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This gallery contains 11 photos.

Dear Pageant Girl, So I thought I would give it a couple of days before I gave my review of …

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

Dear Pageant Girl, We at DPG are always on the look out for the stars of the season. 2013 definitely …

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Dear Pageant Girl,

Some families are just genetically blessed.

A lot of these families seem to hail from the west.

Who can forget the Biggs sisters Scherri-Lee, Shae-Ann and Nika?


And now we have the Ayris family throwing down a challenge.


Late in 2012 DPG joined the Ayris family at Las Vegas to watch Renae end up an impressive fourth place at the Miss Universe competition.

We had the good fortune of spending time and getting to know her family as well as her little sister, Rachel, at the event.

The two sisters not only share good looks but also a strong bond that would make most BFFs green with envy.


Blessed with a statuesque physique, golden locks and arresting good looks, many wondered when little sister Rachel would try her luck at the Miss Universe Australia crown.

Almost everyone was surprised to find Rachel compete and succeed at the Miss Universe WA Preliminaries, so close to the success of her sister.

Since Las Vegas we have watched Rachel blossom into a legitimate competitor.

Some may call it foolhardy.

We at DPG call it incredibly ambitious and courageous.

And from the little time we have gotten to know the family, incredibly Ayris.

Fortune favours the brave.

Get to know Rachael Ayris!


Tell me about yourself

People tend to think I am a shy person, but I just assess a situation before becoming my outgoing self. I love being around people who bring out the best in me, and have so many of them in my life. I say it how it is, because honesty is the best policy.

What made you decide to join the competition?

I chose to join the competition to help boost my self confidence, as it is something I have always struggled with. The program WA offers is designed to do just that.

As Renae Ayris’ little sister, are you feeling the pressure? Do you think there’s an expectation of getting an Ayris win back to back?

Honestly, I don’t feel any extra pressure. Obviously that would be amazing, and go down in history, but isn’t playing on my mind too much. I am doing this for myself, and just want to give it my absolute best. I also think having a lot of comeback competitors, the pressure is slightly averted.


If you were to compete against Renae in the same year, who do you think would win between the two of you?

Renae and I are very different people. We have different strengths and weaknesses. In fact some of our personality traits are polar opposites. We don’t have a competitive relationship so I have never thought about that, would be interesting though

Tell us about your relationship. Did she share some tips and nuggets of success with you?

We are extremely close and do everything together. Renae is so much fun to be around, we are constantly laughing. She hasn’t given me too many tips. I am an independent person, so really like achieving success on my own. The best way she has helped me is by being there for me, which most people have in a sibling. Although, I have lived the whole experience right by her side.


I saw you in Vegas last year and you saw for yourself how crazy us pageant fans get. Are you sure you know what you’re getting yourself into?

I think it’s great how many people are so passionate about pageants! You don’t really see it in Australia, so it was really interesting seeing all the pageant fanatics congregated in one spot.

Watching your sister go through the competition, what key lessons have you learned and willing to share with our readers?

Renae always preached that you must stay true to yourself. She definitely did that, and I admire how humble she has remained.


Your family have been avid supporters of Dear Pageant Girl for the past year (and we are very thankful for that). Has your family always been pageant fanatics or is this a relatively new thing?

My family are all very close. No matter what Renae and I choose to do, we know that our parents will support it all the way.

What are the advantages of being beautiful?

Exterior beauty will definitely grab someone’s attention, but can only get them so far. People will see straight through that. Having a beautiful soul has far more advantages.


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

I think you need a combination of both. There is only so much you can read in a book, getting out and experiencing the world on all different levels is very important.

How do you define love?

Can you define love? 
Love is complete adoration. You know the things other people don’t like about that one person but you can accept them with all their imperfections. When you’re with them, or without them, there is a force so strong inside you. Nothing you do, or say can express that love. It takes over your entire body.


Who makes better political leaders? Men or women?

I don’t think the gender should come into play. If the leader has the right attitude, knowledge and commitment then they can be a man or woman.

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

I think we would all be looking at the competition, it’s a natural instinct. Of course all the girls are absolutely beautiful, but I have gotten to know the WA girls on a personal level, and I feel like we have what it takes to get the trifecta.

What are you doing to prepare?

I have been a part of the miss universe WA program since last October. We are lucky enough to have some wonderful mentors who work along side us turning us in to the best versions of ourselves. It is more than one time on stage, it is a developmental program.


Who is your favourite Miss Universe Australia and why?

Other than your sister of course!
If I can’t say Renae then I will definitely say Scherri-lee Biggs! Besides the fact that she is breathtakingly beautiful, I think that she embodies everything that a young woman should be.

How do you make a difference?

It is very hard for one person to make a difference, but we all strive to do our little bit, and it all adds up. During my time in the miss universe WA program I have been to cook at the Ronald McDonald house for the sick children and their families. Doing this showed how appreciative people can be. I also held my own fundraiser for Toybox International.

How do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as the girl who stepped out of her sister’s shadow. I want people to know that I worked just as hard as anyone else to earn my place. The only way I can do that is by getting up on the national stage, and absolutely owning it.




