Today we are catching up with Josephine Volk of Western Australia, one of the 29 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2021.
So Josephine , why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I’m Perth Born and raised and twenty-three years old. I am Italian and Croatian, so I have been blessed to grow up around a very large family. Due to my heritage, I am a little Italian Nonna at heart and have a passion for cooking, including any pasta dish under the sun. I am currently studying law at the University of Western Australia. I also work part-time as an assistant legal librarian. I have an adorable little Jack Russel called Molly (AKA Lil Moll), who is (not so) secretly my best friend, and we became very close during lockdown – our deepest secrets were shared.
We all have motivations, mine usually revolving around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?
Firstly, because I wanted to use the platform, I am fortunate enough to have received as a result of this competition to provide a voice for social justice issues and to promote both physical and mental well-being (which I’ll touch on later). Secondly, I wanted to prove that I could partake in such a program and gain invaluable skills from this.
As part of the program, you recently spent some time up in our hometown of the Gold Coast with the Village Roadshow team; what was the experience like?
I won’t lie; I was pretty anxious to go into a situation where I was surrounded by 30 incredible women. It was nerve-wracking and intimidating. However, I could not be more grateful for the experience provided by the generous sponsors and the other contestants. It was an eye-opening and incredible opportunity as I was able to establish newfound confidence within myself. I learned that in order to grow, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
I think it was a given to say that the biggest highlight was making friends with so many amazing women. However, the biggest individual highlight for me was being able to have early access to Movie World and going on all the rides. Deep down, I am a big kid at heart and a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
If you win the title of Miss Universe Australia, you will receive the prestigious Minespec Parts Education and Business grant worth $20,000; what would you do with the grant and why?
There’s no doubt that I have accumulated a substantial HECS debt due to the privilege of attending university, and such a large grant would significantly help me pay off this debt.
I see myself as a business, and being awarded this grant would enable me to receive one of the best educations possible, which undoubtedly allows me to provide the best legal service to give back to the community. This is a major life goal of mine, and I would not take the generosity of Minespec Parts for granted as it can help this goal to fruition.
If you win the title of Miss Universe With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the competition, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
This experience has been refreshing to be able to meet so many different women from different walks of life that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Miss Universe Australia enlightened me as to what makes me unique. My drive, resilience and motivation are qualities of mine that I am incredibly proud of. I embrace these traits in order to give 110% to not only this competition but my day to day life.
The last eighteen months certainly have been challenging for all of us; what would you say has been something you’ve gained or learned from the whole experience?
I sympathise with many of the contestants and people around Australia who have experienced harsher lockdowns and resurrections as a result of Covid-19. In saying that, I have learnt a lot about myself during these past 18 months. As someone who is highly productive and always on the go, this period gave me an opportunity to take a step back and reassess what is important in life. I tended to get caught up in my external life and failed to look after myself internally (mental health and ‘me time’). I learnt it is important not to forgo my mental health and well-being because at the end of the day if experience has taught me anything, it is that everything can be taken away instantly from you, so you need to have your own back and make the most of what you’ve got.
What is the first thing you hope to do as soon as restrictions are lifted?
I have never been to Europe and have always wanted to go, so I would love to go there as soon as restrictions are lifted! Italy is calling my name!
Final Five Questions
Favourite Place to Travel To? Whistler, Canada – snowboarding was amazing!
The highlight of the last year? Being accepted into law school and completing my first year with a distinction average.
What is something people may find interesting about yourself? I love outdoor activities. In summer, you will catch me fishing and crabbing with my family! We have been doing this ever since I can remember, and I have created some of the best memories in these experiences.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why? I am extremely passionate about social justice issues, particularly the devasting effects of the minimum age of incarceration against youths. This heavily impacts the Indigenous population. There is a lot of evidence to support the fact that there is a disproportionate effect on these individuals in this country, particularly within WA.
One piece of advice you have for us all? Embrace who you are to the fullest. I have body issues, doubts within myself or confidence issues, but everyone does. When you come to this realisation that everyone has their insecurities and flaws, you can start to live life just the way you are. It is no easy journey to undertake, but once you do, it is freeing and an uplifting feeling like no other. Embrace your differences; they make you who you are.
Thank you to
Minespec Parts are proud to be partnering with 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.