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Hannah Watson – Miss Universe Queensland Finalist

Well here in Queensland we’ve just wrapped up another sensational Summertime the weather is sparkling, and the search for the next Miss Universe Australia is heading our way with finalists being announced across the country now.

We thought we would kick off our home state interviews with Hannah Watson

Congratulations on making it through to the state finals, why don’t you tell us about yourself?

Thank you! I must say I’m quite pleasantly surprised to be taking part in this competition. I’m currently in my fourth year of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UQ in Brisbane. I’ve never dreamed of being in something as amazing as Miss Universe Australia; it’s such a different world to the one I’ve been living in. I’ve fallen in love with self-growth in the pursuit to help others grow too. I try to challenge myself continually which has led me to study engineering, volunteering with Girl Guides Australia and now joining Miss Universe Australia!

We all have motivations, Mine usually revolves around coffee ☕ but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. These words by Fred Devito have stuck with me since hearing them some years ago. If I’m honest, the Miss Universe Australia competition is way out of my comfort zone, but that is exactly why I wanted to take part! As a soon to be a professional engineer, for me to implement real change I must be comfortable with the spotlight. Society has clear images of what a professional doctor looks like however engineers rarely get the positive limelight. The Miss Universe Australia competition allows me to build a platform from which I can create change both as a role model to young Australian’s and in the professional world.

What part of the Miss Universe Australia program are you most looking forward to?

I’m so stoked being a part of the program and meeting so many amazing women! At this stage, I’m both extremely excited and nervous for the QLD state final coming up in just a few days. It’ll be amazing to see everyone light up on the night and to see all the hard work they’ve put into their preparations. Most of all the fun we have together, and the friendships we make along the way will be my most cherished memory. If I’m lucky enough to make it through to the final, going to Bali will definitely be my highlight!

We are all unique so what would you say is something that makes you stand out from the other contestants?

Telling my friends and family about being a QLD finalist has often gotten the response, “oh they must love that you do engineering!”. I believe this is something that makes me stand out from the other contestants. Often people think you can choose only brains or beauty, but as humans, we are so much more than that! I feel that having never done any modelling or pageants before gives me this raw edge. I’m definitely learning as I go and I hope others can look at this as motivation to try new and challenging things. The most important thing to me is to remain real and true to myself. Reminding myself that nothing is as scary as it seems and just to give it a go, helps me to remain genuine and maintain my loving life vibe!

With the state finals, a few days away, has your routine changed at all?

Even before entering the competition I’ve lived a pretty healthy lifestyle trying to get in at least 30 minutes of movement a day and eating to fuel my body. I truly believe that exercise is so much more than weight loss and toning, the mental gain from training is fantastic! Challenging my body and appreciating it for all it does makes me feel like superwoman. In the lead up to the competition, there have been no drastic changes to my routine. I have however been trying a range of new classes at the gym to challenge my body, mind and get myself used to being outside of my comfort zone. For me, it’s all about training my confidence. Wearing confidence and a smile is truly beautiful.

What is something that you hope to bring out of the Miss Universe Australia pageant?

The Miss Universe Australia pageant is so much more than a simple beauty pageant; there are so many life skills to take away from it. I’m hoping that being a part of the program grows my public speaking skills, ability to converse with a range of people and my overall personable traits. These are valuable skills which I’ll use through every journey of my life. Connecting with people and working together is how the world can change; without adequate communication, we can’t address issues in our society and work together towards a better tomorrow.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I was going on my morning walk at 6 am and was still half asleep. I quickly chucked on some sports clothes and shoes. I walked outside and was walking for about 20 minutes before I realised my top was inside out with apparent tags. Walking along the Brisbane river I was changing my top the right way; I got some funny looks from those driving in cars nearby haha. We all have those days!

How would your closest friend describe you?

My closest friend would describe me as loyal and a bit of a perfectionist haha I’m not one to give up easily and won’t stop until I’m content I’ve given it my all. I strive to work hard in all aspects of my life including my career, relationships, health and community involvement. I want to be the best version of myself, and I can’t do that without the support of my family and friends.

Name five things you can’t live without?

This is a tough one! I’m guessing this doesn’t include the obvious such as food and water? In which case I’d seriously consider fitting smoothies, Vietnamese food and avocado on my list! I’d have to say; my friends and family (good relationships), my dog and three cats (my pets), a challenge (i can’t stand not progressing) , a good pillow (seriously can’t sleep without my favourite pillow haha) and sunshine (I love everything outdoors).

What is your greatest weakness? How do you work on this?

I’m a yes woman! I struggle to say no to helping people and events in the fear that I will miss a fantastic opportunity for self-growth and be building real connections with amazing people. While this is not inherently a bad thing, I often over schedule my time leaving me rushing between activities and constantly thinking about what I have to do next. With such a full plate, when things don’t go to plan it can make me feel overwhelmed or as if I haven’t done enough. I love to watch TedX talks on a range of topics, including self-development and learning that it’s okay to say no without having to give an excuse. While I encourage taking up as many opportunities as possible, it’s important to remember that your happiness is first and foremost. Forcing yourself to overkill on activities makes them less enjoyable and prevents you from being truly present. It’s important to know your limit.

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