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 Hanni Howe from South Australia, 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 Hanni, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
Firstly, hello! I’m Hànni, which is pronounced as Honey, yep, like the food! I was born and raised in little Adelaide in South Australia and I am so happy to call it my home. I am 19 years old and studying a Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing at the University of South Australia. In my spare time, you would find me kicking a football with my senior women’s team at Broadview Football Club or working hard to make a difference in the world, be it big or small. I am dedicated to spreading the word about women in sport and aspire to break down boundaries by pushing myself into the sports journalism industry. I love to think that I make people laugh and am able to put a smile on at least one person’s face every day. I am always outgoing and dream big, in the hope that one day I will achieve these goals and travel the world, woohoo!
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I want to make a difference in the world. Like I mentioned before, be it big or small, if I were to be crowned Miss Universe Australia, I would use the platform to inspire women of all ages to dream big and know they can achieve anything they set their mind too. Playing a sport and hopeful to follow into a career pathway that are both so widely dominated by men, I’m determined to use my voice to encourage equality for everyone of all ages, race and gender and be a positive role model for our younger generations. That is my motivation for entering, and of course to really step out of my little shell.
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?
Oh, utterly beautiful. What a place to stay! I will admit, I think I was actually speechless when I walked into Alila Uluwatu, Alila Manggis and Alila Seminyak. The rooms were insane, the staff were so beautiful and the scenery was to die for! Alila ticks all the boxes, everyone must visit any of their hotels in the flesh, it was an experience to remember, that is for certain.
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 Bali trip was definitely a learning curve for me. The best takeaway from this trip was how much I came out of my shell. I came home ready to tackle everything that comes my way, literally! And of course, the friendships I have made that will last a lifetime.
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?
Winter has sure settled in! Eek! I can’t believe how fast this year and the Miss Universe Australia journey has gone… In all honesty, I am trying to continue my normal daily routine and keep my mind, body and soul as relaxed as possible. I have never experienced anything like this, much like many of the other girls. However, I believe my best approach in preparation for the final will be to continue being my happy self. I do this by surrounding myself with beautiful family and playing football to keep my mind at ease, along with keep me feeling fit and healthy along the way before the big finale!
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
Ooo… that is a very hard question. Meeting all the incredibly talented and kind-hearted girls in Bali, you truly realise how individually amazing each girl is. I hope I can bring a little bit extra to the table with my witty sense of humour, my funky attitude and outlook on life. I also live by a quote from the good old Walt Disney, and that is the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which is what makes you unique. So I hope that my love for myself and my mind will radiate my individuality and enjoyment of life.
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?
Minespec Parts are awesome. I am yet to meet Simon, but I am inspired by their generosity in providing a grant of such a large sum to the crowned Miss Universe Australia. This sort of prospect comes very, very rarely, and I am so fortunate to have a slight chance at receiving the grant for a business startup or towards my education. I have to say that the grant was the big push for me entering the competition this year. I would be kicking myself if I let this window of opportunity close!
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
That is an exciting concept to think about… It gives me goosebumps! Studying for a degree in journalism and focusing on women in sport, with this sort of grant, I would love to put it towards a program for younger women and girls wanting to follow in similar footsteps of my own and play football, providing them with equal opportunities.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
A lot of people when they meet me are shocked that I play both football and model! They are complete polar opposites, and I think that makes me quite unique. I love how shocked everyone is when I tell them, I normally get the response, “what happens when you get a bruise?!”.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
Oh, it has got to be the last night in Bali. Sorry Veena… We were getting out of the car after our awesome Minespec Parts farewell dinner to head into Tropicola. Veena with her beautiful cast on after fracturing her thumb in Manggis, starts to do a funky dance in front of me heading into Tropicola, next minute she trips right over after dancing into a hole in the ground, but the best bit is she got straight back up again and continued to dance away (that is truly inspirational).
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 always wanted my own pet, one that would answer to me and only me as the pack leader! I was always jealous of mum getting all the attention! Now I have my own kitten, then found out the reality of how much money goes into vet bills, food, the list goes on! Not to mention she also likes to let a stinker out every now and again
Who has influenced you the most?
I always ask myself this question because I hope to follow her in footsteps and remind myself of how everyone should treat one another. My Oma, at 87 years old, is the most inspiring woman I know. With the largest heart, yet the tiniest stature, she fled Groningen in the Netherlands to live a better life here in Adelaide. She has always had an incredible outlook on life and never has a bad word to say about anyone. She treats everyone, no matter who they are, the same, kind way. This is something I feel so strongly about, and I hope one day we can all understand and treat everyone, no matter who they are, the way we would want to be treated. I am proud to call her my Oma, and hope I follow in her footsteps, it would also be nice to still be heading to the gym at 87 years old too!
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.