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 Lily Thorne, 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 there! My name is Lily, a couple of random facts about myself. I am a self-confessed shopaholic, I come from a crazy blended family where I am the eldest of seven children, I have a slight obsession with caffeine, I am obsessed with all things to do with psychology and neuroscience, and I live with only one functioning kidney, which has lead me to be passionate in raising awareness and funds to help Australians living with disease!
So you’ve just returned from the Miss Universe Finalists trip to the Amazing Allia Hotels in Bali …. How was the experience?
The experience was honestly like nothing you could ever imagine! It is hard to put into words the emotions you feel during and after this trip, grateful, inspired, empowered, excited, and HAPPY are just a few of these. It was incredible to meet the other National Finalists as well as develop relationships with the directors, the MUA team and the sponsors. Alila Hotels and Resorts is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever been, I will cherish my experience in their wonderful hospitality forever, and I hope to return one day!
We know there was an amazing program of things for you all, what was your highlight?
My favourite moment of the trip was at Da Maria; the restaurant had an amazing vibe, we were all up dancing and singing, eating pizza and splashing water around. There was not one person in the room without a huge smile on their face, it was pure fun, and at that moment not one person was worrying about anything except trying to not fall off of a water feature or keeping an eye out for when more pizza arrived!
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?
I am preparing to bring the best version of myself to the National Final, this to me means being in the best shape possible both physically and mentally. Exercise is an essential aspect of my life, boxing and pilates are my main focus, and I complete these daily. I am incredibly excited for the National Final; I cannot wait to be reunited with the group and see who will be the next Miss Universe Australia.
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?
I think what sets each of us apart is our aspirations of what we plan to achieve as Miss Universe Australia. I am passionate and focused on helping to benefit the Australian community through fundraising and raising awareness. I believe the winner has a unique opportunity to use the platform for whatever they choose and believe this would allow me to share with Australia and the world my hopes and ambitions.
Speaking of being unique we all have different motivations, what is something that motivates you daily or you would say is your passion?
My passion is to dedicate my life to helping others. This has been fueled by living with only one kidney and essentially living without a safety net. Growing up going in and out of hospital I was exposed to circumstances many Australian families are sadly in. This taught me to be grateful for the life I am lucky to live and to always reach for the stars, the perfect quote which sums up how I desire to live is “The noblest art is that of making others happy”.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
People normally are quite interested and shocked that I only have one kidney! Their first reaction usually is to feel sorry for me and often assume this means I am at a disadvantage to the rest of the world. I am very glad to share that my one kidney is quite extraordinary and decided it needed to grow double in size to compensate for the other. The only issue would be if something were to ever happen to it, then, unfortunately, I wouldn’t have a backup option like the rest of you!
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
At a hidden bungalow in the middle of the Sri Lankan Mountains. My partner is Sri Lankan, so we do often get to travel there, on our last trip we discovered a private bungalow where there was no television or reception, we spent four days there playing Uno, drinking tea and literally just admiring the view, I have honestly never felt so relaxed in my life!
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?
The program has allowed me to develop myself in aspects which I will be able to take into my workplace, my studies and my relationships. Whether this is from the learning experiences of the Powerful Impressions workshop where we analysed different personality traits or purely from experiencing a ‘competition’ where 30 women help to empower each other. The program indeed allows you to be the best version of yourself.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I have a (HUGE) Alaskan Malamute – Jet, and I wanted to get him a teepee/tent for him to lay in as he has the tendency to sleep in one spot 24/7. So I found one online which looked perfect, and there was a dog pictured inside for comparison, anyway it arrived a few days later, and as I started unpacking it, I began to realise I may have underestimated Jet’s size. Let’s just say his head struggled to fit inside the tent which most likely would fit a chihuahua. Safe to say I am never trusting Kmart online shopping again.
Name five things you can’t live without?
Family, Coffee, Popcorn, Online shopping, The kidney that I have remaining
How would your closest friend describe you?
Lovable, Caring, Kind, Compassionate, Intelligent, Considerate, Driven, Passionate and Innovative.
What do you desire for the Australian community to be like ten years from now?
I hope that ten years from now we can look back and laugh in disbelief that at a point in history a referendum was held to decide if two people who love each other could get married. I hope we can’t imagine a time where a woman would earn less than a man in the same position purely because of her gender. I hope that 20 years from now we live in a society that fully embraces diversity, including all races, shapes, sizes and genders.