I’ve decided something. I have decided to let you all into my little head and the process that goes on as someone who is in the spotlight. In my case someone who had an international broadcasting career, has taken 1.5 years out in Australian suburbia to be with my ill mother and is now embarking on re-entering the global media scene again.


Since landing my newest gig (to be revealed soon), I have been on a process of getting myself ready for the big move and I often forget that getting out of my suburban funk and back into what I like to call “racehorse mode” is so natural to me (every time I have a big project coming up I seem to get extra motivated, as most people in my industry do) that I take it for granted that it does actually require quite a lot of motivation. I thought it could be helpful to me and you to break down and share this process.

When I was in my 20s I would always look outwards for others to prop me up in a funk, make me feel better but the older and more independent I become, I have realised you must SELF MANAGE. This is something that the Dalai Lama also echoed in his latest public talk in Perth (more on that below). The buck really does stop with YOU and YOU make the choice to work out what you need in your life and harness the motivation to improve things. I hope this motivates you.

In March and April of this year, I had lost my mojo: what I like to think is my charisma and my zest for creativity. I really had become very stagnant and bored with the endless mundaneness of life in Perth. I stopped exercising, was drinking Moscato in the middle of the day and stopped grooming myself to the standard I normally hold.

The process is worth sharing because the results are AMAZING! I feel back to my normal self again. It all started in March and April following my trip to work in Singapore in January. I had such an active and social time that the thought of living in Perth full time indefinitely made me feel sick inside. I had also just been told by my sister that I would have to clear all 8 bedrooms of my mother’s house. Literally get rid of everything that she and my father had accumulated over 70 years. It’s been a hell of a job and one that I don’t wish on anyone.

I was feeling very overwhelmed, stressed but simultaneously creatively starved, hugely frustrated at the lack of interesting work in Perth. I know this is a sentiment shared by many creatives based in WA. After a year of chilling out (not entirely true as I was on air full time for 9 months at Mix 94.5), I had the beginning of that fire in my belly again, the fire to be creative and part of something bigger again. This was something which had absolutely disappeared and burnt out when I left Dubai. This is how I realised what my mojo actually was, it was all about being CREATIVE and having an AUDIENCE and a STAGE to work on that paid well and that I respected.

When I was in Bali, turning 31 and sharing a villa with 2 of my mentors, I got a real kick up the butt from one of the girls. Even though I was going through some really confronting things here in Perth, being with my older friends who I deeply respect and them revealing their own much more challenging struggles to me, which they handled with such grace and positivity really inspired me. I had spent 8 weeks wallowing in my misfortune and my negative feelings. I wasn’t depressed but I was certainly in a funk. It was time to get out of it.

MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION: Sometimes you just have to start. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” did not come from nowhere.

So let me let you in on “racehorse mode” aka “getting out of a funk” and some easy steps to getting your mojo back into your life:

1) Get back in shape.

Some of you have maybe seen my social media posts about how many inches I have lost in the 6 weeks I have been in the “zone.” This includes running 8km a day, 4 to 5 days a week. I also work out 1 to 2 times a week with a personal trainer who helps me to do resistance training which I absolutely loathe doing. I think you can clearly see the difference in my body between my trip to Bali in April and a couple of weeks ago. My tummy has come down even further since the image on the right. If you’re small like me and changes are hard to see, don’t be afraid to take before and after pictures to track your progress and give you a reason to CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS! #smallvictories #fistpumpmoment.

Like all posts on this blog, these images are unretouched:

In addition to getting my body back I was also concerned with my mental sharpness. I’ve always been a quick thinker and yet it seemed I was increasingly slow with grasping new concepts and processes. My host father in Switzerland suggested fish oil and those capsules have worked wonders! I take 2 a day. I was also recommended by one of my industry friends to take collagen capsules and as you can see from this image here. My skin is plumper and fuller than ever despite losing weight in my face.

