Today we are catching up with Ashleigh Sullivan of Victoria, one of the 27 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2022.
So Ashleigh, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m (newly) 27 years old and grew up in the southeastern suburbs of Melbourne!
In my spare time, you can find me outdoors, whether that be camping or in winter, snowboarding and any other outdoor activity!
I have a 4-year-old red Kelpie called Kobe, and he is the love of my life! I also have 2 chickens, Jimmy & Polly – they are Kobe’s girls & the loves of his life!
I’m terrified of birds… I know, this goes hand in hand with having chickens ?
I love travelling and have been fortunate enough to live and work overseas in Banff, Canada!
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
My key motivation for entering MUA, honestly, was to push myself outside my comfort zone and aim to add to the experience that is life! It is also a wonderful platform to advocate for what you are most passionate about!
Growing up, like a lot of girls, I was told certain things about my looks/height/hair/teeth, etc. Told I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough and everything in between!
People are so quick to discourage us from pursuing certain pathways, and I’ve found we often allow others’ beliefs, biases and opinions to dictate our view on ourselves and self-worth, whereas MUA and the incredible partners and sponsors seemed to have a completely different view and stance. It was all about uplifting and empowering women. Being a positive role model and surrounding yourself with like-minded people, all wanting to boost each other up, not tear the other down! That’s what drew me to it!
As part of the program, you recently spent time in our hometown of the Gold Coast with the Village Roadshow team; what was the experience like?
Getting the opportunity to spend time with the Village Roadshow Crew was incredible, not only were the experiences & theme parks themselves an awesome experience, but all the crew members were so welcoming, knowledgeable and kind! It makes a huge difference when people love what they do!
A highlight for me was getting to see Outback Spectacular; the horsemanship and storyline, which shines a light-hearted spotlight on the impact drought has had on our Australian farmers, was a great way to educate all in attendance whilst putting on a jaw-dropping show!
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
Ooh, now that’s a tough question! Other than getting the chance to meet all the other incredible girls taking part in MUA this year & the team behind it all!
I would have to say the highlight for me was getting to do my first-ever photo shoot!
It was a WHOLE experience! From the early morning, 4 AM start with the incredibly talented crew behind the scenes to getting to work with the amazing Jarrad Seng and Charlie, my co-star (the horse) out at such a beautiful location at Paradise Country!
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
All of the girls bring so many incredible qualities and their own ‘flair’! I’d say what sets me apart is what brings us together; I am just like you, your niece, daughter, cousin, aunt, neighbour, etc. I’m no model, nor do I have any modelling experience or previous pageants under my belt.
I believe what sets me apart is that young women/girls, in particular, can see me, just your regular hard-working Aussie girl, taking part in the incredible program that is MUA and sees that you don’t have to fit a certain mould or stereotype, you don’t need to be anyone or anything in particular to give things a go!
Your next question comes from our current Miss Universe Australia, Daria Varlamova; in your opinion, what are the most essential qualities that a Miss Universe Australia embodies?
– Uplifting/ Empowering
Now travel is back on the cards; where is your favourite place to travel to?
Switzerland! I have loved the country since I was young! The scenery and beautiful clear rivers and lakes captured my heart immediately! I adore the traditional architecture and history as well!
What is something people may find interesting about you?
Something about me that always seems to capture people’s interest is my job! I’m a frontline emergency services worker!
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
I am passionate about educating others about Family Violence. I may not be able to reel off all of the statistics or sound well rehearsed when I speak about it, but this is an issue I deal with daily & when I speak about the topic, it comes from a place of self-reflection, experience and passion.
Many people do not know what Family Violence is. Now, this may be because they are some of the lucky few to be untouched by the topic or they may not realise that what they are perpetrating or experiencing is a form of Family Violence. I believe that education on the topic is one of the best tools on the kit belt!