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Dear Pageant Girl,

If you have been around as I have (and yes I’ve been around for a while) you start to notice some familiar faces and familiar names come up every now and again.

We have been following this lady for a little while now and she seems to be growing from strength to strength.

It’s nice to see Miss World Australia raise the bar year after year and yes, I will put it on the record that Miss World Australia sure is giving Miss Universe Australia a run for its money.

A model, pageant girl and entrepreneur, it’s nice to see someone so young and so driven in a competition like this.  Placing second last year, will she take it all this year?

Let us know what YOU think.

Presenting, the gorgeous Becky Lamb.


Tell me about yourself.

I am Becky Lamb, 24 years of glorious age, currently living in Melbourne, Vic. I model full time for myself (both agency and freelance), I run an agency called ID Models Australia and I have just launched my own beauty and modelling products website, called Model Essentials (clip-in hair extensions, tanning and body products, office essentials) I work with Brad Jones Racing in V8 Supercars alongside my partner, Fabian, and travel often with the team, supporting him as a driver and also the event. I have an adorably cute dog (I am obsessed!) – a French Bulldog named Bronte and I live the good life. Always busy, always happy – Feeling plenty of LOVE!


What made you join this competition?

I have followed Amber Greasley (Winner, 2011) on twitter for a long time, and remember congratulating her on her win. I followed her journey over the year and felt she did a great job and was generally interested. I the saw the competition advertised and thought I might give it a go. When I saw the difference it could make to peoples lives – not just about being beautiful and looking good in a bikini – I became a lot more intent on entering. 
I competed in the competition last year, and placed second. So I am back with the intent of taking the title, more hungry then ever!


What makes Miss World different from other pageants?

Obviously the compassion of the Charity component. “Beauty with a Purpose” – Speaks for itself.

Define Beauty with a Purpose.

Obtaining external beauty and exhibiting internal beauty for a cause. Using one’s power for good, not evil. Selfless. In other words, being beautiful and using ‘good looks’ in order to help others less fortunate. That is the idea behind it, and a theory that works perfectly well in a charity environment.


How do you define love?

Passionate, healthy and forgiving. I am not religious, however, I think the Bible gives us a perfect definition:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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

Considering the amount of travel I do, I have been to every state and its capital, I’ve enjoyed its beaches, surf and sand, the snow and the desert, the heat of the Darwin summer and the chill of a Melbourne winter. Ive travelled from coast to coast in planes, busses and automobiles, and I don’t think there is one place I have loved more than another. Special mention to the beaches of Nelson Bay and Port Stephens (where I grew up). There is an incredible feeling about that place! As well as the dusty sunrise in Ayres Rock, the tranquil hills of Tasmania, the romance of the seaside walk in Perth and the cal of the ocean in Cairns. Our country is heaven!


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

I am certainly lucky – I am quite naturally fit, and I won the national Fitness competition last year, so I have been training maybe five or six days a week? I’ve been training for the Noosa marathon in August with Fabian as well, so we were already half way there which was nice! For my talent, I have chosen to sing, so I have been doing plenty of singing in the car to the radio, and just doing a lot of listening to how people speak and present themselves in interviews. Obviously public speaking has a huge impact on the final result, which you cannot 100% practice with, so there is a huge natural ability component to it. I am certainly lucky to have the V8 team and a partner who does it all the time to learn from.

What’s your favourite dish?

Well… anything home cooked! I don’t get to do enough home cooking!! I make a mean spaghetti Bolognese or Chicken Stir fry, and my favourite desert is fruit salad with melted chocolate. Mmmmmm so good!


How would you convince anti pageant fans that beauty contests are not degrading to women?

Actions speak louder than words. SHOWING people is much more effective than TELLING people! I enjoy proving people wrong and breaking the norm. You’d never know I was a fire fighter for three and a half years, would you? Don’t judge a book by its lovely cover, plenty of things to discover underneath!

What advice would you give young women who want to enter pageants?

To be themselves. There is nothing more rewarding, more liberating than being yourself. We were all made unique, so why not appreciate and enjoy it? Show the judges what makes you proud to be you. You’ll never be the best of everything, but you can always be the best you.


How are pageants different from modelling?

A pageant is a competition: there are selective elements designed to test and grade you. Modelling is a job. You work, and you get paid to sell and promote a product or service.

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

Briefly, I have seen the DPG images, and note many beautiful women! Experience tells me however, not to judge and not to lose confidence in the wake of intimidation of beautiful images. Confidence is key in believing in yourself. After all, it is a competition!


Who is your favourite Miss World and why?

Maybe not my most favourite, but certainly one that springs to mind for controversy! Gabriella Brum (Germany), The 1980 winner of Miss World resigned after only 18 hours of holding the title. She claims to have not had approval from her boyfriend of the time, but time revealed that she had actually shot and posed nude for a magazine, and didn’t want to be seen in a light other than supposed. She was forced to resign, and later shot for Playboy magazine in the USA. Interesting!

Why should you be chosen to be the next Miss World Australia?

