Baylee Saltmarsh - Miss Universe Australia 2021 Finalist Interview
Photo by Jarrad Seng – @jarradseng

Baylee Saltmarsh – Miss Universe Australia 2021 Finalist Interview


Today we are catching up with Baylee Saltmarsh of Western Australia, one of the 29 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2021. 

So Baylee , why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello!!! Well, for starters, I am Baylee, 23 years young, a self-proclaimed health nut, currently completing a degree in journalism while working as a Pilates Instructor.
I am striving to combine this degree with my passion for wellness and helping others, by creating an online platform and launching a podcast.

The outdoors is my happy place; whenever I get spare time, I am off exploring by going for a hike or doing something to spark the adrenaline junkie inside of me.
I am also a huge foodie, coffee fan and sweet tooth… so feed me, and I will be one happy girl (brownie points if it’s cobs sweet n salty popcorn). 

We all have motivations, mine usually revolving around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?

A few years ago (2018), I entered for the experience of MUA. This year, I entered because I know I am ready to step up and represent our beautiful country. The past few years (especially the last) I have invested a lot of time into personal growth, and it has been truly transformative. I surrounded myself with people who inspired, motivated and uplifted me and ultimately made me strive to be the best version of myself.
With Miss Universe Australia, I don’t want just to be a ‘role model’; I want to inspire others by helping them become a  role model for themselves. I love to live by the saying “you don’t grow when you’re comfortable” – finding challenges in everyday life is the best way for you to evolve and unlock your full potential. Life is a pretty wild ride and one that we are all on together; I am ready to share my journey with Australia. 

You recently spent some time up in our hometown of the Gold Coast with the Village Roadshow team; what was the experience like?

The best way for me to describe the QLD trip was like a child’s dream come true. When I was little, I would fantasise around the idea of having a ‘sleepover’ at a theme park… well, my younger self would be absolutely shaken if they saw I had a week-long sleepover there! So I’m feeling very grateful to have had that experience; it really was a once in a lifetime sort of thing. 

At the beginning of the year, I wrote down a list of goals/ activities I wanted to try for 2021. One of them was to swim with sharks … and I did it! That is a huge fear conquered, thanks to the MUA and Village Roadshow team. 

The QLD trip was also incredible because of the bond you form with the other women; It is irreplaceable and so special. We will always have the QLD trip to unite us, and I will definitely cherish all the memories we made. 

What would you say was the highlight of your trip?

I feel my happiest self when running an absolute muck, so the highlight for me was the early access through to Wet n Wild. I was in my element… with bare feet, messy hair and the adrenaline pumping. I can be a bit of a ‘stress head sometimes, so it was the perfect place for me to let loose and run wild with the girls, and it was also a good reminder not to take life too seriously.

If you win the title of Miss Universe Australia, you will receive the prestigious Minespec Parts Education and Business grant worth $20,000; what would you do with the grant and why?

Golly gosh, we are so lucky to have such generous sponsors on board. I would use the Minespec grant to help alleviate the stress of my HECS debt. I am currently completing a Bachelor of Arts degree with the plan to do a post-grad at WAAPA. Since starting my studies, it has inspired me to start my own wellness business and podcast, which I am also funding at the moment. So whacking the HECS out of the way would be an immense amount of pressure removed so I can then invest more into my start-up business (win, win!). 

With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the competition, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?

Being my adventurous, goofy self definitely sets me apart from others. Being silly keeps me sane, remaining vulnerable keeps me relatable, and spontaneity keeps my life interesting. 

I have always been an introvert, but since I was little, I have felt confident on stage. My experience from ballet and athletics is to thank for that and has made me well equipped for performance, as I have learnt how to manage my nerves and rise above pressure. Working as a Pilates instructor has definitely built my courage to talk in front of groups of people; it has taught me how to lead a room and crack a joke to lighten up the mood (essential at 6 am, haha). 

Studying journalism has also been beneficial because you have to be a ‘people-person’. It is a very collaborative degree that has built my self-assurance and has made me not afraid to embrace who I am, what I stand for and voice my opinion. 

The last eighteen months certainly have been challenging for all of us; what would you say has been something you’ve gained or learned from the whole experience?

The importance of mental health, perspective, self love and reflection. It is safe to say there has been a lot going on for everyone, which has taught me that you are all you’ve got at the end of the day.
Everything changes when you do the inside work. I have found that when you begin to love yourself, you no longer seek things in the outside world to fulfil you. I am a firm believer in what you put out into the world, you attract back into your life. So the main thing I have gained is becoming a powerful source within myself that attracts better. 

The last eighteen months certainly have been What is the first thing you hope to do as soon as restrictions are lifted?

I am very fortunate to be living in Perth. Besides the occasional lockdown and restrictions, we have been fairly untouched by the pandemic. Perth is seriously like a parallel universe, a perk of being the most isolated city in the world. The first thing I will do is TRAVEL. I love to explore and experience new things, people, cultures and places. The first destination on my bucket list is Japan for the ski season (I am getting butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it). 

Final Five Questions

Favourite Place to Travel To?
It is so therapeutic to disconnect from the world for a lil bit, anywhere with no cell reception. In WA, my favourite place would be the southwest – the peak of Mt Toolbrunup, to be precise (I highly recommend the hike). Internationally, my favourite place I have travelled to is the floating villages of Tonle Sap, Cambodia. 

The highlight of the last year?
The QLD trip, hands down. Being announced as Miss West Coast was also a really special moment. 

What is something people may find interesting about yourself?
I am a sucker for adventures. Any activity, anywhere, and I will probably say yes. I have actually made a list on my phone which has activities for each letter of the alphabet. So sometime soon, you might see me doing goat yoga or sky diving to pass the time.
It is also the best way I deal with my fears, by charging at them head-on. More often than not, I enjoy them, so there is no better way to do it!

Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?

I am passionate about living an active, balanced lifestyle with a focus on the love of self.
I want to promote self-love as much as I can as it is the catalyst for greater happiness, stronger resilience, increased motivation, and better physical and mental health.
I absolutely love being able to help people on their fitness and wellness journey and watch them evolve. 

As an aspiring journalist, I have my sights set on correspondence, travelling abroad to shine a light on sensitive issues. This interest was sparked by my upbringing in a defence family, volunteer experience in third-world countries, and the urge to always test personal limits. 

One piece of advice you have for us all?
If you play small, you stay small. Take risks, be curious and just go for it. 

Thank you to

Minespec Parts are proud to be partnering with 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.

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