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 Ariel Russell from Victoria, 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 Ariel, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I’m half Australian, half Polish, born and raised in Victoria. I’m the youngest in the competition, turning 18 in late December meaning I was only just able to make the cut for Miss Universe Australia 2019. I graduated from high school last year and am currently in my first year of university, studying biomedical science. In my free time I’m usually drawing or painting. I’m often described as the “mum” of my friendship group because of my compassion and maturity.
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I saw the application on Instagram and the first thing I checked was whether there was a height requirement, (which there wasn’t). Height had always been an issue for me, constantly getting set back from the modelling industry because of a 2-3cm requirement that I was not meeting. This was very exciting for me and I told my older sister about it straight away. Her response was that I was too young and I neglected my application. Miss Universe Australia contacted me, asking about my unfinished application and I gave more thought to it and thought I might try to prove my sister wrong. Age will not determine how much I can or can’t achieve.
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?
This experience was beyond what my imagination had ever come up with. Each place had its own vibe and was so unique. No photo could ever justify any of the hotels or villas, its just one of things you have to experience yourself. It definitely opened my eyes and I will never be able to express how grateful I am of the whole trip. I’m not sure that I’d be ever able to top it off.
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?
The most important thing I’ve taken away from the trip would be the friendships and bonds with all the girls, even though it was my first time meeting most of them. I think being young I was really able to learn off them as well. Not only that but I feel I’ve gained a lot more confidence when it comes to approaching people, carrying conversations and just even travelling.
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?
Keeping a positive frame of mind is my main priority at the moment. I am super excited to be reunited with everyone again but I do have some nerves. The thing I’m most worried about is the runway but I’ve bought myself a new pair of heels and have been practicing my walk up and down the hallway. I’ve been keeping a clean diet and working out. More specifically I’ve been doing Lagree fitness and hitting the gym when I can #releasingendorphins.
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
Being the youngest is definitely one of the biggest things setting me apart in the competition but in saying that I think it would be more so my maturity at this age. Being young, fresh out of high school and in my first year of university, allows me to be always in a learning and adaptive mindset.
Your next question comes from Simon Ross of Minespec Parts
If you were lucky enough to receive the Minespec Parts Grant of $20,000 to put towards your education or business startup, what would you spend it on and why?
I would put my grant towards assisting my education fees. I’m studying biomedical science in the hope to be able to have a career in the medical industry and allow people to live normal lives. This may be restoring people’s health or simply maintaining it and this grant would really help me get to that point.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I have a very complicated family consisting of an older and younger half brother and an older half-sister on my dad’s side and an older half-sister and stepsister on my mum’s side. I also have three nephews and two nieces with another niece on the way and I’m the godmother of my first nephew.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
(Not so recent, however) as a child I was obsessed with soft drinks and mum didn’t really let me have any. I saw a bottle of coca cola in my aunties garage, snuck in and tried to skull it. Little did I know my cousins kept the petrol for their dirt bikes in it. I threw up straight away and learnt my lesson pretty quick.
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?
For some reason I thought when you were an adult you would change your name so that you’d have an “adult name.” I also at one stage wanted to be a cleaner and soon found out cleaning was not fun.
What’s something I wish people did more often?
Offered their seat to elderly, disabled or pregnant when on public transport. I think it’s one of the simplest and kindest gestures that isn’t done often enough.
Ariel is also helping raise money for Toybox International as part of her Miss Universe Journey; Please consider donating by clicking here.
View this post on Instagram
I’m not the best at videos but it’s a way I like to create memories to look back on. This was a trip of a life time I wasn’t able to capture everything but some things can only be experienced. I keep saying it but I’m at beyond grateful for everything and everyone involved. This will be something I never forget. 🌴Special thanks to @alilahotels for spoiling us! (Will post the full video on YouTube soon) #missuniverseVIC #pinktankevents #missuniverseaustralia #muabalitrip19 #alilahotels #alilamanggis #alilauluwatu #alilaseminyak
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.