2) Be your own personal stylist:

For a while now, I have been selling and getting rid of all my Dubai clothes which were crazy-coloured and had a lot of embellishment. That style was great for that city and fun for a girl in her 20s to be so experimental but getting older also means I want my look to be more demure. I also find less colour more calming.

This wardrobe cleansing has been a hugely enlightening experience but then it got me thinking about what style I wanted to have now moving forward. I decided that something minimal, where I could mix and match pieces to fit my new 30-plus year old identity was the best for me and my bank account. I discovered INTO-MIND which really goes into depth about how to cleanse and order your wardrobe and was hugely benefitial.

I decided Parisian-chic was the best look for me and my newly-pixie-cropped petite frame. If I have appointments for the day I will also lay my clothes out the night before and mindfully coordinate my look for the next day. Taking care of my presentation again  (after letting myself go) made me value myself more. It is such a small thing but it reminded me of my old self. I’ve also changed up my makeup routine, no longer wearing heavy black liquid eyeliner and changed my red lipstick for a more day-friendly orange (see in the pics above and below). I’ll have an in-depth blog on this new look soon and how to cleanse your wardrobe soon.

3) Get a New Haircut

A new haircut, done really well can change your whole face and look. I recently took Mum for a make-over at Maurice Meade. She didn’t want to go to the hairdresser which was in-house at the nursing home. She wanted to have something more high fashion. She left feeling like a new woman and kept saying to me over and over “I feel so good…so good.” This haircut became her lifeline in what is quite a depressing chapter in her life.

That’s more or less how I felt after chopping my hair off into the perfect “long” pixie crop. I feel like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites. I just love it. I had to lose a fair bit of plump in my face to carry it off too! For amazing short cuts you should also see Mark at Maurice Meade in Claremont.

Image: Glamour.com

4) Upskill

Sometimes feeling bored has a lot to do with feeling de-skilled. I used to create content almost daily for online, radio, TV and this blog when I lived in Dubai. Coming into a bit of a content-vacuum was nice at first (it’s also really important to switch off too, a lesson I learnt the hard way) but after a while the creative isolation began to really get to me. I recently started making videos again and taking courses.

If you can’t afford to purchase course fees you can buy some books in areas of your interest. Just take 5 minutes out of your day and ask yourself what you are curious about and buy books on those topics.


In the last 6 weeks I’ve attended a Dalai Lama-lead lecture, writer’s course, blogging course, listened to Kirstie Clements speak, Kikki K Minfulness and Happiness workshops and read some of the most life-changing books. I’d really strongly recommend “Man’s Search for Meaning.” I’ve also been recommended “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge.

5) Do Something for Others

Just turning your dialogue outwards. Asking someone in service “How are you?” instead of being on autopilot. In my case, making a video for my Mum to celebrate our relationship which I fought to build in the last 1.5 years. The interaction with younger people and humour worked wonders for Mum, made her feel loved and unforgotten and indirectly made me feel proud of the emotional interaction we would never have had if I hadn’t come home. Watching this video made me feel that maybe all the sacrifice was not for nothing:


I also sold a big chunk of my old clothes at the markets and donated part of the proceeds to Camp Quality and the Nepal Earthquake relief effort.

I hope these tips help you to get your MOJO back and check back here soon for plenty more tips and tricks on getting your life together. Sorry this is brief but I LITERALLY have to RUN now!




I recently blogged about the gifts my mentor Joey Mead King has given me across the 10 years I have known her. We should all have mentors but we should all also have mentees. When you reach a certain point in your career, there is a time to give back to people.

Steph Audino is a very talented Perth designer who, unknown to me, wrote a high school assignment on me when she was still studying. At the height of my career in Dubai, she reached out to me through my website and asked if she could dress me for various events in Dubai. Her clothes were so beautiful and made me feel so womanly. How could I refuse? What struck me more was how ballsy she was, how courageous she was in reaching out to me. It also demonstrated an attention to detail and bags of marketing savvy.

