Today we are catching up with Ciara Grehan 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 Ciara, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 25-year-old proud Nunukul and Jarowair woman with Celtic heritage. This is a really big part of who I am as a person, and it comes through in my values; family, integrity, community, empathy and honesty.
With that, spending quality time with beautiful friends and family is where you’ll find me most of the time, playing touch footy and reading a book down at the beach for downtime. My day job is supporting Australians to access healthcare services by receiving and managing compensation claims.
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
Honestly, it’s something that took me by surprise but choosing to commit to it came from wanting to be a role model in my community. Too often, Young Indigenous men and women are pushed in the media as some kind of negative point of proof for a long-held, inaccurate narrative. There are so many examples of positive role models in our community, and I felt like this was an opportunity to contribute to that, to give me a platform to reach out to young Indigenous kids and hopefully inspire them to strive for their own personal 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?
The beautiful Gold Coast (Yugambeh Country) is also my hometown! So it has been wonderful to share that with the other contestants while also having such a new experience myself. Visiting the Village Roadshow theme parks brought me back to some of my favourite childhood memories.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
More than anything, connecting and collaborating with the Miss Universe Australia Team and getting to know all the other National Finalists. Everyone has been so amazing; I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends through this experience in ways I didn’t expect. I hope to have them come back here to visit after it’s all over.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
I think being so adaptable to unfamiliar situations and excelling out of my comfort zone. For a lot of the other contestants, it’s not that they don’t have this quality; it’s just that this particular environment is a little more familiar.
This is the first time I’ve entered the Miss Universe Program. I’m proud of being able to step into new territory, take it in my stride, and now find myself as a National Finalist. Being ‘green’ to this and not knowing how I’m ‘supposed’ to be or act has given me the chance to only be truly authentic.
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?
Being authentic, having acceptance and humility, being passionate and ensuring you’re someone who knows, and is proud of, who they are and what they can give to others. Being relatable and genuine is vital; it means other people feel safe to share their own experiences and stories with you and feel heard.
Now travel is back on the cards; where is your favourite place to travel to?
Having worked for the airline industry before 2020, I was able to see a lot of the country, and that gave me a greater appreciation for what domestic travel has to offer. Which is lucky, given how difficult it is to travel overseas at the moment! My favourite place to travel domestically would have to be the food capital of Australia, Melbourne.
What is something people may find interesting about you?
I LOVE football. I grew up around it, and from a young age, I have been in love with NRL (Go North QLD Cowboys!). Touch football is as close as I can get to actually playing the game, and it’s really my happy place.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
Learning more about my culture, educate myself more about my people and where I come from, and what part I can play in supporting and making my community proud. We’re nothing if not reaching our hand out for others, and it has been the driving force behind venturing into this experience.