In comparison to last year, I have grown so much. I am stronger, I believe in myself and I have knowledge. Why should I win now? I have the resources, the connections, the following, the determination, the experience and the maturity. I have a stroke of fierce competition, yet a grip of humility and grounding. I have life experiences, I have travelled and I have seen and learnt so much more than many of the elderly, but I also have generosity and time for my passions, and I feel I show great strength and determination to come back and vie for the title once again, after coming so close last year.

How do you want to be remembered?

As a caring, passionate, determined and fair individual. I believe there are always two sides to every story, and I prefer to ask people the truth before making judgement. I would hope that my hard work and dedication to the people and the things I love are remembered, and for being a compassionate and dedicated competitor in the competition.




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Dear Pageant Girl,

And here we are with our first ever Stunner Alert for Miss World Australia 2013 – and it’s a good one.

I have always said that beauty queens are made, not born.  Some realize this early, others, later on in life.

When I first laid eyes on this young lady I knew there was something about her.  She first entered my radar when she competed for Miss World Australia 2012.  A little rough around the edges and obviously green in the world of pageants, she stood out like a sore thumb yet managed to leave a lingering impression on me.

Following her journey to Miss Tourism Australia China, I watched this girl go from strength to strength, sharpening her craft and diving deep into research mode.  She changed her appearance and upped her modeling work knowing that more time in front of the camera can only assist in her pursuit of the crown.

She finally entered the Miss Universe Australia 2013 NSW Heats, making it through to nationals and was touted by many as one of the hot favourites next to Tegan Martin and Melinda Kemp.

The room was astounded (audience and fellow contestants) when her name was not called as one of the finalists moving on to compete at the national finals.

Questions flew thick and fast. Were the judges briefed properly?

Do the judges really know what to look for in a beauty contestant?

Were they drunk?


Even her toughest competitors conceded that her non-inclusion was a crime and questioned the validity of the results and the qualifications of said judges.

Admittedly, I am one of those people and to this day consider that event a major WTF moment.

The trooper that she is, she held her smile, moved forward and has now come back for a second attempt at the Miss World Australia crown, better than ever.  Like Jessica Kahawaty before her, she is determined to show the nation that Miss Universe Australia’s loss will be Miss World Australia’s gain.

Sure, to many she may not fit the traditional pageant mould.  She may not be your classic beauty, but she’s a chameleon – she moves seamlessly between the worlds of commercial and editorial. She has talent. She has grace, elegance and heart.

She respects and honors her commitments to sponsors, her organization and her chosen charities.

And I have never heard a single negative comment said about this lady.

Now isn’t that what the modern beauty queen should be?

Presenting, Erin Victoria Holland.


Tell me about yourself?

I spent the formative years of my life growing up in sunny Cairns, Far North Queensland, before moving to Sydney at 17 after accepting a scholarship for Classical Voice at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I have been a self-confessed “band geek” my whole life, having played the Clarinet and Saxophone since I was 7 and trained in the Jazz and Tap genres since I was 4. Needless to say the entertainment industry has (and will hopefully always be) my life! Upon graduating, I have delved into a fulfilling career that also includes TV and live presenting, commercials and runway and photographic modeling. I am known for my obsession with puppies (any baby animal really), live sport (I will literally watch golf) dorky sense of humour and all things sparkly (seriously, I was a magpie in another life!)

What made you join this competition?

To be considered for a National Title of any description and therefore an ambassador for your country is an absolute honour. I am overwhelmed to be considered a potential Miss World Australia! It is fantastic to see a pageant that embraces contestants numerous talents (referring to the Fitness, Talent, Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose sections) and as an Opera and Musical Theatre trained singer from the Sydney Conservatorium, I am exceptionally excited about the Talent component!


What makes Miss World different from other pageants?

What impresses me the most about Miss World is its emphasis on the importance of charity, and long standing tradition of being so much more than a competition of physical beauty. As times become increasingly tougher, giving what we can back to those less fortunate is so important. I believe Beauty With a Purpose is an incredible initiative, campaigning and most importantly succeeding in making a difference in many peoples lives. The Fast Track competitions rightly recognises that women possess talent in a variety of different fields – It’s anyone’s competition!!

Define Beauty with a Purpose.

The quintessential woman is compassionate, resilient, empathetic, modest and confident within herself and her ability. She understands the value of balancing work and personal life. She understands that “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. We are all different, and that is what makes us beautiful. In regards to the competition, Beauty with a Purpose is the underlying basis of the whole competition. The winner is one who the judges identify as a true philanthropist, with the ability to teach the world that our beauty can be used for powerful and charitable endeavours, throughout her reign and beyond.


How do you define love?

“Love? Love is a many splendoured thing, love lifts us up where we belong… all you need is love!!” You may find it cheesy, but I think Ewan McGregor said it best in Moulin Rouge! In its fundamental form, love is about caring unconditionally, passionately and selflessly for another human being. To love another is an unregrettable experience, for even if it doesn’t end well, we would never wish to have not loved them all. The loves of my life have enriched my journey infinitely, and I will be eternally grateful for the friends, family and partner I speak of.

