By Lori-Rose McGinty (Guest Writer) Photo by Nelson Cortez.
It was an early start to meet and interview the New South Wales entrants, selecting only four (4) as Finalists to compete at the National Finals for the title of Miss Humanity Australia 2014.
Miss Humanity Australia is an innovative pageant that advocates humanitarian causes through raising funds and awareness, being role models, inspiring young women to participate in charitable initiatives and overall enriching the perception of beauty, spirit and compassion.
Each of the entrants I met were delightful, compassionate and had so much dedication for the charities close to their heart. They truly embodied the values of the pageant.
The finalists selected were: Lauren Judd, Tersha Rich, Brittany Bloomer and Michelle Paul. These four woman are inspirational and it was a delight to have an opportunity to spend the afternoon with them on a photoshoot at Bondi.
What is the cause that you support and why were you driven to that cause?
TR I support a multitude of charities, but my main cause, is the Heal for Life Foundation, which aims to rehabilitate survivors of childhood abuse. I am driven by the long term effects I see abuse can have on today's youth and older generations, and how just one person can ultimately save a life.
MP I support the Healing School along with Inner City Missions. This is based on helping children who are less fortunate. Our main statement is "Every child is your child" and with this said; the children are the future. I believe it is important to sponsor children who are less fortunate so that they too can have hope for the future as well as receive quality education, food and resources regardless of the country that they are in.
What made you decide to enter Miss Humanity Australia?
BB Miss Humanity Australia stood out to me, as it is a pageant purely focused on making a difference in the world. I was in the midst of working on Pound Paw’s (Animal Re-homing website), so I saw it as a great platform to speak out and raise awareness about it.
LJ Miss Humanity Australia considers the holistic individual and promotes advocating for humanitarian causes. These are both important to me as I strive to raise awareness and education within the community on contemporary issues such as cancer, health promotion and empowering individuals to an active role in their health and wellbeing. I am a 24 year old registered nurse and believe Miss Humanity Australia empowers young women to inspire others to act, support and advocate for humanitarian causes. These were important considerations when I decided to enter Miss Humanity Australia; not only was I entering a pageant for myself, but I was also raising awareness of causes I support such as neonatal intensive care and ovarian cancer at the same time. Combining my interests empowered me to enter as I aim to make a difference in the community.
How is Miss Humanity Australia different than other pageants?
BB Miss Humanity Australia is a one of a kind pageant. This is why I was so drawn to it. It focuses on girls that are passionate about making a difference in the world, not just pretty faces. This pageant judges girls by the ability to conduct conversation, public speak, fundraise and many other fundamental skills that contribute towards making a difference in the world. All of the girls in the National Finals have been involved in several fundraisers throughout their lives - it is not something they decide to do because of the pageant, it is part of their everyday life. The girls I have met in this pageant are determined, smart and of course, beautiful - regardless where we place, I am sure we will all continue working together in the future achieving amazing outcomes.
What are you looking forward to most about the National Finals?
LJ I am very much looking forward to visiting Melbourne and meeting the other national finalists from around Australia. I believe meeting similarly minded young women will make the journey to national finals very exciting and will empower us all to work harder in support of our chosen advocacies. Also I am very excited to be part of the National Finals and represent NSW on a national level. It is a privilege to be chosen and I am looking forward to putting my best foot forward by upholding Miss Humanity Australia’s ‘Beauty on a Mission’.
BB I am really looking forward to educating the audience about Pound Paws and what it stands for. Pound Paws is something I have been working very hard towards for the past few years, so to share my excitement with the audience, contestants and judges will be a special moment for me.
The Times 100 Most Influential a People lists pop star Beyoncé alongside Pope Francis, Hilary Clinton, and 16 year old education activist, Malala Yousafzai. Do you think the cultural influence of celebrities is as meaningful as that of an activist or politician?
