We’re excited it’s that time of the year again when we get to introduce you to the contestants of Miss Universe Australia. We’re kicking off our eighth year of finalist interviews with Alexandra Duggan from South Australia, one of the twenty-eight talented, and inspiring contestants from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2019.
So Alexandra, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
My name is Alexandra Duggan, and I am 22 years old. I was born in Darwin but live with my family in South Australia. I am half Indonesian and half English, which I think is pretty cool. I am a full-time student currently studying a Bachelor of Media, majoring in graphic design.
Growing up, I was a quiet and unbothered kid; the woman I am today is far from that! I am confident, courageous and sometimes a little too compassionate!
I really love creating, painting, and even for a while, I studied two years of a Bachelor of Creative Arts (fashion) because I took a liking to sewing. I love the beach, and I am always up for a surf, even though it’s a hobby that I haven’t quite mastered yet!
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I guess my main motivation was to deliberately put myself outside of my comfort zone this year and try new things, so that I am able to work on my personal development. When I initially signed up for Miss Universe Australia I never would have imagined that I would get this far and I am honestly amazed and so thankful for the opportunity that the team have given me.
The program is certainly full of amazing experiences in the lead-up to finals, You’ve just returned from the National Finalist Trip to Bali staying at the sensational Alila Hotels. How was this experience?
Stupefying. I cannot put into words how wonderful the experience was and being able to share it was so many talented and inspiring people just makes it even better!
The Bali Trip is a combination of finals boot camp, personal development and team bonding exercise with a tropical escape thrown in for good measure, what would you say are some of the best things you’ll take away from the trip?
Definitely, the friendships that were formed over the week, I feel as though I don’t only speak for myself when I say that we are all one big family. It didn’t matter who you sat down with at dinner time it was always an open invitation. Everyone was always so supporting and empowering, I always felt so much more uplifted every time I walked away from a conversation, it was mind-boggling!
So now you’re home and, winter has set in and the finals are only just around the corner, how are you feeling in the leadup to Melbourne and what sort of preparation are you doing before finals week?
I guess I am getting more in touch with myself, by that I mean I am being more mindful about my mental and physical health. I am doing more yoga and meditation, spending time with my friends and family and also finishing all of my uni work before the end of semester break! All pretty mundane things if im honest but they help a lot in the long run.
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
In a sense, we all bring an individual flair because of the values that we all hold and the way that we were raised. I was always taught to stand up for not only myself but for what I believe is right. The experiences that I have had throughout my life have taught me to be mindful, understanding and patient because we are all fighting our own battles. Throughout schooling, I was bullied and racially bullied, which in hindsight was probably why I was such a quiet kid. I believe this is what drives my passion behind fighting for people to embrace diversity rather than scorn it, and it is something that I think sets me apart.
Your next question comes from Simon Ross of Minespec Parts How much of a deciding factor for entering this year, was the Minespec Parts Grant of $20,000 to put towards your education or business startup?
As I said previously, my motivation to enter Miss Universe Australia was to put myself outside of my comfort zone and through that be able to develop personally. The Minespec Parts Grant was something that I found out about during the lead up to the state finals!
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
During one of our video challenges we were asked the same question and I said that I would put it towards my education. This is still true as even though I would like to put it towards a business startup that would raise awareness about embracing diversity I wouldn’t have the first clue on how to do that. I believe that by educating myself first I can then start to educate others in the correct and most effective way.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I have Heterochromia, which is a fancy way of saying that I have different coloured eyes!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
When we were in Bali at Alila Manggis the whole eating area is surrounded by a pond. Erin who was helping the film and photography crew/ general legend decided to take and accidental swim. What made it funny was that she fell in slow motion and was so quiet about the whole thing! The whole time she was falling she held the camera bag above her head to save it from getting wet. She made it out with a few scratches and an applause of laughter.
As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?
This sounds so weird but being able to go to the hairdressers. As a kid mum was fully in charge of keeping my hair looking like normal kid hair. But now that I am an adult I have made some definite hair mistakes that I fully regret and hope to never relive ever again!
What is your hidden talent?
I can beat box the beat of My Humps by The Black Eyed Peas.
Minespec Parts are proud to be the presenting sponsor for Miss Universe Australia, Working to empower and support women not just through the Miss Universe Australia pageant and their $20k education and business grant, but through many platforms with various activities across Australia all furthering and supporting women in the workplace.