying to do and be better is a great tip. Try to be mindful of your daily practices and how they might be having a negative impact on the earth. If we all make better choices in our daily lives, we can all make a huge change. Little things like avoiding plastic straws, using a keep cup and reducing your food waste. This year I’ve replaced zip-lock lunch bags with small brown paper bags that are perfect for carrying snacks to shoots. Together we can all contribute to the planet positively.
You were born in Tweed Heads, tell us about your childhood
I grew up in a beautiful part of the world where I experienced a very carefree and memorable childhood. Lots of days spent outdoors, at the beach and enjoying the sunshine!
You’ve said that your mum is your biggest inspiration, how has she impacted your life?
My mother’s unwavering support of me and the sacrifices she makes for her family are what makes her an incredible human. She is strong, determined, selfless, and a proud woman who always made me aware of my Indigenous background and encouraged us to connect to our culture and country.
You have spoken about a lack of indigenous mentors growing up, do you think that’s changing?
Yes. I think Australian’s are starting to embrace multiculturalism and encouraging a better representation when it comes to leadership and people in the spotlight. We still have a way to go, but it is certainly changing. It would be nice to see Aboriginal culture celebrated more as it is a unique part of our heritage, I don’t think it is spoken about enough.
Who are your favourite Indigenous designers or artists?
Maara Collective creates some beautiful pieces where a large number of their garments are crafted with the aid of Indigenous talents who use skills developed from ancient tradition. There are so many incredible Indigenous artists, with many likely not discovered yet, but one that really stands out for me is Otis Hope Carey.
Where are you most happy?
When I’m sitting beside my husband and our fur babies!
2020 has been full-on year for so many, how have you navigated it?
I’ve really just tried to embrace the changes as much as I can and tried to go with the flow. A lot of this year has been stressful for so many people and I think the biggest struggle has been that it is out of our control. I’ve tried to maintain focus and keep up a good fitness routine and keep working towards my goals. 2020 has made me slow down a little, which in hindsight has been a good thing to be able to reflect and recalibrate.
What does your beauty routine look like?
I like to keep it relatively simple when it comes to my beauty routine and often lean towards a less-is-more approach. I’m a big fan of taking care of my skin and inner health so then I don’t have to wear as much makeup. I start the morning with a light cleanse using Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser, then follow it with Biologi’s Bd Face Luminosity Serum, then sunscreen and make up. At night, I follow a similar routine minus the sunscreen and makeup and I had in a double cleanse using Biologi’s Microfibre Cloths.