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 Jessica Dover 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 Jessica, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
Hi my name is Jessica Dover and I’m 26 years old from South Australia. I’m currently a Primary School Teacher as well as a part time model (I know completely different on the professional scale but some how I’m making it work). I would describe myself as down to earth and easy to get along with (that’s after I’ve had my morning coffee, of course haha).
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
There are a few motivating factors for entering Miss Universe Australia. My first motivator was simply being able to say that I completed the process and pushed myself to do so. I actually applied for the competition 2 years ago but had to withdraw due to some personal matters. Ever since then I knew I wanted to say I completed Miss Universe Australia at least once! My other motivator was to simply be a positive role model for all males and females, young and old. I want to be a role model that people can relate to. I want everyone to know you don’t need to be “perfect” to be Miss Universe Australia and that if you are kind, caring and 110% yourself that is enough. Growing up in a world that is primarily influenced by social media I want to be different.
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?
Bali was absolutely amazing, the girls were so beautiful, and it was nice actually to meet everyone in person as opposed to online. The Alila resorts were like nothing I’ve seen before! Alila Uluwatu was breathtaking! The decor and architecture design was a league above; I’m unsure if I’ll ever get to stay somewhere as lovely as that again! The finer details like the frangipani water and honey scented warm towels (just to name a few) were what separated them from other resorts.
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 trip was full of a variety of workshops and events which ensured the days weren’t left with a minute to spare. The most meaningful thing I took away from the trip was gaining a deeper and more personal understanding of the girls, making it easy to understand why we were all selected to be finalists for the competition. Each of the girls were so unique in their own way and it taught me so much by just spending time with them. We all have so many different strengths and weaknesses and it helped me understand more of my own.
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?
It honestly feels like we just arrived back from Bali and I’ve only just unpacked my suit case! Now we’re getting ready to go again! These few weeks leading up to Nationals have been a whirlwind making sure I’m organised. My preparation has been a bit all over the place as my work is quite sporadic but I’m trying to ensure I continue with my fitness routine and keep on top of my socials!
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
As I mentioned above, when we were in Bali everyone’s personalities really shone through. I struggle writing something that puts me above anyone else as being humble is a trait I pride myself in. Sometimes it’s not a quality that is better or above anyone else, but its being confident in the qualities you have and knowing that being 100% yourself is a quality that will always set you apart
Your next question comes from Simon Ross of Minespec Parts If you were lucky enough to receive the Minespec Parts Grant of $20,000 to put towards your education or business startup, what would you spend it on and why?
Having graduated my degree my Minespec Parts grant would definitely go towards a business startup!
I think starting up businesses is in my blood, I’m always looking for a new or innovative idea that will be the next best thing (aren’t we all haha).
I have a few ideas for business start-ups, although I want to ensure I’ve thought it through thoroughly and am 100% invested before beginning. I’ve run an online business before so understand the process in how it works and how social media can be the driving force for businesses these days. I don’t do anything in halves so will want to ensure I have it right before I do. No matter which avenue I go down my business will involve evoking a feeling and experience for everyone involved.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
The most interesting thing about myself would have to be that recently my partner I competed in a renovation TV show called House Rules. It ran for approximately 7 months and absolutely consumed our lives for 2017, it was the most amazing experience!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
I was with a friend one day using my lint roller on my pants (the lint rollers that have approx 100 layers and you just keep peeling them off as you use them). She commented “I love lint rollers but they don’t last very long”. I replied “what do you mean? There’s at least 100 layers on them!”. She looked at me in absolute shock and said she’s been using the initial layer and chucking them in the bin after one use. To this day when I use a lint roller I think of her
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?
Oh my gosh there are so many things that aren’t as awesome as you thought they would be. Here’s just a small list:
Riding the bus or train. As a child it’s a magical journey, as an
adult it’s an endless struggle to ensure you don’t miss your bus/train and are
always hoping you get a seat and don’t have to stand the whole trip. It’s just
an added bonus if your car hasn’t been broken into at the station when you get
Swiping your credit card. As a child I would play shops with a
plastic credit card, not being able to wait for the day until I had a real one.
Oh how naive I was haha.
Cooking. My favourite make believe past time. These days I’d opt
for the mud pies we made in the sand pit over having to cook and clean up every
Getting to stay up all night. All I wanted to do was have no
bedtime and stay up as late as possible. If only I could go back to the days
where I was made a warm glass of milk and tucked into bed by 7.30pm. Now that
was the definition of living the dream.
What are you most passionate about sharing if you were Miss Universe Australia 2019?
The answer to this question is my entire reasoning for applying for Miss Universe Australia. Throughout my life working as a model and then transitioning from high school, to go onto working at Summer Camp in America for over two years and then eventually starting and completing my university degree, it has all had a large impact on the person I am today and what I truly value.
I continuously reflect upon the past ten years of my life and think about what has influenced me, who have influenced me, and why? And every person that has made a positive impact on me, it has never been for the way they look, what their hair looks like, what size they are or what they’re wearing (I couldn’t remember those things even if I tried). You don’t remember any of that! You remember the way someone made you feel, how they made you laugh until you cried or how they were there for you through thick and thin. What’s on the outside can make you personally feel better, yes, but what’s on the inside counts so much more to someone else.
With social media having such a heavy influence on young people these days I want to continue to promote this message. Helping others to truly value what’s on the inside above anything else because that is what people will remember.
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.