You represented New Zealand as World Miss Tourism Ambassador. What is the most memorable moment of your reign?
I am so grateful for my experience in the Philippines as New Zealand’s World Miss Tourism Ambassador. I know few will have the opportunity to represent their country internationally, and so every moment was a highlight. The most valuable part of the experience was being in the presence of girls from 43 different countries at once, and gaining an insight into the worldviews of the diverse group of people. I think we all bring something of value and the collaboration of our collective talents and understandings is what makes the experience so memorable.
Tell me something about yourself and your work. What do you actually do, and have done in the past?
Education is very important to me and I am very lucky to have the privilege of having access to an education. Education is power, and so I try to make the most of my opportunity to study. I am currently in my third year working towards a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. I am passionate about improving health outcomes for those who are marginalised and left disadvantaged in our society. I hope to use my degree to work in health promotion and to use my voice to advocate for those who are unable to use theirs.
What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants?
Pageantry is not as popular in New Zealand as it is in other places in the world. Because of this, I received a lot of questions and comments from those who did not understand the appeal of entering a beauty pageant when I decided to join my first national pageant, ‘Miss Five Crowns New Zealand’. The director of Miss Five Crowns, Pam Cummings, wanted to see my confidence develop and to use my voice to advocate for things that I am passionate about.
What do you expect to gain by competing in pageantry?
I’ve already gained some amazing experiences and a whole new network of friends from my time in pageantry, so it is hard to believe that there is even more to come. As I am only in my first year of competing, I am still developing my confidence and public speaking skills but I hope to become more comfortable on stage answering questions and speaking to the press.
Who is your ideal beauty queen and why?
I admire all beauty queens! It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. There is a huge amount of pressure as you’re constantly being judged; this applies to the competition but also the public lives they live. Being watched and making sure you are a good reflection of your organisation at all times is a stressful task, and so beauty queens who maintain a high moral standard and work hard to make a difference in their position are my role models.
What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?
My advice is to make the most of any opportunities you are given and to always remember those less fortunate than yourself. When you reflect on what others do not have access too, you become more appreciative and aware of what you do have. I think that awareness of your own privileges in life is an incredible motivator and can help you push through the times where you may consider giving up. The road to winning a crown is tough, and the job that follows afterwards during your reign also has its tough times, but reflecting on those who would also like to be in your position of opportunity reminds you to persevere and learn to enjoy the good with the bad.