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 Isabella Epstein from Queensland, 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 Isabella, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
My Name is Isabella (Bella) Epstein, I am 21 and from the Gold Coast QLD. I am currently studying full time at Griffith University completing a double degree of a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics and International Studies. I would love to continue my studies and complete a Master of International Law. If I had to describe myself in three words, I would say I am:
- Creative; I love art especially drawing and I also design and bake cakes.
- Curious; I love learning, whether that’s studying, reading everything I can get my hands on, listening to podcasts or even just talking to people; I love to expand my horizons.
- Optimistic; I always look for the best in people and situations and am a very happy person.
I love exploring outdoors and am passionate about scuba diving. I also enjoy travelling; I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world at such a young age and at 18 took a gap year working and back packing around Europe. I have an extremely close family and circle of friends. I am lucky enough to have grown up surrounded by so much love and support and I am so grateful to have such a strong support system behind me.
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
I have two older sisters who have also entered Miss Universe Australia, they were both a massive motivation for me to enter this year. My older sister Maddy, was in the competition last year and it really pushed her out of her comfort zone. I got to see first-hand how much she learnt, and I watched her confidence grow throughout the experience. All of these factors, along with the great friends she is still close with were huge motivators for me.
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?
The Miss Universe Bali Trip was incredible. I had never been to Bali before and getting to explore this island was so much fun. It was the first time I got to meet all of the girls and now have a long list of new friends. All of this was topped off by staying at three of the amazing Allia Hotels in Bali and I cannot recommend these enough!
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 filled with countless fun and happy memories. However, there were many personal challenges and obstacles to overcome along the way. We were lucky enough to complete a powerful impressions workshop; which allowed all of the girls to gain a deeper understanding of who we are. I also did my first professional photoshoot; this was an unforgettable experience for me, not only was it so much fun but was also captivating to see how much work went into each photoshoot behind the scenes. These experiences along with many more were so rewarding; while breaking through countless mental barriers was the clear highlight for me – I left Bali feeling like I can accomplish anything.
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?
In the lead up to Melbourne, I am filled with excitement. I can’t wait to see and catch up with all the girls and the Miss Universe Australia Crew. I have been keeping my routine pretty consistent; I have just finished my end of semester university exams, so I’m really enjoying my time off catching up with friends and family before I go down to Melbourne for a week.
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
Something that I believe sets me apart from the other contestants is my advocacy.
I am extremely passionate about elderly care, especially dementia and Alzheimer’s in Australia. This is a cause very close to my heart; my grandma passed away only a few weeks ago after battling Alzheimer’s for 20 years. My family, in particular my grandfather, had been her primary source of care throughout these years and I have seen first-hand how the quality of care can have such an enormous impact. I believe there needs to be a greater community understanding on how this insidious disease can affect an entire family. This, in turn will inspire more research and a higher standard of care so that we can see the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease.
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?
Personally, my motivation to enter the competition was driven by my constant desire to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have already gained so much from this competition and have a real sense of self development. Given this, the donation by Simon of Minespec Parts is exceptionally generous and it’s an added benefit to this already wonderful experience.
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
If I was lucky enough to receive the Minespec Parts Grant I would put it towards my education. After completing my two bachelor’s degrees, I intend to complete a Master of International Law. This grant would provide me with the flexibility to intern at an Australian Embassy overseas while completing my studies. This experience would be invaluable to my career aspirations as a future lawyer, specialising in global law. In this role, my ultimate goal is to work in the UN, furthering the development of human rights and giving back to the wider community.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
Something you might not know about me is that I practice Arakan Martial Arts. I’ve been training for just over 4 years and love it. Arakan is a derivative of a traditional Burmese martial art ‘Rakhine Thaing’ practised in Myanmar by tribes for generations. Arakan is adaptable to modern self-defence situations and has taught me invaluable self-defence skills.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
This isn’t so recent but when I was younger, I broke my arm falling down the stairs. I was 12 and it was the middle of summer, I spent 8 weeks with a hot and sweaty cast on my arm, counting down the days until it was off, and I could move and wash my arm. The day finally came to get my cast off, I got home, went straight to the shower and before I took my first step in, I slipped and fell. Within the hour I was back in the hospital with a cast on the same arm.
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?
Being the youngest of three girls, I always looked up to my sisters and wanted to be just like them. Consequently, I was always playing catch up. I remember being in junior school when they were in middle school; they got their first homework assignment, I thought it was so grown up and awesome I asked my teacher for homework. Then they got braces, so naturally, I wanted them too. Unfortunately, by the time I got braces, they both had theirs off and I learnt they weren’t as “cool” as I once thought they were. This is a trend that continued throughout my childhood.
Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why?
The next destination on my travel bucket list is a road trip through the southern states of the US. Two of my top destinations are Nashville; because I am obsessed with country music, some of my favourite artists are Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. I’ve always loved country music, it’s something my sisters and I share, I have so many happy memories singing along to country songs in the car with them. The next destination on my list is New Orleans, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and traditions and I find that fascinating and truly unlike anywhere I have travelled before.
Isabella is also helping raise money for Toybox International as part 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.