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 Vera of Victoria, 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?
It is honestly very surreal, every single day i have so much gratitude for everything and everybody in my life. Being in MUA makes you push harder, aim higher and teaches you so many valuable things and the most amazing part is to be around such motivated women who are so positive and all so different.
Tell us a little about yourself..?
I run a styling business and am a qualified makeup artist and eyelash extensionist; I love donating my services and time to charity with what I do. I do karate, and there’s nothing more I love than pushing myself in the dojo. I am also a really big animal person and come home straight to my sisters and dog Rosie every day; we have so much fun together. I love to rollerblade and getting out in nature is what you will find me doing, and I love on trips with my family! I’ve graduated from my marketing degree at RMIT University, and my long term goal is to have my own business that gives back to the community, and its people in so many ways where it’s needed most. I’ve done a year of acting school and a couple of short films. I prefer TV to modelling because I can bring my personality into what I do a lot more and I get to connect with people more.
You have all just returned from a team trip to Karma Resort Kandara in beautiful Bali, What a fantastic experience?
The opportunity we had to go to Karma Kendara was something I had never experienced before, everything about the trip was so organised and based on just having fun together and getting out of our comfort zones together as a team.
We heard you got to take part in some amazing experiences as part of your trip?
My favourite thing was the private beach! Imagine paradise in a dream…well this was better! The beach is where I love to be most of the time even when I am at home.
What was it like meeting all the other finalists from across the country? We are sure some new friendships formed.
We’ve all really thought about who I am and where I ultimately want to go, We’ve learnt so much about ourselves and a vast array of things. It puts a lot into perspective being in the spotlight and knowing you have such big goals, you really learn your strengths and weaknesses, the journey has been incredible regarding meeting all the girls, and sponsors. Its so amazing hearing all the girl’s stories and ambitions, and then getting to celebrate them throughout the journey together as a team up on stage and social media. I feel that there is so much variety this year, and it’s so refreshing!
Now you are back home gearing up for the national finals what are your preparations looking like in the lead up to finals?
I’m really trying to eat well and the most important thing is to stay positive and have a clear mind. I’m just having fun, working towards my goals and pushing it a little harder in the gym.
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?
Personally, if I were lucky enough I would just be myself, but the best version of myself. I want to be able to grow as much as I can and never stop learning and challenging myself. I’d love to be able to give back double to my community, friends, family and the rest of Australia. For me, mental health is something that has affected my family and myself, it’s so important to know you have help and support. You never know what somebody has been through, I’d love to be there to inspire and encourage not only women but the entire country and show them that everybody has the resources to be able to achieve whatever they want.
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?
Our state loves to push boundaries and takes it that little bit further. The gym, fashion, adventure and drive! We get along so well; I think we are such a strong team, and there’s just such a good vibe and connection.
If you had to describe one thing that makes you stand out from the other contestants what would it be?
I feel that there is so much variety this year and its refreshing. I know that I am already set apart from each of the girls because of who I am naturally, and the same with each of them, we all have our original flavour. I think I can communicate without words, through my style and my attitude, and I think its important to be able to capture attention and then you can reach them on a deeper level. I’m trying to be up with a smile, and I can laugh at everything, and that’s what people connect to, somebody who is just comfortable in their spirit and it rubs off on people who come to you.
What is something you find yourself always saying?
Let’s watch a movie! I am such a movie freak; I love the different stories, the actors, the art, the creativity, just all of it. I feel like even though I am sharing the experience with someone, I still get me time as well.
What is your must have item, that you take everywhere?
I love my diary, it’s so cute and helps me keep organised. It helps me get things done quicker. I don’t like being on my phone too much so my diary breaks it up for me and gets me off it!
What are a few things that not many people know about you?
A lot of people don’t know that I can speak Russian, and I’m spiritual. I read energy books and believe in the stars and energy; my salt lamp helps me sleep at night. I think the energy you give off is what you get back, and that makes me naturally be a loving kind person.
And finally, what is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure doughnuts!! Any flavour but especially anything with custard! Yummy!!