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Braakensiek was born in Sydney, New South Wales and speaks five languages; (English and German fluently and Dutch, Italian and Japanese conversationally). She studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of NSW College of the Fine Arts,(COFA) majoring in jewellery design and sculpture.
Braakensiek has enjoyed a successful international career as a model, and uses her profile for charities such as PETA and HSI amongst others.
Braakensiek is best known for her role of "Claudia Macpherson" in the 5 times Logies nominated Australian comedy TV series Pizza. She has also appeared on Home and Away, Heart Break High, and guest starred in many others. She also appeared on Bruce Forsyth's Play Your Cards Right as a "dolly dealer" in 2002.
She has made regular appearances in FHM and Ralph magazines, often ranking in their annual "Sexiest Women" lists. Her measurements are 36-24-36.
She appeared on Channel Nine's Celebrity Singing Bee in June 2010, alongside Craig Lowndes, Gyton Grantley, Frankie J. Holden and Charli Delaney. With a weekly theme of No. 1 Chart Toppers, Braakensiek progressed to Round 3 of the karaoke-style competition, before losing out on The Jackson 5's "ABC".