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

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in sunny Cairns, North QLD until the age of 17, when I left home to purpose my career in the entertainment industry. There is nothing quite like the tropical paradise of Far North Qld – where the mountains/rainforest meet the ocean, the Great Barrier Reef with its infinitely beautiful and varied aquatic life. The cane fields stretch for days and Winter simply does not exist. There is no place like home, however, watching the sunrise over sacred Uluru and riding camels across the ‘Red Centre’ at last year’s competition in the Northern Territory comes a very close second!


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

Unlike any other pageant, Miss World is a multi-faceted competition that demands excellence in Talent, Fitness and Top Model. Thanks to my wonderful sponsors DC Health and Training, I have been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week for grueling Personal Training sessions, coupled with regular dance training. The fitness component of the competition is not to be taken lightly and I am training diligently to ensure I have the endurance to keep up! I have also upped my singing practice to prepare for the Talent section and am currently on the hunt for some amazing repertoire to showcase my skills!! I have also been undertaking a greater volume of Presenting (both TV and live) and MC work to ensure I am comfortable with my public oration skills, and prepared for whatever the judges throw at me throughout the competition.

What’s your favourite dish?

Although not a dish as such, I have an unhealthy relationship with Red Frogs. I am known to have a packet of them (or something of the like) on me at all times. And I mean ALL times. I am always willing to share though!!


How would you convince anti pageant fans that beauty contests are not degrading to women?

It is a shame that competitions such as Miss World are unfairly labeled as a ”meat-market” or “about beauty, and nothing else” (to quote an article recently published by Rita Panahi). In my personal experience of pageantry, this could not be further from the truth. Some of the most incredibly intelligent, philanthropic and entrepreneurial women I am now blessed to call my friends I actually met at competitions. Any event that promotes and encourages the importance of individuality, self-confidence, generosity, philanthropy, compassion and of course inner-beauty in young women is a remarkable thing. Miss World Australia is a shining example of these principles. Regardless of whether I am crowned or not, I endeavour to instill within the community how important these values are within today’s society, lead by example and to show these critics that products of pageants can make a real difference in the world.

What advise would you give young women who want to enter pageants?

Enter without expectation and enjoy what is guaranteed to be an incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable ride. I have travelled to beautiful places in the world, made a sizable contribution to causes I feel very passionately about and met some of my best friends through pageants. I will treasure these memories and friendships for life.


How are pageants different from modeling?

Apart from the advantage of runway, the two disciplines are polar opposites. When I model, I feel as though I am really acting. A ‘blank canvas’. As a model, I am required to be whatever my client, my photographer, my hair or makeup artist wants me to be. A pageant demands me to bare all and present myself as a winner. The judges want to see my capability as an ambassador for my country, my presentation, my physical endurance and my performance on stage. There is nowhere to hide when you are representing yourself, and that is a challenge I enjoy.

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

I would be lying if I said I haven’t looked at the competition. I think there are a lot of girls who have the potential to take the crown, otherwise they wouldn’t be National Finalists! My tactic however is always to focus on myself and my own campaign. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the intelligent and beautiful women who inevitably take part in these competitions year after year!


Who is your favourite Miss World and why?

Aishwarya Rai from India, winner of Miss World 1994 is a fine example of what the crown can achieve, given the right individual. Not only has she forged an incredibly successful career in Modeling, Television, Stage and Film, she is an ambassador for PETA India, A UN Microcredit Spokesperson, a Goodwill Ambassador for Smile Train, an international charity that provides free Cleft lip and palate surgery to children and was newly appointed international Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, the joint United Nations profram on AIDS and HIV. This incredible woman is a dignified, statuesque, beautiful and charismatic humanitarian and a prime example of the characteristics Miss World should embody. A true inspiration.

Why should you be chosen to be the next Miss World Australia?

Opportunities like this simply don’t arise every day, and a title as prestigious as Miss World is not to be taken lightly. It would be the ultimate privilege, to represent our great country on an international platform. I believe I can be an ambassador for all things Miss World stands for, and inspire women to believe that with hard-work, dedication, and confidence within our own ability, anything, any dream can become a reality.


How do you want to be remembered?

As a caring, compassionate and loving individual who tried everyday make a difference. I hope I will continue to always give every opportunity that presents itself 110 percent of my energy, for we are so lucky to live in a country where anything is possible!




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Dear Pageant Girl

It’s nice to see the Maroon State raising the bar this year.  For years QLD has been the home of many of our pageant stars.  But for a few years QLD seems to have decided to rest on its laurels (perhaps to give the other states a chance to win the crown?)

This year QLD is back and they are back with a vengeance.  This year they have their own killer blonde. A beauty with the face of an angel and a killer body.  Perhaps a super model in the making?

You tell us.

Presenting – Selene Coase.



Tell me about yourself?

My full name is Selene Felix Coase and I am a 20 year old student from North Queensland. I am currently living in Brisbane and studying a fashion marketing degree. I am a Queensland girl born and bred and I love beaches, the sun and meeting new people from all around the world. The highlight of my life so far was completing a year overseas in South America where I studied Spanish.

What made you join this competition?

I was motivated to join this competition to challenge myself and I’m a firm believer of taking advantage of every opportunity offered to me. It defiantly has challenged me – making me become more aware of national and international events and issues, public speaking and having a healthy body and mind.


What are the advantages of being beautiful?