Steph posted me thousands of dollars worth of clothes to Dubai, a whole batch of which got lost in the mail (pretty standard for Dubai sadly) before the Grazia Style Awards in 2012 and in the end I couldn’t wear her dresses. She sent me more again, always extending herself and proving to me she wasn’t deterred. I then managed to get her into Singapore Digital Fashion Week which I was co-hosting, as a guest and Steph dressed me for my interview with Naomi Campbell.

Above: Wearing Steph Audino to interview Naomi Campbell in Singapore in 2013.

I love Steph like a little sister, I hope I have communicated to her how much I love and admire her. She’s tenacious, ambitious and the hardest-working member of Gen-Y I have ever met. Maybe our work ethic is bonded by our migrant parents who came out to Perth, I cannot say exactly but since the moment we met, we’ve got a long.

Check out Steph’s amazing Beaufort Street atelier and me wearing some of her latest designs:

As always these images are not airbrushed or retouched. I want my readers to see the lines, warts and all and also to see the amazing true fabric and flow of Steph’s creations.

Follow Steph on Instagram here for more details on her amazing pieces.

I am not the most sentimental person. I am the kind of woman who would move country tomorrow and not even tell anyone. I regularly sell 80% of my wardrobe without a second thought. So it seems strange for me, that my birthdays in recent years have taken on quite an attachment. Last year’s 30th in Thailand was amazing but was also met with mixed emotions in Perth as I was dealing with my mother’s illness and the absence of all my good friends who are based everywhere in the world except Perth!

So this year when my management, Fly Entertainment, suggested a retreat for the talent under it’s representation on the weekend of my birthday, I jumped at the chance to be with some of my closest friends in the world but in Bali. We stayed at Hidden Hills Villas in Uluwatu, founded by my old teen idol Max Loong (who is also represented by Fly Entertainment).

Check out the images for yourself and me wearing a DIY scarf dress I had sewn from this tutorial. My mentor and close friend, Joey Mead King, (as well as judge on Asia’s Next Top Model) shot the images of me in the dress. As is the policy with most posts on this blog, the images are not retouched. The first image here is of the room I stayed in called Villa Grande:

The weekend was packed with eating great food, massages and lying by the pool. I even enjoyed watching a movie on the smart TV. The staff were amazing and even organised a birthday cake for me, you can check it all out on my Instagram.

What I love about Hidden Hills Villas is that each villa is themed from a country or region around the world and that the facility is so quiet and peaceful.

There are some amazing promotions at Hidden Hills Villas for their launch:

Rates: 1 Bedroom Ocean View Pool Villas –> USD $400 (nett) –> Soft launch promo until end June 50% room rates discount = $200 (nett)
2 Bedroom Ocean View Pool Villas –> USD $550 (nett) –> Soft launch promo until end June 50% room rates discount = $275 (nett)

3 Bedroom Ocean View Pool Villas –> USD $700 (nett) –> Soft launch promo until end June 50% room rates discount = $350 (nett)

Promos: We will be running opening year promos until mid December –> opening year promo until mid Dec 30% discount on room rates.

Complimentary: – Pick up and drop off from airport
- Breakfast
- Internet/Movies

Contact them through www.hiddenhillsvillas.com for more.

Many of you know I have recently started a business in Perth all about mentorship with my modelling agent of many years Tanya Muia. Savvy Ventures aims to provide young people wanting to enter the fashion and media industry with the same support Tanya and I were lucky enough to receive through the course of our careers. One person who was pivotal to my success was Filipina supermodel Joey Mead King.

On my most recent trip to Singapore our management Fly Entertainment arranged a shoot for us with one of Singapore’s most esteemed photographers Joel Lim. Another guardian angel of mine Greg Oh did our hair (funnily enough Joey and I both cut all of our hair off after this shoot!) Joey directed the shots. Like all amazing shoots however, sometimes things you can’t predict happen.

