Before she had even entered her twenties, Gemma Ward, known for her doe-like eyes, was heralded as the Kate Moss of her era.
Within years, she had gone from a humble Perth schoolgirl to one of the world's top models, living in New York, and parading the clothes of everyone from Valentino to Versace.
In 2004, then editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia, Kirstie Clements, said Ward was "in a different stratosphere".
"She's got that extra thing, that inexplicable thing."
That sentiment was echoed by British photographer Nick Knight, who said, “Gemma is one of the very, very few models who look as though they come from another dimension".
But at 20 years old, Ward stepped away from the prying eyes of the public for a deeply personal reason. Now 32 years old, she has just given birth to her third child.
Here's why the Aussie supermodel made the decision to retreat from her public life, and has since returned to the modelling industry.
In late 2007, Gemma Ward began dating legendary actor Heath Ledger, who was also from her hometown of Perth. They had just spent Christmas with each other's families, when on January 22, 2008, Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28. They had been dating for three months.
Shortly after, at the height of her success and aged just 20, Ward shunned the spotlight when she made the decision to take a well-earned break after falling into a deep depression.