I truly believe that beauty is only definable to the individual – the old adage sums it up perfectly “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” The advantages of beauty are undeniable – humans are very visual creatures. Being beautiful is advantageous as it opens up many amazing opportunities in life but I also believe beauty alone can only take you so far – you need a personality, intelligence and the elusive x-factor.

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

I believe that a combination of the two – being well read and aware of the history and monumental amount of knowledge out there is something that will help you achieve your goals in life. But on the other hand street smart is something influenced by the people you know and that you learn from life experiences. Both are equally valuable.


How do you define love?

Simply as a pure, honest feeling free from pain and regret.

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

The most beautiful place in Australia I have visited hands down would have to the stunning Great Barrier Reef. Growing up in North Queensland and having this amazing coral reef on my doorstep is something I am so grateful for. Pollution and Coral Bleaching is an issue I support and hope to raise awareness for.

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

To prepare i am training my body and mind – I am doing lots of research and seeking advice from past contestants. The National Finals are less than a month away and I am so excited to meet all the contestants.

selene body

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

I have heard some horrors unfortunately! – Men can be quite sweet with their pickup lines and I think when they are genuinely trying to compliment you pickup lines can be very effective. The worst I have heard is; “I bet your mum is a babe” A bit inappropriate but it defiantly made me laugh.

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

The advice I would give to all men out there – is to have respect for women. Deep down we all want a prince charming to gallop up and sweep us off our feet. Be confident, funny and sweet. These are all musts in my checklist for a potential partner.


Who makes better political leaders? Men or women?

Gender in politic should not be an issue. Men and Women should be treated equally and judged for their actions and moral standing in the political world not their gender.

How are pageants different from modeling?

I am quite new to the modeling world but the little modeling I have done has been completely different to the Miss Universe competition. Modeling is being a blank canvas and selling a product. In the Miss Universe pageant the product is yourself. It lets the contestants display their own unique personality and individuality which is an amazing opportunity to present yourself to Australia and the world.


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

I have looked at the competition and there are so many accomplished, beautiful women competing this year. It’s very daunting and impressive – I could not pick a singular person as all the women competing are amazing.

Who is your favorite Miss Universe Australia and why?

This is probably the hardest question so far – One of the reasons I am so proud to be a participant in this competition is the caliber of the past winners. Miss Universe Australia has found and supported so many amazing women to achieve their dreams and I admire them all. They are the reason so many women from around Australia enter Miss Universe Australia.


How do you make a difference?

By using every opportunity to make the right choices in this world. I am currently in training for a Charity Marathon supporting my Grandfather who is in advanced stage of Alzheimer – I am supporting and raising money for the Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) foundation and hope to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.




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Dear Pageant Girl,

Victoria sure is firing from the hip this year! The stunners coming out of the Southern State have been nothing short of breath taking and this stunner is no different.

One word describes this southern beauty: ELEGANT.

Her dark sultry looks captured our attention at the Victoria finals. Her performance at the question and answer round impressed the crowd and this interview certainly impressed us!

There’s something mesmerising and enthralling about this beauty.  In a sea of blonde beach babe bombshells, this dark sultry exotic beauty creeps up on you and hits you when you least expect it.

Silent and deadly.

Just the way we like it.

Presenting, Sarah Macleod.


Tell me about yourself.

I am a free-spirited Melbourne girl with an absolute zest for life. In my early years I grew up on a farm in country Victoria so I have always had a love of animals and the outdoors. I now live in inner Melbourne and I love to take advantage of everything this amazing city has to offer. I am currently training as an actor whilst I finish off my double degree in Business and Design. I have a passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures. I love spending time with friends and family, I also enjoy photography, skiing and learning the guitar.

What made you join this competition?

I think this competition provides an amazing way to further develop skills such as confidence, public speaking, composure and poise. I believe it is really important to challenge yourself and I saw this competition as a great opportunity for personal growth.


What are the advantages of being beautiful?

Beauty exhibits itself is so many different ways, a genuinely beautiful person radiates compassion, humility, integrity and a desire to help others. There are limitless advantages for an individual with a beautiful spirit, as they will always positively affect the world around them.

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

I believe a combination of both is important for a well-rounded and balanced life. It is hard to compare the two, as they are so vastly different – education is fundamental to growth and empowerment, however, there are so many lessons which can only be learned from life experiences. A happy balance of the two is ideal for a successful life.


How do you define love?

Love comes in so many forms but I think that fundamentally love is about caring deeply and selflessly for another being. I believe that true love is unconditional and unwavering, and it enriches our lives infinitely.

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  – Seuss.


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

We are so fortunate to live in such a vastly beautiful country, which it makes it difficult to choose just one place. However, I would have to say the most beautiful place to me is a little town in high country Victoria call Jamieson. I grew up there as a child and it is still the most wonderfully beautiful place in my eyes. It is just so peaceful and magical – I always love to go back and visit.


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

I am just trying to make sure that I am prepared as possible so that the final week is not too stressful! I have been practicing my public speaking and preparing for the Q&A section by maintaining a strong interest in current affairs. I am also keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating well, keeping fit and getting plenty of rest.