Like these real tears I started to cry. I hadn’t seen Joey in 7 years since I left Asia for the United Arab Emirates although during my half a decade in Dubai she always made herself available to me for chats and comfort. I just cried, there were so many lessons she had taught me and at the same time so many times in Dubai I wish she was there to hold my hand. I also learned on this trip, that even my mentors continue to evolve and have their own struggles at work. I suppose it was realising that Joey was not only my mentor and also my friend but she was human, she wasn’t immune either to the frustrations that all of us in the industry struggle with. When I was in my twenties I thought Joey was just invincible.

Above: A photo Joey directed me in.

Here is a blog I wrote some time ago that seems to still be fitting. I hope you have all been as blessed as I have to have mentors who seek you out because they know you are open to guidance:

Throughout my career, I’ve had many mentors and many people who have shown me their kindness. I’ve also had many people who have been less than nuturing and often downright mean. I choose to, in my older age, ignore the memories of these people and instead turn my gratitude and love to those who believed in me when no one else did. I wanted to feature someone who really made an impression on me and to this day still influences my choices. Here I have written my story about meeting Joey and she has shared her insights on the same journey, I hope this exchange inspires you to be a mentor to someone else.

Above: With Joey in Singapore in 2007.

Simone: In 2006, I was a struggling talent in Singapore, I had a manager who told me I should get a nose job, a mother who was dead against my career in entertainment and not speaking to me and a Chinese Aunty who had kicked me out of her home where I had been staying. I realised that no matter how much you believe in yourself, no matter how much talent and gumption you know you have, doors will stil close, people will still abandon you and not everyone will believe in you. Just having yourself is not enough. I was also broke and it was at this very low point that a friend of mine invited me to his home to have dinner.

In 2004, on a previous trip to Singapore, I had seen a stunning presenter on AXN E-Buzz and her name was Joey. She was so beautiful it hurt my eyes and watching her deliver an interview with Morgan Freeman only strengthened my resolve to be part of the Asian entertainment industry. I wanted to be just like Joey!

It was a huge surprise to me, 2 years later, to be watching Joey cook in the kitchen of my friend’s apartment. She had been staying with him while modelling in Singapore and was humbly going about preparing dinner. Without a scratch of makeup, she was to me, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in person. To this day, she still is and I have gone on to interview loads of international actresses and models.

Joey: I was living in a very ‘Melrose Place’ townhouse set up, close to the city, just off Bukit Timah Road. Sundays turned into festive BBQ gatherings with friends & neighbours. This Sunday in particular was either a pre or post birthday BBQ for me. Our energiser bunny mutual friend, Lawrence, who Simone had met recently, told me he met this firecracker of a girl who had also just worked with Channel V and had invited her over. Myself and two other girlfriends were in the kitchen cooking and prepping, and without any warning, like the sound of whip crack in air, all of us turned around to see a pretty young cheek-flustered, bright-eyed, much-hand-gesturing, non-stop-talking, Simone Heng.

As I stirred the pot of adobo, watching her talk with much enthusiasm (she told me how I looked similar to fellow pinay-halfie Nicole Scherzinger) I thought how it must feel for her to come to a party (bearing a Crabtree & Evelyn gift bag) not knowing anyone, but naturaly smiling and being a gracious guest, showed me she had much courage and I instantly loved her.

Simone: It’s so funny because I still remember giving Joey that gift and saying “My mother always told me you never go to anyone’s brithday empty-handed.” Still a rule I stick by today. I have since interviewed Nicole Scherzinger in Dubai and I can tell you Joey is miles better looking in person! I couldn’t have known at the time what an important meeting this would be for me. Years have passed and to this day I see how horribly counterproductive women can be to other women. How jealousy and envy in our industry can stifle a gifted talent. I couldn’t believe that this woman would even talk to me, my self esteem was so low. But Joey did more than just talk to me over dinner, after learning I was a big fan, she promptly booked coffee with me.

