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 29.
We are chatting with Monique Evren, from Queensland who will be competing for the 2017 title of Miss Universe Australia,
Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Hawkins, Rachael Finch, Tegan Martin & Jesinta Campbell.
First of all the introduction, Why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I am an ambitious and outgoing nineteen-year-old. Only recently graduating grade 12 in 2015 from All Saints Anglican School. Since the beginning of senior school, I have taken joy in helping others and giving back to my community. Receiving numerous awards for community service. I spent and still do spend many weekends volunteering at my local riding for disabled school. I also spent countless lunch times preparing lunch for the homeless, playing ball with kids at the local special school, hanging out the the elderly at a nursing home, cleaning up parks and beaches and participating in sandbank rejuvenation.
Monique Congratulations on making it so far in the such a coveted competition, we have to ask how the overall experience has been so far?
The Miss Universe Australia experience so far has been unbelievable. Parts still feel surreal, and it hasn’t yet sunk in that I’m leaving for Melbourne so soon. Every moment has been filled with joy, happiness and excitement. The team have looked after us girls so well and really do make you feel like a queen.
We have just heard you returned from the Intercontinental Resort in Bali as part of the program, How was the experience and what would you say was your highlight?
Bali was an incredible experience and therefore makes it hard to pinpoint an exact highlight that stood out from the rest. If I had to pick a favourite moment, it would have to be the Bali Life Orphanage. As we were getting ready to leave on the bus, the kids ran on and asked when they would see us again. Their smiles and laughter were infectious, and every moment we spent with them was a moment filled with joy. Another highlight of the trip was the time we got to spend with Tegan Martin, Nia Sanchez and Monika Radulovic. They were happy to pass along advice for both the competition and life in general. Right down to the time I got to spend with the other contestants bonding and forming friendships, just like Tegan and Nia, the Miss Universe journey can develop lifelong friendships. The whole trip was an amazing experience and something I will never forget.
It’s not long now until the finals, how are you feeling in the lead-up and what sort of preparation are you doing, before the finals get underway?
With Nationals only just around the corner, my nerves are starting to kick in. To think I have a chance, along with every other girl on that stage, to represent my country on an international stage is hard to comprehend. In preparation for the finals, I have been trying to live a cleaner and healthier lifestyle. I have also been attending class at PLC in Burleigh to try and stay onto of my fitness. I am feeling confident and excited for the week to come and will be giving it my best shot
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
I always like to ensure I wash all my makeup off, cleanse and moisturise my face before bed.
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
My sister was my main inspiration and drive to enter the Miss Universe Australia Pageant, along with the encouragement and support of all my family and friends.
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
My main inspiration and role model since I was little is Steve Irwin. His passion and drive to promote animal conversation and awareness have always been something I admired. I am a huge animal lover myself and am always thinking I can save them all. We currently now own 2 very adorable cats from the Animal Welfare League and over 15 chickens, some which have been rescued from batteries (very closely knit cages where hens are placed while they lay, until they are deemed “useless” and disposed of) many of these hens with proper care and nutrition have returned to full laying hens again. These may only sound like small contributions, but if I can better the life of just one animal, then I feel like I’ve achieved something. I aim to study and promote animal conservation in my near future.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
Something that people might find interesting about me is that I am a big fan of horror/scary movies. Unless it’s the original wizard of oz. That movie terrifies me.
What does the average day look like for you?
My average day would be just that, an average day. Monday to Friday I do office administration work, occasionally hit the gym and look after the array of family animals. Saturdays I am a volunteer/trainee coach at my local riding for disabled school. When it’s time for bed, I usually squeeze on less then half the bed because my overly fat cat has decided he wants to sleep in the middle, and that is an average week for me.
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
When I’m feeling stressed or upset, I find the best place to unwind is time with my horse. He is a 700kg fluff ball and always seems to brighten my day.
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
“I’m Hungry” anyone who knows me or has spent time around me will know that I am forever hungry and on the hunt for food.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
Of advice I would love to give my younger self would have been, everyone makes mistakes. Your mistakes don’t define you and don’t make you a bad person. Learn from them and don’t make them again.
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
I have participated in camping trips where we carry what we need for the week on our backs, and that makes you learn to live without the unnecessary things in life. Otherwise, your pack will become to heavy. A few things I found myself missing greatly while away were;
1. Of course my family, without them life is boring and lonely
2. A big jar of Nutella and a spoon. An essential on every camping trip, but something that is missed quickly when you’ve burnt all your food and finished the jar by the second night.
3. A warm shower, because swimming in a creek (that is usually freezing) just doesn’t have the same feeling like a nice warm shower.
4. I must admit, I do miss my mobile phone and probably couldn’t live without it.
5. A positive and happy attitude. Something I find very important in my life is always to have people around you that make you smile. We have all had tough days where the world seems like it’s crashing down on us, and for me, the best way to combat these times is to surround myself with people who exude happiness and positivity. Laughter is always the best medicine.