Courtney let’s start by finding out a little more about you!
I have lived in Queensland my whole life between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and I am a big family girl, my Mum, Dad and younger brother really are my best friends. I can be a little bit of a contradiction, on one hand I love everything girly from shopping, shoes and makeup, while on the other hand I would give anything to be out camping or on the boat fishing!
I am currently working as the Head of the Styling Department at the Australian Institute of Creative Design, as a fashion editor and I am in the process of starting my own business which has been a long time coming and will hopefully launch in a few months’ time!
You are no stranger to the pageant world having been a national finalist in last year’s Miss Universe Australia, what is it that you enjoy about competing?
The friends I have made through pageants are a big reason I keep entering. All the girls are so intelligent, kind, supportive and ambitious and I always have such an incredible experience. On top of that it is also a chance for me to put myself out there, it might come as a surprise but it takes guts to compete in a pageant (especially during that little segment called ‘swimwear’)! Pageants are also a great motivator to really accept who you are and embrace it.
Why did you decide to compete in Miss World Australia?
It really was the beauty with a purpose message that enticed me to enter. Miss World Australia isn’t your typical pageant where girls are solely judged based on their stage presence, Miss World is a registered fundraising organisation and therefore all of the participants get the chance to make a difference in society. As part of this I have been raising funds for Variety-the children’s charity by holding morning teas, raffles, and gathering donations. I have teamed up with another of the contestants and one of my close friends, Hayley Wilson, and we have been using both of our connections and networks to raise a much awareness for Variety as possible. We have some big plans in the works for future events and have some amazing sponsors on board which we are very excited about! So far we have raised over $300 in just two weeks so we are both really looking forward to what’s to come.
What are you doing to prepare for the competition?
I have been getting all my sponsors on board such as Showpony who have supplied me with beautiful hair extensions, Laree Barney who is my trusty spray tanner, Luxe Lane who sponsored me with an incredible selection of body-con dresses, and the very talented Tim Thadontree who is one of my all-time favourite hair and makeup artists. I have also been keeping up my exercise and healthy eating (bar my little daily chocolate pick me up), and of course focusing on raising as much as possible for Variety
How would you use your voice or platform purposefully if you take out the crown of Miss World Australia?
I am a strong believer of loving who you are, whatever shape that may be. I wasted too many years worrying more about what other people thought of me as a person, and of how I looked, rather than thinking about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and how I wanted to look. If I were to be the next Miss World Australia, I would use that platform to encourage and support everyone, both men and women, to accept and love themselves for who they are
We now live in an age where women are world leaders and trailblazers. With that in mind, how do you think Miss World, a competition based largely on looks contributes to the women’s movement?
Until 1903 women in Australia weren’t even allowed to vote, and now, thanks to the women’s movement, “Women can do anything”. I think people often correlate Miss World and the women’s movement with some confusion. It is often said that pageants are insulting to the women’s movement which has fought to give women equal rights and a voice in society. Miss World Australia has given a platform to women from all around the country, from all different cultures and backgrounds, to celebrate being women, share their thoughts and opinions on various social issues, and gives them the opportunity to make significant positive impacts on society. If this isn’t reflective of the core fundamentals of what the women’s movement encourages, then I don’t know what is!
What are the advantages of being beautiful?
To answer that question, I think I should firstly define what I consider to be beautiful. I think being truly comfortable with who you are, both on the outside and the inside, caring about others, and focusing first and foremost on being a good person on the inside, encapsulates true beauty. So to answer the question, the advantage of being beautiful is that you have the ability to be an inspiration, to make positive impacts on others’ lives, and as a result live a happy and fulfilling life.
What gets you further in life – book smart or street smart?
I am a big advocate of being well educated. As Oscar Wilde said “you can never be over dressed or over educated.” But I do think book smarts and street smarts go hand in hand, one without the other is like a day without chocolate, just not as productive!
How do you want to be remembered?
For being me. For staying true to my thoughts, values, morals and beliefs. For staying true to who I am, even if somebody else doesn’t like it! As Dr Suess wrote, (yes I am aware I am quoting a children’s book…but it was my favourite) “today you are you, that’s truer than true, there is no one alive that is youer than you.”