The search to find the next Miss Universe Australia is underway, with National finalists preparing to touch down in Melbourne later this month ahead of the national finals held at the Sofitel on Collins June 28.
We are chatting with Ashleigh Dittman, from VIC who will be competing for the 2018 title of Miss Universe Australia.
So why don’t you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hi Guys! 🙂 I’m Ashleigh, I grew up in Far North Queensland and made a move to Melbourne when I was 17 years old to study Theatre. At present, I work in Hospitality Management, and in my spare time, I love to read, bake delicious treats, study art and poetry and learn about the world around me.
So you’ve just returned from the Miss Universe Finalists trip to the Amazing Allia Hotels in Bali… How was the experience?
Holey Moley! What a week! The Miss Universe Australia Bali trip was absolutely phenomenal. Myself and the rest of the National Finalists and all the crew were treated like royalty by the Alila Hotel Group, over three very different locations in Bali – Ubud, Seminyak and Uluwatu. Every day was jam-packed full of activities; from health and wellness sessions to a visit from the Sari Hati Foundation where we met some amazing people and volunteers in the organisation, and also learnt more about the Balinese Culture. But the best part was getting to know the other amazing women in this competition – they really made the experience what it was.
We know there was an amazing program of things for you all, what was your highlight?
My highlight of the trip was the Powerful Impressions Workshop with Natasha Di Ciano, founder of the Egami Institute. We all learnt more about our personality types and how we can present the best version of ourselves not only in the competition but the next stages of our lives. I also loved hearing Natasha’s story – a woman working at the top of her field in a male-dominated industry – which I found quite inspiring and motivating.
So now you’re home and having undergone the best prep we can think of you know the sun, surf and Bali …. it’s not long till the national finals in Melb… how are you feeling in the lead-up and what sort of preparation are you doing, before finals week commences?
To be honest, I am a little nervous – just because I’ve never done anything like this before – but I’m more excited than anything! In terms of preparation, my primary focus is on my mental and physical health. So this means, regular and varied exercise at The Hurt Locker Richmond (boxing and HIIT) and KKore Lagree Fitness (Megaformer Pilates); but also making sure I spend time on things that make me happy – which means spending quality time with family and friends! If I’m healthy inside and out then I know I will be able to be myself – which is the most important thing.
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
Apart from the obvious reason – I’ve been rocking a Pixie cut for the past two years – I would hope that my authenticity, general zest for life and love of bad puns will help me across the line.
Speaking of being unique we all have different motivations, what is something that motivates you daily or you would say is your passion?
What motivates me daily is the knowledge that I, and only I, am in control of my destiny and happiness, and it is up to me to go out there and get it. No one is going to be able to do that for me.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I have an extensive background in acting and musical theatre, I studied ballet for 12 years and can play at about a grade 1 level on a handful of instruments, including the Triangle;). I even played Sandy in the musical ‘Grease’ once! Yep, you guessed it…tight black pants and a curly blonde wig haha.
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
Being a country girl at heart, my No. 1 wind down spot is sitting on a beach near a town called Innisfail in Far North Queensland. There’s just something about that fresh salty air and being far away from the city and noise that just resets something inside of you.
The Miss Universe program has a long and proud history and focuses on helping women become the best versions of themselves, how do you think your experience so far will help move you forward in life?
My experience in the MUA program has helped me more profoundly than I had anticipated. Before applying, I had little to no self-confidence and no faith in who I was as a person and in my abilities. But through meeting incredible people, including the other finalists, Pink Tank Team, sponsors etc., as well as completing all the different workshops, challenges and even having the experience of the State Final – I have found who I am meant to be. I will now take this new found confidence and feeling of self-worth into the next stage of my life – I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but I can’t wait to find out!
What is the Punniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I went to buy some camouflage pants the other day, but I couldn’t find any.
Name five things you can’t live without?
Family. Friends. Good Food. New Experiences. Chocolate.
How would your closest friend describe you?
I think they’d say I’m a bit of a dork! But I’d like to think they’d see me as hardworking, loyal, empathetic and open to new opportunities and new ideas.
Why did you enter the Miss Universe Australia Pageant?
I entered because I wanted to show not only to myself but to others out there who might feel a little bit different to everyone else, that they can achieve their desires in life if they work hard and remain true to themselves.