1). Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
By trade I am a Film & TV Producer, having worked an various Feature Films, TV Series and countless smaller projects. I also work in front of the lens and on stage as a model, TV presenter and MC. In recent years, as Mrs Australia, I represented Australia in Mrs Globe, Mrs World and Miss Multiverse. Miss Multiverse is also a Reality TV Show. After falling in love with the brand, I decided to bring the contest and TV Show to Australia. So my main career focus at the moment is working as National Director for the contest and Producer for the accompanying TV Show. Saying that, I also have two feature films and post-production, Tabernacle 101 and Turbines. In 2014 I started a charitable film festival called "Cause Film Festival", with all profits going to the winning films nominated charity. This, plus a number of other charity initiatives that I was involved in, saw me being nominated as Australian of the year in 2016.
2). Why did you want to get involved with Miss Multiverse and bring it to Australia?
I just fell in love with the brand and what they stand for. Looking for multi-faceted ladies that are not only models but also educated with good social, interpersonal and emotional intelligence. It is so different to the usual contest that is about looks alone. With my background in Screen Producing and Modeling, it just seemed like the next logical step in my career. Miss Multiverse Australia essentially ties a number of my "life path's" together into one amazing journey.
3). What advice would you give to potential entrants into the competition?
The competition is not for the faint hearted or the lazy. You really do get pushed to the limit, so you need to be strong and resilient. But at the same time it creates a platform where you get to showcase who you are in all facets. Through pushing yourself prior and during the competition, you learn a lot of great skills and you learn allot about yourself too. The reward for being a part of something like this, and coming out stronger on the other side is huge! Just be yourself. There is nothing wrong with having many layers to your personality and skill set, so why try and be something else. We are looking for models with a lot of other amazing qualities, but we also look for girls that are healthy, within a bmi of 18 and 24 is accepted. There are a lot of physical activities involved, so make sure that your health is in check, as much as your modeling skills.
4). What was the best tip you ever received?
That people make their own destiny and that by sitting and waiting for things to come your way, you will achieve nothing. If you want something, you should make it happen. I have lived by this rule all my life, and instead of accepting defeat or waiting for things to come my way, I make things happen and get up when I fall.
5). How has the competition changed over time with the introduction of social media?
Social media has most certainly caused a lot of change in competitions like this, as well as the modeling industry as a whole. Your following and your ability to effectively use social media has become an extension of your "package". Clients want to use models and talent with large following so they can tap into the fan base of the model. It makes sense. If you think about it, the reason they hire a model is to promote some sort of product. The aim is publicity and advertising. A model with a larger following will spread awareness of the product even further, so why would they not tap into that opportunity. (Tip: models who work with brands with a large following will get the same benefits, and tap into the brand's following).
For this reason, model contests need to make sure that their finalists have their social media down pact and can demonstrate an effective use and understanding thereof. Take Miss Multiverse Australia for example, part of what we want to achieve is to create awareness of our models. For this reasob we have strong strategies in place to ensure that our social media following grows, which means the publicity of the model grows too. But if the model does not take any ownership of her social media, the efforts we put in will fall onto unfertilized ground. However, if a model knows how to create a following, we can work together to increase her profile and to give it momentum till long after the competition is over. The sneaky added benefit of having a larger following is that you get more job offerings and free products to endorse
6). What can we expect to see from the top finalists, is there a common thread you see every year of that winning formula?
2017 was our first year in Australia, but we follow the guidelines of the brand which means the girls must be models, they must be educated or have a good career (or studying), good social skills, they must be fit and healthy, they must have good interpersonal skills, and much more. You might think it is impossible to find someone with all of these qualities, but it does exist. Of course, no one is perfect and perfection is not necessarily what we are looking for. Looking at finalists and winners from other countries and the world finals, I think authenticity always comes out on top. I would say that is what separates the winners from the finalists.
8). What does the future look like for Miss Multiverse Australia and where do you see yourself in ten years time?
We have exceeded all expectations for the first year in Australia. The wonderful and unconditional support from head-office in the Netherlands and our local supporters, really blessed us this year. We had over 700 applications of which 50 went through as Regional Finalists. We are confident that in 2018 we will have even more and stronger contenders. We have a few great events and opportunities coming up for the year ahead, so there is no chance of slowing down.
I am hoping that in 10 years time our brand will be the new benchmark for model contests, and that the stigma of modes being nothing but looks, is something from the past. Because it simply is not true. Through the TV Show we have a great opportunity to demonstrate this to the world, in particular young women. It would be amazing if we can have a positive impact on your young girls and show them that there are no limits to what you can achieve and who you can be.