Over coffee I told her my agent at the time was being very critical of me, Joey said: “Who is she to tell you anything like this? You look like Kelly Hu and you are a good host. There has to come a point where you say, you know what, I am good at what I do.” These words, coming from a woman represented in LA by Ford models, gave me the inspiration to go on. To keep at it despite my detractors and a few months later I booked my “big break” as host on HBO Asia to 300 million subscribers. In 2006, this made me one of the youngest faces across regional TV in Asia.

Joey: The Industry is riddled with bitches and backstabbers, I choose my company wisely and when I do it’s because I feel great genuinity about them. Simone has intelligence, is diligent, has wit and has an energy I am willing to share mine with. Reading her writing work, listening to her fair share of hard knocks, watching her host and laughing with her. She is beyond many talents in town but due to stereotypes (Eurasian women in Asia are stereotyped as being more style than substance) she will be overlooked and be manipulated to be like the boring others. I told her she could be the next Connie Chung, (or Mylene Klass or a Lisa ling.. even the “Ellen” of Asia) she has enough prowess to uphold an international talk show. I still believe in this.

Simone: Joey’s words are so generous and she was right of course, I was always a little bit too big of a personality, a bit too gregarious for a 21 year-old talent in South East Asia at the time. Dubai welcomed me with open arms but I still hope Asia will soon be ready. A mentor does more than just teach you things, they go beyond by spending time and energy, because they feel an affinity with you. Joey has always been like a big sister. I remember many things she said to me to this day, verbatim. One of the things Joey said was “Do you give back, Simone?” she drew me out of my drama for a moment and now whenever I feel my line of work is making me too self-revolved, I do something to “give back.”

I also remember when I got my first ever endorsement, as the face of Sunsilk hair in the Philippines. Joey bought the magazine cover I booked all the way from Manila with her. Not my modelligng agent, not my booker…Joey Mead. A woman who is a huge celebrity in the Philippines, carted my silly magazine all the way to Singapore for me. She is the reason why I even have a copy of it for my website today. It is Joey and my father who have taught me humility, why to this day I thank every single person who sends me a gift. I believe it is important karma to be grateful.

In 2007 on a press trip to Manila, Joey came with (her now husband Ian) to a club appearance I was doing, she  also came and sat with me in my hotel room at Shangrila Edsa and calmed me before my my press conference. She has always been just so kind, giving and goes above and beyond. To this day, I don’t know why she was so generous with her time as I believe at 24 I was rather lost and crazy and probably not fab company.

Years on, Joey is in a role perfect for her, she’s not only a mentor to aspiring models on Asia’s Next Top Model but also the author of a new blog mentoring young women on grooming, modelling and generally being decent human beings. Follow www.rocknboho.com for more and remember, what you say and how you help can change a life!

We have also not airbrushed any of these images. We have left them completely natural so that young women can see what we really look like and not feel pressured to have to be a certain size or shape.



The Melbourne Cup is always such a huge day in Australia. When I was living in Dubai I was often asked to MC the Australian Business Council Melbourne Cup event but couldn’t because I was always on the radio.So this year when I was asked to MC an event in Perth, I was not shying away. How could I? I missed the glamour of Dubai so much!

C Restaurant, the event’s venue, is also a revolving restaurant in the heart of Perth City with a 360 degree revolving view and a well respected menu.

It was only in 2013 when I myself was the judge of the fashions on the field of the world’s richest horse race, The Dubai World Cup.

I was so lucky to be treated to a sumptuous lunch from Olivier and the team. Hands down the best risotto I have ever had!

I was so lucky to have the team from Maurice Meade in Garden City doing my hair for the event. It wasn’t at all easy to place the headpiece in there and at the same time have part of it down instead of bunned up.

