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 Elsie Killick, from TAS 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 23 years old, and I live in Hobart, Tasmania where I work as a graduate structural engineer at a local consulting engineering firm. I love working with numbers and solving problems, and as an engineer, I get to apply these skills on exciting and challenging projects. Balance and moderation are key components of my lifestyle – I love dining out, but you will also find me at the gym six days a week. Miss Universe Australia is my first exposure to modelling and the pageant environment, and I am using it as an opportunity to challenge myself and learn new skills.
So you’ve just returned from the Miss Universe Finalists trip to the Amazing Allia Hotels in Bali… How was the experience?
The National Finalists trip to Bali exceeded my expectations in all aspects and was a truly once in a lifetime experience. We were incredibly spoilt by Alila, staying at their resorts in Ubud, Seminyak and Uluwatu which were all unique but equally amazing. What really made the experience for me was getting to know the other finalists and learning about their background stories, motivations and goals. Following the trip, I felt more focused and determined in what I want to achieve on my Miss Universe Australia journey.
We know there was an amazing program of things for you all, what was your highlight?
For me, the highlight of the trip was the day I filmed my interview and had my swimwear photoshoot with Perry McLaughlan. This was the busiest day of the trip for me and the day that pushed me most outside of my comfort zone having never previously filmed a television interview or taken professional photographs. I was running on adrenaline and pushing myself to do the best that I could, and when the hype of the day was over, I felt content with what I had achieved. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than pushing myself out of my comfort zone and proving to myself I can accomplish things while also having fun.
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?
Between working full-time and the day to day intricacies of life I do not have a lot of spare time so it is important for me to remain as organised as I can and keep myself accountable. Going to the gym six days a week is already part of my weekly schedule and is essential not only physically but also for my mind-frame. The final is going to evoke all natures of emotions, particularly anxiety and preparing myself for these emotions is necessary so that I can be comfortable being uncomfortable. I am also spending a lot of time thinking about how I define myself, the people who I aspire to and the things I want to achieve. No matter what the outcome of the National Final is, I want to be able to walk away knowing that I was genuine to myself and did the best that I could.
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?
My profession as an engineer is highly male-dominated, and I have been surrounded by men throughout both my university studies and in my professional career. I believe this gives me a unique perspective to use as a basis to appeal to other women who are also in male-dominated professions or for women who are thinking about entering these fields.
Speaking of being unique we all have different motivations, what is something that motivates you daily or you would say is your passion?
In every task I undertake, whether that be at work or picking out an outfit for an event, I am motivated by my drive to be the best that I can. This is important to me because I want to be someone that other young women and girls can look up to as a role model. I am especially passionate about showing women that engineering and other STEM fields are a valid career path and that there is no mould or stereotype that you need to fit in to forge a career in the industry.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
People are often interested to know that in my final year of university I wrote an honours thesis on cross-laminated timber buildings.
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
My favourite place to wind down and relax is my bedroom at home! My bedroom is my own curated space and where I take the time to think and be creative. My cat Brian also loves to spend time in my room with me, and there is nothing more relaxing than hanging out with your pet!
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?
I am continually looking for ways in which I can develop myself personally and professionally, and I feel that the Miss Universe Australia program is an excellent opportunity for me to do that. It has been a great networking opportunity to talk to women from all over Australia who are on different career paths and have different interests. I find that it is easy to become self-centred and ignorant of the experiences and situations of other people. I hope that through engaging with the other girls, the judges and everyone else we have met along the way I have improved my awareness of others.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I recently undertook a site inspection at a school and was wearing my hi-vis vest. It was, and the teachers on duty were also wearing hi-vis. I was facing a wall and taking some measurements, and this little boy came running up to me asking for help with something, and I turned around ready to say hello, and he looked at me with most horrified face realising I wasn’t a teacher! He ran off straight away before I could even say anything – I didn’t think I looked that scary, but apparently, I do!
Name five things you can’t live without?
I would be lost without my calculator, cheese, friends and family, Netflix and the gym!
How would your closest friend describe you?
Loyal, driven, supportive and perfectionist.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to have fulfilled the requirements to become a chartered engineer with Engineers Australia. Becoming chartered means that you have reached a level of professional development where you have the adequate skills and expertise to make informed engineering decisions and work competently independently. I also recently purchased a block of land, so I am hoping by then I will have built a house!