Today we are talking with Caylynn Jagga from QLD on of the twenty-eight. Talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2020.
In what has certainly been an unpredictable and unprecedented year of ups and downs we’re thrilled to bring you our ninth year of Miss Universe Australia finalist interviews.
So Caylynn, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I was born in South Africa and moved to Australia with my beautiful family in 2002. I have the most supportive siblings, parents and partner, which definitely deserve the ‘number one supporters’ badge.
I feel very grateful to be in an industry that I am so passionate about. I am a Dermal Clinician at Skinfluence Clinic in the Bayside suburbs of Brisbane. My career is incredibly niche and not commonly heard of.
I’ve studied a degree in Dermal Science where the focus is heavily on the anatomy and physiology of the skin, cosmetic chemistry, wound care, lymph health and laser and light modalities.
From this, it’s developed into skills in the field of Dermoscopy. Dermoscopy is the practice of skin cancer screening and assists in the early detection and prevention of skin cancers which is huge in Australia due to our high UV levels.
I also do some sessional teaching with Victoria University (where I completed my degree) with the next generation of students studying Dermal Science. I love education, and I love what I do, it goes far beyond just ‘knowing the skin’.
I have been fortunate to work alongside incredible professionals and meet beautiful patients who live with skin conditions that scar them emotionally, not just physically. I want to be able to educate others and bring awareness to normalising skin conditions and improving our body image perceptions because my career so far has taught me that you are far more than what is perceived on the outside.
Aside from my daily work, in my spare time, you will most likely find me getting outside, going to the gym, cooking or baking and socialising with family and friends when possible. I will admit, COVID-19 has also sparked an interest in reading more too.
The Miss Universe Australia program has been on hold since earlier in the year and now making its way towards a virtual final to be held on October 28, What motivated you to enter the Miss Universe Australia Program?
The reason I chose to be apart of the Miss Universe Australia program was because I saw that the program offers far beyond what you might typically associate with a pageant.
It is all about personal growth, leaving your comfort zone, new friendships and new beginnings. I loved that the directors are a family and have similar values and morals as I do.
There is no category you need to belong to or mould you need to fit- you can be 110% you, their intent is to see you flourish and truly be the best version you can be.
I also saw that the program could open doors and facilitate your passions in life further. Although the titleholder is a single person, I genuinely believe that it takes a community and a team to make the impact and change with the titleholder being the one to lead it, inspire it and encourage it.
This year has been like no other, how have you been coping so far and what’s been the biggest challenge and positive that has come out of it all?
It really has been a year of unpredictable challenges. If I am honest, I have been coping well, considering the world status. There are a lot of individuals, communities and businesses that have had it incredibly tough.
The main challenges for me during COVID have been having that feeling and sense of helplessness and not being able to work as I would usually much like many others.
On a positive note, COVID has certainly created a heightened sense of gratefulness for what I do have and pushed me to get into new hobbies, like reading more and spending more time enjoying life’s simple pleasures. COVID also opened the opportunity of being a wildcard for the 2020 program. So I am feeling over the moon to be apart of the program even though it looks a little different this year.
With everyone bringing such an individual flair to the competition, what do you think is something that will set you apart from the other contestants?
The beautiful ladies have certainly inspired me in the competition both in-person and online!
I feel that what sets me apart from the others is that I bring a sense positivity, an ‘anything is possible’ attitude, approachability and rawness to the program because I have never had any experience in modelling, photography or programs like this. I hope to bring inspiration to others who are similar to me and show them that having no ‘experience’ does not hinder their opportunity.
My day job is very different from what is required being involved within the program, and I have 100% loved it and has not hindered me in any way, in fact, you have so much fun and learn more about yourself. I have certainly had moments where I just have to laugh at myself while I navigate it all.
The winner of Miss Universe Australia 2020 will also receive the prestigious Minespec Parts grant worth $20,000 to spend on your education or business startup, what would you do if you received this grant? And would you say your answer has changed now during the current COVID climate?
Simon from Minespec Parts is so generous and is such an advocate for all of us; we are beyond fortunate to be given this opportunity.
My answer has changed slightly as situations have changed, and I have had more time to reflect.
For me, education is paramount in any industry, and because I love what I do, I would love to continue growing and building this. So, I would put the money towards my education so I can continue to deepen my understanding and knowledge. From education comes more opportunity and growth that I can use to facilitate what’s to come next.
First thing you will do when this pandemic ends?
The first thing I would love to do is visit my close friends in Melbourne and support all the local businesses that have had one very tough year over there.
We are fortunate in QLD to have had the past few months to begin recovering, so I am really feeling for Melbourne.
Place you will hope to travel to next?
I think, as a priority, I would love to visit my family back in South Africa. Then after that, I would love to see Switzerland and Norway, to experience different culture and seasons. It’s been on the bucket list for quite some time.
Have you taken up a new hobby, skill or learnt a new dish during lockdown?
The MUA program had us interacting with lots of challenges throughout COVID, and so I will credit a lot of this to launching me into the world of being a plant mum. I will say it is still a work in progress, and being a new plant mum is harder than it seems, but it is a lot of fun. So far I have kept my Snap Dragons and Aloe plant alive, so I’m proud of that progress haha!
Aside from being a new plant mum, I also have a new found love for baking bread. If you have never baked your own bread, please try it!
It is incredibly simple; all you need is water, yeast and your favourite bread mix (mine is light rye) to put into any bread maker. A few hours later, voila- the best tasting bread loaf you will ever have… in my opinion. There is something extra satisfying when you bake it yourself.
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.