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 Eleanor Baillieu 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 Eleanor, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
Hi! I’m 25, from Melbourne, Australia and come from an extremely loving family of 5. I am a person who doesn’t want to have any regrets in life and tries to make every day and every moment count while accepting any challenges that may come my way. I’ve previously worked in Social Media Marketing for a leading global sportswear brand and found myself in my spare time working for VAMFF (Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival) and the Australian Grand Prix, in event operations. I have been modelling on and off for eight years, and have lived in London and spent some time in LA. I am currently completing my BA in Communications as well as my Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness. I’m passionate about health and fitness and enjoy sharing that passion with so many people around me, particularly in the water where I am in my absolute element. I’ve completed in half marathons, triathlons, long distance open water swimming and have played for a local Aussie rules football team. On top of being an ambassador for Guide Dogs Victoria, I am also raising a gorgeous soon to be working Guide Dog, Merlyn. I spend all day with Merlyn getting her used to the world and making sure she is responsive and well trained for the Guide Dogs course. Merlyn comes with me everywhere!
I would describe myself as someone who loves to try everything and give it all I’ve got. I love to experience new things and have travelled extensively solo taking in the world around me. I’m a firm believer in challenging yourself and having no regrets! Eleanor Rosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you”. That one thing could end up being your passion in life or bring you a smile, so why not give it a crack!! If an opportunity opens up and you have the slightest inkling of interest, I say go for it!
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I love challenging myself, and seeing where life takes me and have no regrets!. Miss Universe seemed like an amazing opportunity to open more doors and I have loved every moment of it.
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?
Incredible! The Alila hotels are beautiful and they looked after all of us finalists exceptionally well. Uluwatu with its breathtaking views and pools. Manngis with their relaxed traditional Balianese vibe right on the beach. And of course Alila Seminyak in the heart of the buzzing Seminyak and in my opinion one of the best buffet brekkys I’ve ever had!! I’m incredibly grateful to Miss Universe Australia and Alila for letting us experience everything we did in Bali.
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?
The friendships I have now gained with some amazing beautiful and intelligent women as well as the personal development of growth are some of the many amazing things I have taken from the trip.. I loved being thrown into the mix with the girls, sponsors and Miss Universe team and getting to know them all, in what can be a stressful situation at times because it is a competition after all. But I loved being able to challenge myself to really showcase my true self, and be that person always, in values, conversation and down time, whilst making friends for life.
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’m lucky I have the responsibility of walking my Guide Dog in training, Merlyn, every day, as she is keeping me fit and getting me fresh air every day. Walking has become an excellent meditation for me, rain, hail or shine, and allows me to set some time aside to catch up on podcasts or collect my thoughts.
It has also been a huge factor in my physical training preparation for finals. I’m very excited for finals week to begin. I can’t wait to see everyone again, and be able to challenge myself more!
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
Being six foot two sets me apart! But we are all similar in many ways, but it’s the individual characteristics that set us apart. One of my best traits I believe is that I love the process of going through a challenge: I don’t know if this sets me apart but it is something I am proud of!
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?
I entered the Miss Universe Australia competition for the amazing platform it provides, and having the grant there is an incredible bonus. I plan on using this platform and hopefully this grant to highlight female hygiene issues in third-world countries.
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
Last year I ventured over to Malawi with the Consular of Malawi Trent Smyth and a reusable sanitary company to help assist in fundraising to expand the company and education opportunities for girls in Malawi further. I would love to put the grant towards setting up more female hygiene education programs in Malawi, and being able to educate local Malawians in female hygiene so that they can go into villages and educate further.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I spent my year 9 schooling year living in the bush. Want hot water for a shower – light a fire. Need to contact home? – write a letter. Weekends? Hiking!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
Everytime I go into a supermarket I find myself being approached by older generations asking me to help them get things off the top shelf haha. I’m a walking crane!
As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?
I used to think when I was little, that receiving mail was the coolest thing ever! Now I realise it’s just bills or parking fines haha.
What do you think of social media and have learned from using it?
I think our generation confuse aspiration and admiration. We try so hard to imitate one another that we tend to loose our own way. The people we look up to did it their own way, and that’s what we should be wanting to aspire to – our own way. Social media has made looking ‘perfect’ to be way to normal. It is almost like being ‘ok’ or ‘good’ in what you do is disposable. In saying that, I also believe it is an amazing tool for communication personally and for aspiring businesses, shoppers, travellers and artists.
Eleanor is also helping raise money for Toybox International asp art of her Miss Universe Journey; Please consider donating by clicking here.
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When you’re looking off into the distance thinking about the colour from @glowbybeca ? and wanting to be back in Bali with @missuniverseaustralia.official – good thing @glowbybeca is helping us stay this colour until finals and during! THANK YOU. @pinktankevents #missuniverseaustralia #pinktankevents #missuniverse #muabalitrip19 #glowbybeca #bali #alilahotels #alilaexperience ? @perrywinklephotography
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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 and Chief of @gcmag, Currently living by the mantra life is too short for bad coffee.