What is the worst pick up line you have ever heard?

I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a really cheesy pick up line! I personally think they’re hilarious – it shows that a guy has a sense of humour.


What advice would you give Australian men when dating Australian women?

I think that regardless of your culture, the best advice I could give is to be yourself inside and out – I think girls respond best to when a man is genuine and comfortable in his own skin. You will then ultimately find someone who appreciates you for the real person you are. Flowers also help – all girls love flowers!

Who makes better political leaders? Men or women?

I think that gender is irrelevant in determining a person’s ability to be a successful political leader. I think that a person’s leadership abilities and policy decisions should determine a good political leader, not their gender.


How are pageants different from modeling?

Where modeling is focused on achieving a predetermined look for a client, pageants provide a great opportunity to express yourself and show your personality!

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

I think all the girls look lovely! Ultimately there is nothing you can do about the competition as I’m sure they are all amazing ladies, I think it is more important to focus on being as prepared as possible so you can perform to the best of your ability.


Who is your favourite Miss Universe Australia and why?

I do really love Jesinta Campbell, I think her bubbly, up-beat personality and relaxed ‘Aussie’ charm are such great characteristics and winning Miss Congeniality at the final was such a testament to her lovely nature.


How do you make a difference?

I think it is important to contribute back into society in whichever way you can. Throughout my life I have been involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations including The Smith Family, World Vision and the Make Poverty History movement. I have also always had a real passion for animal welfare and have been involved with a number of local and international organisations including the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, RSPCA and WSPA.

How do you want to be remembered?

I would love to be remembered as a person of integrity and character who had a positive impact on those around her. “There’s no time like the present, so start living like the person you want to be remembered as.”




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Dear Pageant Girl,

Drum roll please


Beauty and brains, this pocket rocket of a stunner is driven and a real go getter. Her intelligence and beauty captivated us at the QLD MUA Finals and many who attended the event even went so far as to say that this girl was the face of the competition.

Sure, she’s not the tallest but she’s beautiful and a brunette (HELLO? OLIVIA CULPO! XIMENA NAVARRETE! ERIN BRADY!)

The moment this girl opens her mouth you know she’s ready to wipe the floor with the other girls.  So watch out ladies – a beauty breeze is blowing from the north and it’s building up to be a stunner cyclone!

Watch out for this one……

Presenting, Courtney Thorpe


Tell me about yourself?

Out of all the hard hitting questions I have been asked during Miss Universe so far, I always struggle with this one! I was born and raised in Brisbane and lived with my parents and younger brother until recently when I moved out, because I am all grown up now! I am a big family girl, they really are my best friends. I am a styling teacher and the head of the styling department at the Australian Institute of Creative Design, the Fashion Editor at GCMAG, the Event Coordinator and Style Director of International Fashion Week, a Model and Teacher at Katz Management, and I am studying a Bachelor of Communications. I am also in the process of starting my own business, so needless to say I don’t have much of a social life!

What made you join this competition?

One of my friends suggested that I enter a few years ago. I was too nervous to actually do it at the time, but the thought was always in the back of my mind. I had just come out of a pretty awful relationship when I finally decided to enter because I wanted to do something to celebrate myself, after months of being called fat and being told to change everything about myself! I never imagined that it would be such an incredible experience and I would make some of the best friends!


What are the advantages of being beautiful?

To answer that question, I think I should firstly define what I consider to be beautiful. I think being truly comfortable with who you are, both on the outside and the inside, caring about others, and focusing first and foremost on being a good person on the inside, encapsulates true beauty. So to answer the question, the advantage of being beautiful is that you have the ability to be an inspiration, to make positive impacts on others’ lives, and as a result live a happy and fulfilling life.

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

I am a big advocate of being well educated. As Oscar Wilde said “you can never be overdressed or overeducated.” But I do think book smarts and street smarts go hand in hand, one without the other is like a day without chocolate, just not as productive!


How do you define love?

Love is undefinable. It’s like the wind. Sometimes it can be soft and gentle, then it can be overpowering and scary, all in the same day! We know the wind is there, we can feel it, we can see things being effected it by it, but you can’t actually see the wind or where it has come from. And sometimes as quickly as it comes, it can disappear again. I think that is the best possible way I can explain love, but to define it is impossible.

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

My all-time favourite place in Australia is Melbourne, when I am in Melbourne I feel like I could be anywhere in the world. Plus the shopping isn’t bad either!


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

At this stage, with a month to go until the finals, I am exercising every day, seeing my personal trainer twice a week, and following an eating plan (which I have tweaked a little tiny bit to include chocolate once a day…It’s an addiction, I can’t help it).

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

Not to be boring, but I can’t actually think of an instance that I have been fed a bad pick up line. I just called my best friend to see if she could think of any, but other than a hypothetical “How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice…” I honestly can’t remember ever hearing one!


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

I read a quote the other day that is perfect for this answer (my photo album on my phone is filled with quotes I steal from people posting them on facebook!).

“A boy asked his mum, how will I be able to find the right woman for me? The mum answered, don’t worry about finding the right woman, concentrate on becoming the right man.

