Today we are catching up with Mia Brooks 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 Mia , why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Haha, where do I begin? This was actually the first question I got asked in my State Final Interview back in April, which seems so long ago now. I remember feeling so nervous and having absolutely no idea how this whole experience would unfold. But here I am…
As a young woman, I am continually looking to evolve and develop myself. Therefore, investing in my education is extremely important to me, and if I have learnt one thing from studying, the more we know, the more we don’t know, but it is this process that keeps our learning dynamic. I’m currently at Uni, studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in finance and marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation.
I would describe myself as an extroverted introvert! However, there’s a side to me that absolutely adores going out with friends on a night out and making an absolute goof of myself on the dance floor – unfortunately, dancing is not one of my talents haha.
I also love meeting and connecting with new people, which I get to do all the time working in both the modelling and retail industries. On the other hand, there is another side of me that loves nothing more than a night in with myself, ordering takeaway pizza and popping on a good film or tv show (at the moment, I am watching Nine Perfect Strangers – highly recommend!). I’ve always been a very active person, either working out myself or playing a team sport. This is definitely where I have developed my competitive side, which my friends and family can certainly account for. Travel is another love of mine. I have been lucky enough to visit some incredible places and have many more to tick off the list!
We all have motivations, mine usually revolving around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?
I am someone who loves to be busy, so when our good old friend COVID-19 came along, it was certainly a shock to the system. In July last year, I was actually due to travel to Denmark for an eight-month exchange, which was a massive goal of mine. I had been saving my butt off since school for a trip like this, and having it cancelled was obviously a huge disappointment. With still no travel on the cards for this year, I really wanted to do something aside from Uni and work and I just happened to stumble across the Miss Universe Australia Program. I remember hesitating to apply at first, as it was something that was highly uncharacteristic of me to do. But I guess my motivation to do something new and outside of my comfort zone led me to submit my application in the end. I wanted a challenge. I wanted an opportunity to grow. And I can say wholeheartedly I have gotten both and so much more.
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?
Village Roadshow spoiled us rotten on our trip away! It was a surreal experience meeting all the other outstanding women from the other states and finally getting to know them properly. Our schedule was jam-packed with some amazing experiences. From our tranquil sunset cruise to the adrenaline-fuelled day at Movie World and Wet’n’Wild, there certainly wasn’t a dull moment!
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
Honestly, there were so many. But if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be coming together every night as a big group and having dinner. Our days were always super busy, so being able to wind down and bond over a few too many wines or cocktails was a great way to get to know the team better. I am certainly walking away from this experience with some amazing 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?
Warren Buffet once said the best investment you can make is an investment in yourself… and I couldn’t agree more, which is why I would put the grant towards my education.
I mentioned earlier I am doing two Bachelor degrees, which definitely comes at a cost. However, I believe that spending time (and money) educating yourself is incredibly important for self-development and, ultimately, your impact on others.
While I am still figuring out exactly what I want to do post studying, I have become highly interested in behavioural finance and how we may utilise this area of study to enhance financial literacy among young women. The immense societal pressures telling us to live certain lifestyles, the easy access to endless forms of credit, and the buy now, pay later revolution can make navigating the finance world tricky. I would love to have some involvement in this area, providing young women with the proper guidance and tools so that they may feel a sense of financial freedom.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the competition, what is something that sets you apart from the other contestants?
A personal challenge I have had to overcome throughout the program is not perceiving my young age as a disadvantage. There are so many accomplished and well-established women in the competition who have abundant life experience behind them. I am still studying. I am still figuring out what it is I want to do. And I certainly have much more life experience to gain. Yes, young Australian women most definitely need someone to look up to, but they also need someone to relate to. I want to be that relatable role model for young women who, too, are figuring out what they want to do and how they want to make an impact. I want to join the young women of Australia on their journeys, and I also want to take them on mine.
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?
It certainly has brought its challenges, but I think one thing I have gained over the last eighteen months is the ability just to stop and refocus my attention on what matters.
It can be so easy to focus on what we don’t have, but having been stripped of some of life’s simple pleasures like dining in at a restaurant or catching up with a group of friends, has put everything into perspective and forced me to realign my priorities.
I’ve also learned the importance of taking a timeout. Life can get so busy, and often we sacrifice our’ me time’ or the things we enjoy. Self-care is not self-indulgence but a necessary part of our wellbeing and is something I will take with me into the future. I think we’ve all been able to do something we didn’t get around to before lockdowns existed, whether that be exercising more regularly, reading that book we’ve been meaning to read or learning a new skill we didn’t think we would learn. While it has been difficult, I think we have all taken something good away from the last eighteen months.
What is the first thing you hope to do as soon as restrictions are lifted?
Definitely dine in at one of my favourite restaurants or cafes. I am a huge foodie and have missed doing this very much.
Final Five Questions
Favourite Place to Travel To?
Japan! The snow there is amazing for skiing, and the food is to die for.
The highlight of the last year?
I turned twenty-one back in May and was lucky enough to have a big celebration at home with friends and family just before we went back into lockdown!
What is something people may find interesting about yourself?
I love just about any sport. But one sport people are often surprised by is when I tell them I played rugby back in high school.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
There is often a taboo against discussing money. However, women shouldn’t feel shame or embarrassment when talking about money topics. Instead, I want to have these conversations and empower women to increase their financial literacy to feel a sense of financial freedom.
One piece of advice you have for us all?
Don’t let fear stop you from chasing after what you want (myself included). Life is much too short for that!
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.