Gold Coast Magazine

Interview with Miss Universe Australia - Monika Radulovic

Bubbly, sweet and a down-to-earth girl, Monika Radulovic is taking the nation by storm and being crowned Miss Universe Australia is only the beginning.
Monika is on a mission to spread positivity, become a role model for young women and do the best she can as Miss Universe Australia.
At the age of 17, Monika had her first taste of the modelling world when she was approached by someone at a shopping centre encouraging her to enter in a local modelling competition and one of the judges was impressed by her talent and signed her.
“Modelling is something that I sort of fell into, I never really grew up thinking that I could be a model”
While modelling part-time and completing her university studies,
once she graduated with Honours in Psychology Monika decided to dedicate her time to modelling before further post-graduate studies.
Her decision to compete in the Miss Universe pageant was a need to go beyond modelling and she said, “During that time, I thought to myself I have more to offer than just modelling, I really wanted to use my personality and voice to do more.”
She said pageants like Miss Universe “allows us to stand up on a platform and talk about our passions and interests” to proudly present their countries and to become a role model.
Monika’s message to the younger generation is to “be yourself, don’t compare yourself to others and embrace what makes you different because that’s what really makes you beautiful.”
She competed two years in a row for Miss Universe and said “the difference between this year and last year was the fact that I didn’t compare myself to the other girls, I focused on wanting to be the best Monika that I can be and that’s something really close to my heart and I want to make girls more confident in themselves.”
Monika spoke of her concern for the younger generations having to succumb to the pressures of following trends, celebrities and emulating what they see now are even bigger with the presence of social media.
“I think is really important to bring awareness to the message of body image. I think in the media has a certain view of what is considered beautiful but that isn’t reality, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.”
After speaking about her daily regime to her cover girl transformations for shoots like the one showcased in the pages of this magazine, she spoke of her life and her values of family, honesty and kindness.
Monika was brought up with both Bosnian and Australian cultures, speaking more than four languages and experienced Australia’s multiculturalism first hand in Sydney growing up with every type of culture under the sun.
She was born in Bosnia leaving at an early age when rumours arose of a coming war of former Yugoslavia.
“My parents did not want to raise me in a war torn country, they just wanted me to have a better life.”
They lived in Denmark for almost two years as refugees, staying in a two by two metre room and waiting until they were granted permanent residency in Australia and arrived in 1994.
“We couldn’t speak the language (English), we didn’t have any money or a place to stay. It was an extremely hard time for my parents but the Australian community was so wonderful, I honestly can’t stress that enough, they helped us out so much and I had an amazingly normal childhood that I really credit my parents for their bravery because they shielded my brother and me from the hardships.”
Monika said the experience her family went through strengthened their bond and made her very appreciative for Australia and the opportunities that she has had.
“My parents are so positive and so upbeat and that makes me want to be like that because what we go through, the struggles we have on a daily basis is nothing compared to what other people go through so it is really important to be grateful for what we do have here.”
She believes that everything happens for a reason, sharing one of her sayings she lives by is “A situation can be good or bad but it is either a blessing or a lesson, whatever the outcome I’m sure it’s for the greater good”.
Monika’s appreciation for Australia has always made her persevere for education and with her modelling career taking off, she is ambitious to represent Australia the best way she can.
Her Miss Universe Australia title has opened many doors for her with new sponsors in line for work and recently shooting for the new campaign for Novo shoes which is featuring alongside this article.
“I am honoured to be the face of Novo; the day was amazing! The whole team was incredible!”
Monika is a big supporter of Australian brands and was excited to shoot their Spring/Summer collection saying, “Through these experiences, I’m learning so much from them”.
Monika also took part in the Elucent Skincare National Costume Competition where Australian designers have a chance to design the national costume that she will wear for the Miss Universe Pageant.
On the 21st of September, the top four dresses were revealed and it is now up to the Australian public to vote for their favourite dress to see which one Monika will wear.
The final question I asked Monika was, “What is next?”
“I want to maximise every opportunity that comes my way and making sure that I do the best job that I can in everything I do,” she answered.
Monika spoke with great passion of the many possibilities that her career can take her and her personal life goals, however, she left me with one of her goals in mind.
“I promise to Australia that I will do my absolute best to try and return that crown for us and I hope I make everybody proud.”

Jocelyn Garcia
Jocelyn Garcia

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