Melbourne high school student Melissa Juratowitch has become an accidental hero after winning Australia's Next Top Model.

The 16-year-old won a public vote to claim the Fox8 series from bubbly Nyadak "Duckie" Thot and well-spoken Shanali Martin on Tuesday night at the Star Casino in Sydney.

In a winner-take-all finale, Juratowitch pocketed $20,000 cash from TRESemme, a Nissan Dualis, a modelling contract with IMG and she will also appear on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.

The year 11 student not only never set out to audition for the series, but she was also the shortest model in the competition.

Standing just 173cm, Juratowitch was about five centimetres shy of the height minimum US IMG scouts had stated (5'10") they were looking for when they held auditions earlier this year.

In fact, Juratowitch only went to the auditions as a spectator and was plucked out of the crowd by the judges who are asked her to try out despite her lack of stature.

"I went along to the auditions because I had been along with my mum to watch them every year and I was standing there and all the judges were staring at me," Juratowitch said.

"So I got up on stage and now I am here and it's insane. It's so incredible."

Juratowitch said she's mindful of her height and worked hard during the season to try and put it out of her mind.

"My height has always been an issue during his whole competition," she said.

Australia's Next Top Model started with 15 models and a dozen were eliminated throughout the series on the opinions of Alex Perry, Didier Cohen, Charlotte Dawson and host Jennifer Hawkins.

However, Tuesday's finale was decided purely by viewer votes and the three finalists used social media to try and build their fan base and their votes.

Juratowitch's plans almost came unstuck when her Facebook and Twitter accounts were hacked earlier this month and deleted, forcing her to start again.

 

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