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 Baylee Saltmarsh, 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?
I am 20 years old and was born and raised on the beautiful west coast of Perth! Currently, I am living in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time model. Alongside modelling, I have completed my Cert IV in Pilates, therefore qualifying me to teach reformer and matwork classes. I am just your typical Aussie girl, pretty chilled and a little daredevil just enjoying life! Growing up, I have had a very active lifestyle which involved competing at a high level for track and field athletics and also took time away from school to train full time for ballet. In saying that, health and fitness have always been such an essential part of my life.. and training hard is my outlet! In my down time, I love to try trendy cafes, explore all different parts of Melbourne, watch gossip girl ;), and to go rock climbing or abseiling.
So you’ve just returned from the Miss Universe Finalists trip to the Amazing Allia Hotels in Bali… How was the experience?
The Miss Universe Finalists trip to Bali was honestly one of the best experiences of my life!! I am incredibly grateful I was able to be a part of such an amazing week with 31 other BEAUTIFUL women. It was very special to me because it was actually my first time in Bali, so to be able to spend it on a ‘girls trip’ pretty much was incredible. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect week away, the resorts were breathtaking, food was delicious every single day (I am a huge foodie!), staff were absolutely lovely and so welcoming along with the camera crew and beauty sponsors who looked after us all so well.
Troy and Sophia – I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work and time you have invested in this program for all of us girls. I found the Bali trip beyond amazing, and I am so happy to have made so many friendships with girls from all around Australia, and we will all have memories to cherish forever.
We know there was an amazing program of things for you all, what was your highlight?
It is hard to pick one highlight from the Miss Universe Australia program because every aspect of it has been nothing short of incredible. However, the visualisation session with Liv Wells was definitely a highlight for me. Visualisation is such a powerful tool, in the past, it has certainly helped me a lot with athletics and dancing. Something I was taught when I was younger was “what happens out there is a result of what happens in here”, so having a positive mindset and outlook is extremely important. Leaving the session, I had butterflies in my tummy because Liv guided us to create a feeling of being “pumped up”. So although the visualisation part of the session was important, what is more, important is the feeling it created inside of me. If you create powerful emotions, you will create powerful performance, so I am feeling a lot more prepared for nationals. EXCITING TIMES!
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?
We without a doubt got a good dose of Vitamin D, that’s for sure! But… Now it is definitely crunch time! Currently, I am more excited than anything and cannot wait for the adrenaline rush of Nationals final night! I am glad I have grown up being on stage and performing in front of large amounts of people which makes it a bit easier to control nerves. Leading up to Nationals week, I won’t be doing too much different as I live a healthy and balanced lifestyle already… but since getting back from Bali I have been feeling quite run down so educating myself on current news for the question and answer section of the competition is a must when recovering at home! I have also upped my water intake to try and clear my skin to make sure it is glowing for finals!
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?
That is the incredible thing about this competition; every girl is so unique! At the time, it really depends on what the judges are looking for and what they feel will best represent our beautiful country on the international stage. What will set me apart from the other contestants, I think, is my resilience and drive. It takes a lot to knock me down especially when I am passionate about something. Strength through adversity is also one of my best attributes. I always love trying new things and am determined to make sure I succeed to the best of my ability at everything I do. So in saying that, what I lack in experience I make up for with hard work and dedication. Leading up to nationals, a handy trait is also my ability to rise up under pressure which I have learnt through a lot of years of competitive athletics and dancing.
Speaking of being unique we all have different motivations, what is something that motivates you daily or you would say is your passion?
This might sound corny, but chasing my dreams and making them a reality is my motivation. I am currently pursuing a career in modelling, specifically to become a fitness and swimsuit model. This industry is extremely competitive and sadly involves a lot of rejection. In saying that, something my mum and dad have taught me to live by in a nutshell is “life is not about how hard you can get hit, but how much you can get hit and still keep moving forward”.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I have set the goal to hike the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and climb a mountain with my Dad! It is something we have both spoken about since I was 11, but the timing hasn’t been right for either of us just yet… it will happen soon though! So Dad, if you are reading this…get ready!
On a less serious note, I am the biggest goofball you will ever meet! Also, I am very gullible and it certainly has been my downfall at times… but it just means I trust everyone a lot, right? 😉
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
Ever since I was little, it has been in Dwellingup (WA) amongst the pine trees and with no cell reception! I have been brought up in a very active and ‘outdoorsy’ family that loves camping, so this is definitely my favourite place to venture to. Whether it is hiking through the jarrah forest or kayaking along the Murray River through tranquil waters, both are the perfect way to wind down and clear your mind. I feel my most content when I am amongst nature. Seriously though, nothing beats waking up to breaky cooking over a campfire! (or making smores hehe)
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?
It is crazy how in such a short amount of time I have learnt so much about myself. I entered the Miss Universe Australia program because I needed something new to work towards and to push me out of my comfort zone (which it definitely has). I feel like not many 20-year-olds are fully aware of who they truly are and where they want to be in life, but this program has made all of that so much clearer, and I am so thankful for that. Public speaking has never been a strength of mine because I would doubt myself a lot. As time delves deeper into the program, I find I am overcoming that challenge and feeling so much more confident, and it is definitely an important skill to take with you in life. I cannot recommend this program enough! It really does help you become the best version of yourself.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I recently flew back home, and the Perth tradesmen made me feel really welcome when I was driving into the city and had to do a reverse parallel park. As usual, I was hoping no one was watching, because it has never been my strength (especially after not driving for a few months). I was struggling and repeatedly went back and forward back and forward…when I finally executed my perfect park (which felt like an hour later), I stepped out and right above me across the street were 20 tradies watching over the balcony and they all laughed and said “nice 10 point park mate”. Yep to say I was embarrassed is an understatement…
Name five things you can’t live without?
1. My family, partner, and friends (I hope they all count as one)
2. Thai stir fry – all time favourite dinner
4. Chocolate and popcorn (often mixed all together )
5. My phone (as much as I hate to admit it)
How would your closest friend describe you?
I sent my boyfriend and best friend this question, and they both replied saying the same things! Thoughtful and always trying to do the best by others, driven, brave, attentive, honest, funny, selfless and the biggest goof they have met.
Tell me a fun fact about something you find interesting
Fun facts are my guilty pleasure! Hold on tight before you read this one 😉 The sound of a snap is the finger hitting the palm.. not the fingers rubbing together. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time sitting and just trying to snap without my finger hitting my palm. I can confirm it is the most irritating thing!