Today we are catching up with Julia Newbery of New South Wales, one of the 29 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2021.
So Julia, Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I am so very proud to be an Australian but also of mixed cultural heritage – my mother is Indonesian, and my father is Australian (convict ancestry). I have been fortunate to have lived in both of my parent’s home countries as well as enjoyed my high school years in Singapore.
I spend my free time surfing, jogging, and volunteering at my local NSW- RFS rural bushfire brigade station, where I have been a member for the last seven years. I also spent a large part of my summer last year on the 2019/ 2020 firefighting effort during the “Black Summer” bushfires in NSW/VIC.
I have studied acting at NIDA and have also undertaken modelling placements in Australia and SE Asia.
We all have motivations, mine usually revolving around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?
Honestly, my real motivation was to make new friends and experience something different. But, of course, just the experience of being part of the MUA creates challenges and opportunities that help one grow and develop as a person – and with confidence.
MUA also gives me an incredible opportunity to grow my public presence and provides a vast platform where I am able to be a voice and role model for younger generations of boys and girls. My emphasis, in particular, is on educating and inspiring them to understand cultural diversity and mental health issues better.
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?
The entire experience of travelling with a large group of strangers was an exciting challenge for me. The trip itself allowed me to step out of my “comfort zone” and experience the challenges of “opening up with” and being exposed to people I had never met before. A challenge on that trip that I am particularly proud of was conquering my fear of heights on the roller coasters at movie world.
That was a direct result of the kind support and enthusiasm given by my new friends. I now feel like I can apply the same sort of principles to my everyday life. Even the most difficult things in life can be overcome with the proper support and trust. Inspired confidence is the key. This became a reality soon after the trip as I entered this long Lockdown. I am getting through it mentally and physically with the support of family and friends.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
That is a really difficult question to answer. I honestly had so many wonderful experiences on that trip that I am struggling to find a favourite. The bonding with the other girls, right through to the one-on-one time with the animals and having the whole movie world to ourselves was absolutely incredible. The friendships I made on that trip!! I can easily say that I have made new lifelong friendships.
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?
I would allocate the funds as a welcome capital injection into the start-up business that I am currently trying to develop with my mother. It involves import and export trade between Indonesia and Australia. My dad, a former Australian Trade Commissioner to Indonesia, will also love to help us.
Working together with my Mum and owning a business is something we have both had our hearts on doing together for a long time.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the competition, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
Possibly the thing that most “sets me apart” is the practical level of my multi-cultural understanding and experience. I was born in Australia and spent my early years as a typical Australian school kid in a very small Australian rural town.
Later in my teenage school years, I resided in other countries eg, Singapore and Indonesia. Australia is a multi-cultural nation, thus my very practical understanding of what that “really means”, is relevant and important. My practical feel for, and insight into, other cultures and languages is quite a unique advantage.
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?
Certainly the past 18 months have been tough for everyone. I have directly experienced the frightening frontlines of the bushfires, only to then emerge from that to find myself locked down in a global pandemic. After Fires were out at last – I needed release, not Lockdown! The sincere and kind support of family and friends pulling together is critical for Mental strength and resilience in challenging times.
What is the first thing you hope to do as soon as restrictions are lifted?
I’m heading straight to the gym. I cannot wait for the feeling of stepping back into the gym, improving my diet, and working towards growing stronger.
Learning more about fitness and strength has helped me to become more self-confident. It’s not because of how fitness makes you look good, but how you feel. I know I am fuelling my body with foods that will help my body thrive and it also gives me the endorphins which ultimately help my overall mood and energy which makes me a better person to be around… haha less cranky.