Today we are catching up with Caitlynn Henry of Queensland, one of the 27 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2022.
So Caitlynn, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up in South Africa allowed me to come face to face with some of the world’s biggest animals. I have cuddled a baby lion, been charged by an elephant and had my shoe bitten by a jaguar.
Since moving to Australia I have completed a degree in Occupational Therapy and now work every day in my dream job helping children. Growing up, I was always surrounded by younger children and loved being involved in charity events or sporting days supporting children that were unwell or vulnerable.
I knew when I was older that a career helping children was exactly where I wanted to be.
My modelling career started in Year 10 when my older sister had a photography hobby and dressed me up to take pictures. She submitted the photos to Dolly Magazine and a few weeks later I was flying down to Sydney to shoot my first campaign. I have been modelling and acting part time and absolutely love how different both of my careers are day in and day out.
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I have always loved being in front of the camera and being on stage. However, since working with many children that have additional needs, my reason for entering Miss Universe Australia became clear.
My motivation is the next generation. I teach my children every day that no matter the circumstances, you must always push yourself to reach your goals and be the best version of yourself. I entered Miss Universe Australia to show the next generation that no matter how big or how crazy your goal may be, you must push yourself to achieve it and stay true to yourself on the journey. I am hoping to inspire not only the children I work with but anyone who is scared to take a leap of faith toward their goals.
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?
Growing up on the Gold Coast, I have been blessed to visit all the Village roadshow theme parks and venues. However, the National Final trip staying down at SeaWorld and experiencing all the Village Roadshow venues, was completely different.
We took part in so many experiences such as snorkelling with tropical species, cuddling a sea lion and riding all the rollercoasters at Movie world. It truly was so incredible to have new experiences and make memories that will last a lifetime. Not to mention I got to do all these incredible experiences with 28 of my best friends!
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
A highlight of my trip with the village roadshow team was getting to meet the dolphins and the head vet Dr Claire. The education around SeaWorld’s focus and goals towards sustainability and awareness was an incredible experience that will stay with me forever. I can now use this knowledge to advocate and educate for the marine conversation happening at Sea World.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
That is a challenging question to answer because we are all an incredible bunch of like-minded women. We are all unique and beautiful, with so many bright careers and lives ahead of us.
What sets me apart is my cultural background, humble down to earth nature and ability to remain calm and collected. Growing up travelling, starting my own business and being a little older than some of the other contestants makes me relatable to a wider group of people. I feel like each experience in my life has shaped me into the confident, driven and relatable woman I am today. I have a can-do attitude and love any challenge life throws at me!
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?
To me, the most important qualities a Miss Universe Australia should embody is being approachable, relatable and confident in herself. To be confident and sure of who you are that will inspire and radiate onto others. A Miss Universe Australia being approachable and relatable allows people young and old to look at you and find something familiar to them. Even though you may not get to meet everyone you inspire, but an approachable and relatable Miss Universe Australia will be someone anyone can share the common highs and lows with in life.
Now travel is back on the cards; where is your favourite place to travel to?
Travel is something I hold close to my heart, and it is my favourite thing to do at any chance I get. I have been blessed to have travelled to many countries in my 25 years. Europe is high on my return list. I loved exploring the Greek Islands before Covid hit, and I can’t wait to get back over to Greece and continue exploring the islands from both the land and sea.
What is something people may find interesting about you?
I have a thrill-seeking and adrenaline side that has put me in some crazy situations whilst travelling. I have walked on a live volcano, hung off the side of a building in Las Vegas and rode quad bikes through the desert in Dubai.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
I am passionate about bringing awareness and education to all people living with a disability or have additional needs. Often people with a disability that you can’t physically see are misunderstood in society. I am passionate about normalising talking about and actively including people of all ages with autism and learning difficulties in our society. Just like love on the spectrum has started doing, which is fantastic! ?