BB Society is quite obsessive with celebrities, as we are all aware of… They are always on the front pages of magazines / talked about on radio and looked up to by younger kids. Beyoncé Knowles, I have no issue with her being in the Top 100 Most Influential People List, as she has promoted feminism within the world. Celebrities can easily influence society as they have a large amount of followers who look up to them, all they have to do is send a ’ tweet’ or speak on television and their voice can be heard by millions. If a celebrity uses their fame for the correct reasons (e.g. Promote Good Causes / Help People that are suffering) then I am 100% supportive of them.
How would you like to inspire others?
TR Ultimately, I live a life that is genuine, true to myself and gives assistance to those who need my help. I would like to inspire others through leading by example, and not being deterred by others' negativity.
LJ I like to believe that I am a positive influence on others. I am a strong willed, positive person who likes to see the best in everyone and I firmly believe in creating the best you possible by embracing opportunities and creating the life you would like to lead. I would like to inspire others by showing individuals it is great to advocate for what you believe in and also to take on an active role in creating a positive sense of health and wellbeing. Furthermore, I would like to inspire others to study and reach their goals. I believe setting yourself goals (big or small) will empower you to achieve. Another way I would like to inspire others to promote positive self image and belief; creating a sense of self is important to achieve. Having the courage to stand up for yourself and being your own advocate is one of the most important things in life.
Thirdly, I would like to inspire other young women to take an active role in the community towards supporting causes they are passionate about. Everyone has a role to play and being involved will empower others to become involved.
For the Miss Humanity Australia finalist photoshoot you wore Pizzuto dresses from their yet to be released Spring/Summer line. What were you thoughts about the line?
BB Firstly, I was extremely honoured that Pizzuto picked us girls to debut her beautiful dresses. As soon as I tried the dress on, I fell in love - the material was amazing quality and the colours were extremely fashionable - especially the lime green! I was amazed at her she was capable of producing so many different styles of dresses, making her collection suitable for any girl regardless of her shape or size.
LJ I was lucky enough to wear a floor length dress from the Pizzuto collection. It was absolutely stunning. The detail in the sequins on the bust of the dress was beautiful and the colours of the sequins were fresh for spring/summer. The fall of the material was also beautiful. This dress would be great to wear to both day and evening functions as it would be easily matched with bronzed sandals or more formal high heel
Finalists received Suigo Australia gift packs. Did you like the products?
MP I truly am grateful for Suigo Australia! The products were amazing and can work for any hair type. I have already seen the results in my own hair. Having afro hair does mean that my hair type requires special products but amazingly enough; Suigo Australia had the perfect hair treatment for me and it has left my hair feeling softer, stronger and silky which is exactly what I've always wanted. Suigo Australia has definitely inspired me to start getting all my products from them because one cannot argue with results and I absolutely love the results that Suigo hair products have produced!
Miss Humanity Australia has decided not to include the traditional swimwear line, replacing it with activewear and promoting a healthy lifestyle. What are your thoughts on this move?
TR I am extremely athletic, and enjoy and active lifestyle. Therefore, I enjoy wearing the latest athletic wear. I think it will really inspire others to want to be active too.
MP I honestly think it is a fantastic idea because it promotes exercise and a healthy lifestyle. This is going to inspire many young girls to want to have a healthier lifestyle and this will be a great benefit because exercise improves your wellbeing.
The National Finals are being held in Melbourne on May 18 hosted by Tottie Goldsmith with judges, Moira Kelly, Kelly Cartwright, Craig Braybrook and the CEO of KEAT Model Management. There are so many amazing women it really will be a difficult decision for our judges to select the next Miss Humanity Australia 2014.
I am really looking forward to this year’s final. Removing the traditional swimwear segment from our pageant had seemed a natural progression. We are more about inner beauty and how we can empower others to step up and involve themselves in charitable causes. Sportsgirl were the ideal partner when looking for an activewear range. They’re supporters of the Butterfly Foundation and generously support charitable causes.
To compliment the youthfulness and vivid colours of the activewear range we have choreographed a dance routine to Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls) which will kick off the event.
Thank you Sydney Chic for inviting me as a guest blogger. I had so much fun and love sharing the stories of our Finalists. They inspire me each day with their commitment and determination.