We’re excited it’s that time of the year again when we get to introduce you to the contestants of Miss Universe Australia. We’re kicking off our eighth year of finalist interviews with Danielle Collis from Victoria, one of the twenty-eight talented, and inspiring contestants from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2019.
So Danielle, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I’m originally a country girl from Perth, I went to a Catholic Agricultural College where I was College Captain and DUX. I represented the school on numerous speaking events such as Constitutional Convention in Canberra and the Edmund Rice Principal Conferences. I discovered my love for public speaking early and over the years I’ve travelled around the world working as a Presenter. One thing I’m even more passionate about is people. For the last ten years I’ve been lucky enough to work with a number of charity organizations, from helping orphaned children in Cambodia to walking the El Camino raising funds and awareness for a young female who was suffering from Neurological Lyme Disease. I am an advocate for self-advocating and empowering, this is something I have learnt throughout my own experiences that no matter your circumstances we all have the ability to determine who we want to be. I have a Bachelor of Business majoring in Public Relations and have been accepted to study my Masters of Journalism at the University of Melbourne. I love travelling, being creative and pursuing my career.
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I entered Miss Universe Australia back when I was 17, and at that age, I had no idea who I was, what I stood for and I hadn’t really experienced life. Now, I’m at a point in my life where I understand who I am and what I want to achieve. It would mean the world to me to get this incredible platform, so I can utilise my presenting and public relations skills to shed light on matters that I’m passionate about like self-awareness and empowerment.
The program is certainly full of amazing experiences in the lead-up to finals, You’ve just returned from the National Finalist Trip to Bali staying at the sensational Alila Hotels. How was this experience?
I can’t even begin to explain this experience, I’ve never stayed anywhere like Alila Hotels before! The whole trip was beautiful and I’ll forever cherish it. I made 28 new friends, who are young, passionate, intelligent, beautiful and unique women. I believe Bali enabled us to understand the expectations and to prepare for not just the National Final week but also Internationally.
The Bali Trip is a combination of finals boot camp, personal development and team bonding exercise with a tropical escape thrown in for good measure, what would you say are some of the best things you’ll take away from the trip?
One of the best things I will take away from this trip is the reassurance in myself. My time in Bali affirmed my confidence and contentment with who I am. In affirmation also comes the beautiful understanding of how uniquely different we all are. We all have a different pathway which leads us to our own individual beliefs and passions, but yet we all come together, standing side by side to make an impact. I also made some strong invaluable friendships which I believe are women who I will continue to have by my side, regardless of the outcome from Miss Universe Australia.
So now you’re home and, winter has set in and the finals are only just around the corner, how are you feeling in the leadup to Melbourne and what sort of preparation are you doing before finals week?
I am feeling confident and ready for Miss Universe Australia. In a way you can say that I have been preparing for this competition since the last time I entered (Age 17), so for the past eight years I have spent time reflecting on who I am, experiencing life and in doing so, growing physically and mentally. I have been contributing to the community and in doing so growing as a person. The last six months I’ve been focusing on self reflection, self empowerment, global issues, charitable work, catwalk preparation, exercising and maintaining a healthy eating regime, overall beauty preparation, social media, video diaries and content creation.
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
I believe what sets me apart is that I am unapologetically myself. My understanding of self awareness and empowerment, combined with my Public Speaking skills will enable me to be an instrument of change… I want to inspire, challenge and empower future generations.
Your next question comes from Simon Ross of Minespec Parts
How much of a deciding factor for entering this year, was the Minespec Parts Grant of $20,000 to put towards your education or business startup?
The Minespec parts $20,000 Grant was a bonus for this competition and a beautiful contribution. In today’s society it is so hard for our generation to support their passions and people like Simon enable our ideas, passions and story to be shared, and in doing so impacting much more than just us.
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
If I receive the grant, I would like to utilise my strengths such as Public Speaking and my passion for self empowerment and awareness to help those in disadvantaged circumstances by running workshops around Australia. These workshops would encourage young individuals to understand that regardless of their circumstances the ability to self-reflect and feel empowered will assist them in understanding how they can reach their full potential. Through the decisions they make every day they can take charge of their own lives.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
Something interesting about me is I heard a story about a young female who was suffering from Lyme Disease, something that is currently not recognised in Australia.
Amy would wake up each day with debilitating symptoms, with no known cure she suffered enduring pain. I wanted to help raise funding and awareness, I decided to get a group together and walk the El Camino, 800kms across Spain. The walk took over 35 days, across a varying amount of terrain and weather conditions. Every day was a challenge not only physically but mentally, and Amy and my own personal battle was the reason why I kept placing one step in front of the other. I raised over $11,000 for Amy.
Why is Miss Universe Australia still relevant?
I think in today’s society a program like Miss Universe Australia is so relevant because it celebrates women of all cultures, backgrounds and embraces all beauty. It empowers women so that they can realise their personal, professional and philanthropic goals. This program creates opportunities, we are able to pursue our personal career goals, advocate for issues that we are passionate about and be a voice to affect positive change in the world.
Danielle is also helping raise money for Toybox International asp art of her Miss Universe Journey; Please consider donating by clicking here.
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.
Editor of @GC_MAG Australia, Currently living by the mantra life is too short for bad coffee