So I suggest, to become the right man, and in turn find the right woman, you should: love them for who they are, respect them, be loyal, be honest, be caring. Look, to put it simply, just be genuinely nice!

Who makes better political leaders? Men or women?

I don’t think that is a question that can be based on gender. It should be who makes a better political leader, Person A or Person B? Otherwise we would be comparing stereotypical traits of men and women which may or may not relate to the people in question. Besides we shouldn’t be voting for the person leading a political party, we should be voting for the party that we believe has the right values and attitudes and will run our country in the best way possible, regardless of the gender of the leader.


How are pageants different from modeling?

I have been modeling for years and I now even teach modeling courses at my agency. One of the first rules I was ever taught, and one of the first that I teach now, is that when you are modeling you are essentially taking on a character, you aren’t you anymore, you are whoever the client wants you to be. In pageants, however, you get to be yourself, and that is what the judges want to see.

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

I have been following all the updates on Dear Pageant Girl about the other state finalists, and I know my fellow Queensland finalists, but it is really hard to tell from face value. Of course all the finalists are gorgeous, but as we know, it is about a lot more than that. I don’t think I will be able to answer that until I am down in Melbourne with all the girls.


Who is your favorite Miss Universe Australia and why?

Jennifer Hawkins. I know everyone must say that, but of course she is our biggest inspiration in the pageant world, she won Miss Universe after all! I also really admire how well she used that opportunity to really make a name for herself in both the modeling industry and in business.

How do you make a difference?

As I mentioned earlier one of my several jobs is teaching modeling courses at Katz Management, my agency. Despite what most people think, it isn’t just about teaching girls how to walk or pose. We teach them to accept themselves for who they are, how to be comfortable in their own skin, encourage them to strive to be better people, how to create and achieve life goals (beyond modeling), amongst many other character building traits. I think this is how I am making the biggest difference at the moment. No, I’m not flying over to Africa to build homes, or organising big charity functions, but if I can make one little girl or woman feel good about who she is, then I couldn’t ask for anything more.

sparkle sparkle!

sparkle sparkle!

How do you want to be remembered?

For being me. For staying true to my thoughts, values, morals and beliefs. For staying true to who I am, even if somebody else doesn’t like it! As Dr Suess wrote, (yes I am aware I am quoting a children’s book…but it was my favourite) “today you are you, that’s truer than true, there is no one alive that is youer than you.”




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Dear Pageant Girl,

For the first time in Miss Universe Australia history we have a record number of returns.  Sometimes the drive to compete is so intense that to end up first runner up only intensifies one’s determination to succeed and they willingly gamble their reputation and pride to give it one more go.

Often they come back better than ever.  Case in point: Rachael Finch (who competed for the crown twice – she did not place in 2008 and took home the crown in 2009).

With all the repeat contestants for the 2013 Miss Universe Australia, this could possibly be the most exciting and controversial year yet.

As I said earlier, to end up the second most beautiful woman of the year is no mean feat. But to come back and put your neck on the line the second time around and have that kind of pressure on your shoulders is either incredibly inspired or terribly foolish.

Tegan Martin was a hot favourite when she competed in 2011. Tegan impressed everyone she met with her Barbie-like features and down to earth personality.  I was one of the judges for the 2011 NSW Heats and every time Tegan came on stage, you just can’t take your eyes off her.  As Deborah Miller, Miss Universe Australia Director and beauty maven would say, “she shone like the sun”.  The first time I laid eyes on her, she took my breath away, and surprised me even further by having a beautiful personality.

Tegan embodies your typical Aussie girl next door: friendly, approachable, outdoorsy, loveable and beautiful.  But don’t be fooled by her bubbly and sweet exterior.  Deep inside beats a heart that is determined, focused and driven to succeed.  Get Tegan on stage and immediately she gets into the zone.

It was no surprise that she ended up in the top five and after an amazing answer to a killer final question, many who attended finals night believed Tegan had caused an upset and snatch victory from the hands of crowd favourite, Scherri-Lee Biggs.

History has dictated otherwise and while Tegan ended up first runner, she has since won the Cosmopolitan Model competition and was flown to Paris to work for a few months, sharpening her skills and developing her art.

Tegan is one of the most memorable contestants from 2011.  Everyone who meets Tegan falls in love with her.  Miss Universe Australia judges, employees, sponsors and fellow contestants all love her and it is not uncommon whenever Tegan becomes the subject of discussion that we would receive the response “Oh we LOVE Tegan”.

And after having a year off pageants, Tegan is back and is looking amazing.

Let’s re-acquaint ourselves with this blonde stunner.


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

The last time I competed for the crown was in 2011. It was not something I had ever imagined myself doing and my decision to enter was very last minute but it was the result of a chain of events. Firstly I had won the Face of Frock On – a Newcastle modelling competition and fundraiser for Autism Spectrum Australia’s Hunter School, closely followed by being crowned Miss Sydney Australia in 2011. Soon after, I went directly through to the top 100 for Australia’s Next Top Model – the judges told me I was beautiful although one described pageants as “cheesy”. Within a few days I was at the preliminaries for Miss Universe Australia. At that stage I was completely unprepared! “Flying by the seat of my pants” one might say. Once I progressed to the next stage I had to start getting serious and really began focussing on my preparation which combined with my already busy schedule meant life was pretty hectic. Next I was a NSW finalist – wow! I was meeting some wonderful people and becoming immersed in a whole new world. Finally after much hard work – the national final. The experience was… challenging, tiring, glamorous, exhilarating but so much fun!! The girls were beautiful and friendly and the organisers and co-ordinators friendly and supportive, many of whom I still keep in contact with. This journey has been one of my most memorable and rewarding lifetime experiences to date. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved!

