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Tell me about the last time you competed for the crown. How was that experience?

The last time I competed in Miss Universe Australia was in 2012 and it was the first and only pageant I have ever entered.  The pageant industry was something that was completely new to me, especially the question and answer section.  Throughout the pageant last year I persisted to gain knowledge on an industry that was so foreign to me in order to better myself.  I met so many amazing people throughout the event, many of which I still keep in touch with today.  Miss Universe Australia was a truly enlightening experience for me, I feel like I learnt so much about myself due to being challenged and taken out of my comfort zone, I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the experience!

MARYKOOEY

Tell me what it was like for you placing first runner up?

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it was to come first runner up.  As it was my first pageant I was going in with an open mind.  I am a very determined and strong willed person by nature and always try to get the best out of myself however there were so many beautiful girls competing and it all came as quite a shock to me, it was an honour to be placed as first runner up.

marytop2

What are the advantages of being beautiful?

For me being beautiful is more than just being physically appealing, beauty is about radiating an inner magnificence to the outside and being the best person you can be.  The advantages of radiating such an inner beauty is that you are happy within yourself and from that stems a confident person who feels good about themselves.

mary3

What gets you further in life – book smart or street smart?

Being book smart will fill you with sound fundamental knowledge that is essential to what you want to achieve in life, for example studying to become a lawyer.  This key knowledge will then help in being more ‘street smart’, assisting with decision making and raising awareness on topics.  Likewise gaining experience, making mistakes and dealing with more practical situations can aid in becoming more book smart.  They come hand in hand really and I think to go further in life it is important to be a mixture of both ‘book smart’ and ‘street smart’.

How do you define love?

Tough question!  Love is almost an indescribable emotion, however I would define love as a feeling of unconditional affection, adoring someone no matter what and always wanting that person to be happy.  Love is so broad it can be felt and interpreted so differently by everyone.  I am fortunate enough to belong to a family where everyone constantly supports me, challenges me, comforts me and always wants what is best for me and feel so loved by them all.

marybubble

Tell us about the most beautiful place you have visited in Australia?

Australia is full of beautiful landmarks and places but the place closest to my heart is the Great Ocean Road.  The amazing scenic view stretches along the South-Eastern coast of Australia with breath-taking outlooks all along.  It’s a place to rejuvenate and truly appreciate the country that we live in………I guess that’s why they call us the lucky country!

mary1

What are you doing now to prepare for Miss Universe Australia?

Well that would be telling 😉

marylaser

What would you do differently this time around when re-competing for Miss Universe Australia?

Continuous improvement is the key.  This time I will be going into the competition with the same determination as last year however I will take advantage of my knowledge that I gained previously.  Since the pageant last year I have been working on improving myself in many ways and gaining confidence over that period.

mary

What’s the worst pick up line you have ever heard?

Haha unfortunately it was, “Your name must be Gillette because you’re the best a man can get!”

What advise will you give Australian men when dating Australian women?

My advice to Australian men, or any man for that matter, would be to always be yourself, true colours shine through eventually and you want someone to love you for the person you really are.  I think it is always vital to be honest because that is the base for a trusting relationship; also showing some chivalry never hurt anyone.

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Who makes better political leaders? Men or women?

I believe that gender does not play a part in good political leadership.   It is about the representation of what the Party “believes in” and “stands for” that makes them a great leader.  It’s about making hard decisions for the future of our country and fellow person that makes them a great leader.

maryleopard

How are pageants different from modelling?

From experience I feel that pageants and modelling are very different to each other.  Both can be quite challenging however pageants are much more personal.  When you enter a Pageant you sign up for a commitment, there is so much preparation that girls go through in order to participate in pageants such as organising gowns, make up, hair and speaking and presentation skills amongst many other things.  It comes with responsibility and obligation to always be the best role model for future entrants and to fulfil the role to the best of your ability.

mary4

Have you looked at the competition? Who do you think is your biggest competition?

Miss Universe Australia is the most prestigious pageant in Australia and I know that competition will be tough as there will be so many beautiful girls participating.  At this stage I am just trying to focus on my own preparation, to make sure that I am in the best position to compete amongst all of these girls.

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*all photos courtesy of Mary Vitinaros

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