I wanted a really different and non-traditional look for the event. I bought my headpiece online from Kookai Australia. My jumpsuit is from Enex 100 and my shoes were oldies but goodies from Nine West. The earrings are of course DIY from my workshop last weekend. I liked what I wore this time to the races so much more. It was much more me and non-traditional.

It was a great afternoon.Thanks to Mix 94.5 for giving me the day off to host, to Peach and Pineapple PR for working with me and of course C Restaurant Perth.

This weekend my business partner Tanya Petkovic (also my modelling agent of 7 years at Chadwick Models)  and I launch an exciting new project for Perth.

The event will be a “taster” of the services which, our baby,  Savvy Ventures will go on to offer.

Our first-ever introductory workshop will;

  •     Introduce you to the top 6 qualities of a successful media personality
  •     Show you how to gain, work with and build, a healthy relationship with an agent
  •     Provide an overview of the state of the media and fashion industry, not only in Australia, but globally
  •     Give you the opportunity to ask your own questions about the industry you want to work in

This is a FREE event and places are filling fast! To secure your spot, email hq@savvyventures.com.au.

Images: Sanny Chong Photography

Clothes: The Annex in Mount Hawthorn

Make Up: Fitzadi


I was recently asked to MC the launch of an exhibition of designs by local designers and design students Jonte Pike, Lucy Aboagye and Vynka Topham who took part in the 2014 Banshu Program. Earlier in the year, the designers were flown to Japan and were allowed to collaborate with the Ozawa Textile company.

The results were interesting and architectural works which were paraded inside the cube space and surrounds in Enex 100.

It was a great event and I am sure we’ll be hearing more from the designers as time goes on.

Sincerest thanks to Steph Audino for my dress on the evening.

To book me to host your next event in Perth please mail me through simoneheng.com. I will be available for bookings in Singapore from January 20th onwards via ling@fly.com.sg.

Coming home to Perth has brought with it so many full-circle moments. When I was in my mid teens I had a job working at the Southlands Hoyts cinema and on my student budget I spent many meals at Maccas Willetton.

My father also owned a shop in neighbouring suburb, Riverton, and would often go to the Willetton McDonalds for his breakfast. He tormented one particular girl by constantly sending his scrambled eggs back because they were too well done. He wanted his runny “Singapore-style” (You can take the boy out of Toa Payoh but not Toa Payoh out of the boy).

In 2001, in my last year of high school, I got a Rotary exchange scholarship to Switzerland. There was a meeting of all of the scholarship students before we left for our respective exchange countries and would you know it, the family of the girl Dad tormented over his eggs was right next to us at this briefing. I wanted to die! Even Mum was saying “Robert, stop sending your McDonald’s eggs back, it’s not a 5-star restaurant.”

Ask anyone,my father was the kindest and gentlest man and this “egg” drama was his only diva moment EVER. A year after I returned from Switzerland my father died of cancer. We never ate Maccas at Southlands together again and for the life of me, I could not bring myself to go in there again. I had not stepped into that restaurant for 11 years.

Until McHappy Day….

McHappy Day helps to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House charitites. I got to visit the house in Subiaco which provides a home away from home for children who are seriously ill who come from regional areas. It gives them free food and accommodation during their stay in Perth for hospital treatment, plus volunteers do the cleaning so the whole family can spend quality time with the child, which in the case of a terminally ill child, is priceless.

The irony was not lost on me, when Dad was going through treatment our family was bogged down in the mundane running of the household and stressed about small things. I wish we had paused,breathed and unified.

The licensee of the Willetton store also brought in faux snow for the kids and we had a ball. I helped grab donations and shake tins. Being a McHappy Day ambassador was not only fun but had a purpose for me. I can now walk into that McDonalds and not be scared I will break down and cry. I almost did a few times at the drive through.

Thanks to all the staff at McDonalds in Willetton for a great day and also to McDonalds for choosing me as an ambassador for McHappy Day 2014. Thanks to Mix 94.5 also for getting me involved.

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