Well, it’s that time of year when the search to find Miss Universe Australia is reaching that crowning moment. Australia’s National finalists have just returned from their international boot camp trip to Karma Resort Kandara. Set for the national final held later this month in Melbourne at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Wednesday, August 31st, 2016.
Starting off our national finalist interviews, we have Stephanie King of Tasmania, who will be competing for the title of Miss Universe Australia.
Congratulations on making it so far in the coveted Miss Universe Australia competition. How does it feel to have made it so far? Like a dream inside a dream. I never thought about-about entering until I was approached by a modelling agency and was like; “Woah! Why not, this could be a lot of fun”. So far being this far into the competition, I have learnt so much about myself and have gained a lot more confidence and knowledge.
Tell us a little about yourself..? I’m currently 22 years old, studying a Bachelor of Education (primary), I was Tap, jazz and ballet trained for 17 years. I now teach hip-hip and ballet, compete in Latin American dance competitions and work at a Local IGA.
What would you say is your drive or motivation for entering such a contest? I believe that my drive and motivation for entering a contest such as Miss Universe Australia would be that I am extremely passionate about motivating and educating people. I also believe that it is a huge platform that assists in opening up and broadening my voice and opinion and being a positive role model for all females.
You have all just returned from a team trip to Karma Resort Kandara in beautiful Bali, What a fantastic experience? OMG” Whenever I hear the word Karma/Kandara or Bali, I just get excited and automatically think about the amazing experience I had when I was there! I’m sure it will be one I take to the nursing home with me! I have never ever come back from a trip so excited, renewed and positive! I have gained so many friends from other states that I guarantee that will be life long. I was completely blown away by how lovely everyone was and how willing people were to help or give guidance (especially for photo shoots and posing, I was so grateful to the girls that helped me as I have never modelled before).
We heard you got to take part in some amazing experiences as part of your trip? So so so many incredible experiences, each that I hold closely to my heart and cherish. The main highlights that feel so surreal were: the resort, just being there was an experience because never in a million years would I have ever dreamed of going to such a luxurious place. Photoshoots and filming, I have never been one to have a lot of photos taken or have a camera in my face, but it is something that I eased into, and I enjoyed, something I wouldn’t mind looking into. BaliLife Orphanage was so warming; I just loved the effort that the kids had put into their routines that they had made up to perform! I don’t think I stopped smiling. I loved how happy the kids were, and it was so nice to hear of their successes and what our help from the ToyBox charity had raised, have done and what our donations will go towards in the future. I loved the Egmagi workshops about personal image; I gained a lot of knowledge about myself and how I would like to present myself. I loved all of the amazing restaurants/Bar’s that we went to. To be honest, there was never a dull moment, and I LOVED every mili-second of it!
What was it like meeting all the other finalists from across the country? We are sure some new friendships formed. Incredible!!! Never have I ever met so many gorgeous, intelligent and driven girls at once. This is not what I was expecting, still not over it! I have formed several new friendships, I have kept in contact with so many girls, and everyone is being so supportive of each other leading up to the finals.
Now you are back home gearing up for the national finals what are your preparations looking like in the lead up to finals? Well, I am mixing up my workouts and trying to add in a little extra than normal. Training hard for a dance competition which is a couple of weeks before the final and trying to smash out a bunch of assignments. I am going to be working with a fantastic designer (Rudolf Couture) on my evening gown, so excited. Keeping up with global issues and watching and reading news reports. Promoting the ToyBox International charity online and socially. I like to keep myself cool, calm and collected with a positive mind set; I just want to be the best that I can be and not feel as though I am competing against others. “Be the best version of you” “Busy people get more done”.
If you were to win the title, what do you hope to take from the experience and are there any social causes you hope to raise attention to in this period? It would be a dream come true to take home the crown. Using the Miss Universe Platform, I would love to promote and raise the attention to the charity One Girl. One Girl is a charity that is all about empowering women (perfect fit aye?). Sierra Leone and Uganda are the worst possible places to be born a girl. Why? Because a girl born in this place is more likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to go to high school. Being so passionate about education and understanding the ethics behind it, I think it is so, so important that everyone is provided with an education. This charity is striving to provide education to over 1,000,000 girls by the year 2020. I am currently undertaking a workshop/course to become an ambassador for the charity.
Well now we pick up the pace a little with some rapid questions As this year the rivalry between state is set to bring a new element well maybe that’s just us hyping it up, Why do you think your state has what it takes to win?I don’t think there is the rivalry at all between the states as we are all supportive of each other and are interested in what happens in each state and the different ways of living. Although Tasmania is small, there are a lot of big and great things (the unexpected) that come out of it. I am so proud to represent Tasmania!
If you had to describe one thing that makes you stand out from the other contestants what would it be? I’m from Tassie (joking). I’m a loving, caring and empathetic person with a big heart and am always putting others before myself. I care about others feelings. I think that my relaxed approach and carefree nature might be something that will stand out.
What is something you find yourself always saying? “Oki Doki”
What is your must have item, that you take everywhere? CHEWING GUM!!! I’m so pedantic on having fresh breath. Gotta stay fresh! *haha*
What are a few things that not many people know about you? I’m not a competitive person. People don’t know that about me because I compete all of the time with dancing. I do it for the love and the feel that I get from performing and giving people pleasure/satisfaction. My dad is Burmese, and my mum is Welsh – people know I have a mix but never sure what, so there it is.
And finally, what is your guilty pleasure? Staying at home all day, in my pjs with peppermint tea, chocolate and popcorn and a good chick flick or Harry Potter.