On a moody, cloud-covered Surf Coast day the camera clicks away as Allira Potter stands atop a cliff and looks out across the ocean.
She soaks up the good vibes of yet another photo shoot and the in-demand 30-year-old from Geelong has every reason to feel on top of the world.
A whirlwind of change has happened for Allira in 2020 – a year that is proving to be pivotal both professionally and personally for the bright young Yorta Yorta woman.
She had sensed something big was coming and it arrived in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement which amplified her voice in a lifechanging way.
The ripple effects are still being felt months later.
Her social media following has jumped by almost 20,000, exciting opportunities have opened up and she has left her day job to pursue her own business in the spiritual guidance and influencer fields.
“Suddenly I was being contacted by people I look up to like Zoe Foster-Blake and the girls from the Shameless podcast,” Allira remembers.
“I was getting messages and emails from them saying ‘we want you to be part of this campaign’ and I was like ‘hang on a second, I look up to you’.
“Them telling me they admire the work I do was crazy.”
She has since been featured on many high-profile platforms including Vogue and Mamamia, as well as forming ongoing partnerships with big brands such as Lululemon, Mecca and Cotton On.
Her energy healing sessions are also booked out weeks – if not months – in advance.
“The Vogue thing was definitely a highlight,” Allira says, smiling.
“It’s definitely given me a boost but I don’t think it’s given my ego a boost.
“I’m still chillin’ in my little unit, doing what I love and it just so happens I’ve made all these friends with big name people who are here to support me on my journey, which is kind of nice.
“What you see on social media is what you get. I’m exactly the same human being in person as I am on social media.
“It is important to me to just be up front, sassy and who I am.”
Allira also makes no secret of the fact she hit rock bottom before opening herself up to something better.
“Last year I was going through a really toxic time in my life with partying and things like that and I just really lost myself,” she says.
“I was drinking and doing drugs, I was being a real idiot to say the least.
“At the start of the year I just went on a huge bender. It was Labour Day weekend in March and I woke up on the public holiday on the Monday and thought ‘woah, you have to change or you are going to die’.
“I just made the decision to go sober and it was probably the best thing I ever did.
“It’s hard, you lose a lot of friends, people just don’t understand what you are doing but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I wouldn’t be the person I am now.”
Since committing to that change, Allira has invested her time into becoming a mediation teacher, an Aboriginal healer and has tapped into her spiritual side.
She hopes her story is one that resonates with others and makes her a role model to other young Indigenous women.
“As much as my Insta is so showy and there is lots happening on there, I don’t want to be this famous person,” she says.
“I want people to recognise me for the work I am doing and I want mob to look up to me and be like ‘look at what she’s done, if she can do that then I can do that’.
“I never want to be someone like Kim Kardashian … I want to be that role model within our community.”
Allira shares her late mother’s spiritual gift and inherited her leadership qualities from her late great-grandfather, Sir Doug Nicholls, who was a pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.
He was also a professional Aussie Rules footballer and the first Indigenous Governor of South Australia.
“If you follow AFL the Indigenous round is named after our family and I think it is in my blood to make that change and be that point of difference, so to speak,” Allira says.
“I want to educate people within the wellness and spiritual space to change that narrative and have more cultural awareness in these spaces.
“I want more black representation – I want to be helping businesses and brands to be more culturally diverse and equal because we just haven’t seen that in this white-washed wellness space.”
In amongst the career achievements of a hectic year, Allira is setting herself firm health goals and has also been blessed with meeting her partner, Alex Pye.
“I think I’ve gotten really lucky with the support she has given me and our story, our journey, is only just beginning,” she says.
“I just feel so content with everything at the moment and like I am where I’m supposed to be.”
Follow Allira’s journey on Instagram @allira.potter