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

To make the top 10 was more than I had expected. I was ecstatic and the adrenalin rush when my name was called was an unexplainable feeling. This feeling soon climaxed when I found myself and one other girl were the only two contestants left on stage. Standing beside Scherri-Lee, waiting for the announcement was intense but somewhat of a blur and I’m sure my heart missed a few beats! Honestly I was surprised to even find myself in that position. At that moment I really wanted to win, it was so close I could almost touch it, so naturally I was disappointed with the result. Ultimately I was overwhelmed and incredibly proud of having achieved what I had. To be placed 2nd out of thousands of girls from around the country at the tender age of 18, was certainly nothing to be ashamed of! At the end of the day it was a competition and there could only be one winner. “The judges decision is final”. I was told it was very close and judging by feedback I received after the event the response to the outcome was divided. I had competed to the best of my ability and I accepted my defeat with grace. Scherri-Lee is a beautiful girl and a friend!


What are the advantages of being beautiful?

It’s sad but true, being beautiful is a definite advantage as people are friendlier to you. It sets you apart from the crowd and opportunities seem to present themselves for no other reason than your appearance, however if this physical beauty isn’t backed up with a  beautiful soul and optimistic and diligent personality the opportunities will not come to fruition.

There has been a lot of media attention recently about the treatment of people by appearance, with journalists dressing as obese people and reporting that public reception to them has been less than desirable, this is the perfect example.

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

I believe a combination of both is definitely invaluable and makes a well- rounded individual but I would have to say “street smart” is slightly ahead of “book smart”. Life has a habit of throwing unknowns at us on a regular basis. Perhaps for some of us these surprises occur rather more frequently than they do for others. This is where street smart is essential. Book smart may mean more certificates but doesn’t necessarily mean practicality. Regularly I hear of people with extensive educational qualifications missing out on a job opportunity only to be beaten by someone without any of the relevant qualifications – probably someone more street smart!


How do you define love?

Love is an intense emotion of which is incredibly empowering. To love and be loved brings us happiness and confidence. In family it is unconditional, often unspoken but that family love, I believe, is the very essence of a meaningful life. In partnership, love is so much more than physical attraction – it is the combination of two souls with an incredible desire to share life with each other and care for one another regardless of the circumstances.

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

Australia is a country with a spectacular and diverse landscape and although I have travelled extensively, here and abroad, I would have to say the harbour-side walkway at Cremorne Point is gorgeous. It is on the beautiful Sydney Harbour and I regularly run there of a morning. It never fails to take my breath away, it’s absolutely beautiful.


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

I guess you could say my preparations for this Miss Universe started immediately after the last time I competed. I have accomplished so much from then to now with extensive travel and work around the world  observing other cultures and dealing with the array of situations that arise. I consider myself far more worldly wise and prepared. I continue to lead a healthy lifestyle however  closer to the finals I will intensify my training and diet. Public speaking is something I am focussing on. Plenty of sleep, water and relaxation time to heal will be the key to my success. That’s all I’m giving away for now!

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

I competed to win Miss Universe Australia in 2011 as I will do again this year. I will probably follow the same procedures for this competition but ‘will up the intensity’ of my preparations. I have the advantage of knowing my weaknesses from the last pageant and will concentrate on eradicating them from this performance.


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

“Somebody better call God ‘cos He’s missing an angel”

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

Australian women are generally fairly fun loving and approachable.  My advice would be to take it slowly and don’t overdo it with the smooth talk! Be confident, polite and respectful to women. Be yourself and don’t drink too much alcohol – that is definitely not a good foundation for successful dating!


Who makes better political leaders – men or women?

Personally I don’t believe gender plays a role in a persons’ ability to be a better political leader. What is important to me and therefore makes them a better leader is someone who is passionate in their beliefs of what is best for the country, they are authoritative yet open to constructive criticism, approachable, intelligent, excellent communicators and have good morals and values.

How are pageants different from modeling?

Pageants are about a carefully selected group of very physically attractive and intelligent young ladies of varied shapes and sizes competing against each other, yet co-operating as a team to provide a spectacular performance for the audience. Interesting concept! Pageants are exhilarating, fast and intense. They are about camaraderie and rivalry (hopefully in a positive way). Modeling is much more diverse. It is not all about beauty. Casting directors are searching for a certain look to portray a character. Models can attend heaps of castings and when on a job can spend a lot of time just waiting around. It is a different pace from pageants.


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

Yes I have had a brief look at the competition however I prefer not to speculate. Focusing on the other girls can provide negative energy as I am sure they are all beautiful. I prefer to concentrate on preparing myself to the best of my ability.