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Mikayla Schnabel – Miss Universe Australia 2020 Finalist Interview

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Today we are talking with Mikayla Schnabel from NSW one of the twenty-eight. Talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2020. 

So Mikayla, why don’t you tell us about yourself?

I’m 23 years old living just south of Sydney right near the gorgeous Royal National Park and Cronulla Beach. I spent most of my childhood either covered in sand or mud, and I can’t think of a better way to grow up. 

Coming from a large family, I inherited my relatives love for competitive sports from netball, tennis to NRL, dancing or athletics and even at the surf club there isn’t a sport we didn’t try to excel at.

I’m a die-hard foodie, travelling and enriching myself with new cuisines is my second love, after my family, of course, I also work as a corporate concierge in numerous buildings around Sydney and also as a model which is my passion there’s something about making someone’s vision come to life that completes my soul.

What motivated you to enter the Miss Universe Australia Program? 

Miss Universe was a tv program I accidentally happened on late one night back in 2004, it also just happened to be the year that the gorgeous Aussie bombshell, Jennifer Hawkins won the title. 

When I came across the registration for 2020 online, I was stuck in a rut and wasn’t happy; I had a fear of failure which meant I was holding myself back from almost everything, it scared me, but I figured what a better way to challenge myself. 

I have no regrets and cannot stress enough how much this program has helped me grow as a person, pushing me to be the best version of myself – nothing grows from your comfort zone. 

Not only that, but the program gives you the platform to express your individuality and personality as well as provide light to the issues you wish to bring to the world’s attention.

This year has been like no other, how have you been coping so far and what’s been the biggest challenge and positive that has come out of it all? 

2020 has certainly been different! At first, I wasn’t doing too well. 

I lost my jobs, had to sell my car, moved away from/couldn’t see my family. 

Mentally, it was starting to take its toll. It was then I decided to take this downtime to focus on developing myself. In life, my main goal is to help people – but how can you help others if you don’t first help yourself? 

I spent a lot of time and money on my mental health, and it was the best choice I could have made during the pandemic. Becoming the all-around healthiest version of yourself is a journey, and for me, that has been a positive outcome of COVID.

With everyone bringing such an individual flair to the competition, what do you think is something that will set you apart from the other contestants?

 I am just being myself. I’m not a fan of comparing myself to others, especially not the beautiful and genuinely kind women I have met from this experience. No one is you, and that is precisely the person the judges have come to see.

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The winner of Miss Universe Australia 2020 will also receive the prestigiousMinespec Parts grant worth $20,000 to spend on your education or business startup, what would you do if you received this grant? And would you say your answer has changed now during the current COVID climate?

The current pandemic has reaffirmed my drive to use the grant toward my education in environmental activism. Our planet is suffering because of our actions. 

We only have to look toward the recent fires, floods, human illnesses, flora/fauna extinctions, declining freshwater supplies and erosion to see the impact humans have on the environment and ecosystems. 

Positively, COVID restrictions have resulted in the greatest decrease of climate-change producing greenhouse gases since the burning of fossil fuels began. The link between our deteriorating planet health and climate change cannot be ignored. Our planet needs us now, more than ever if we wish to have a liveable and beautiful world for our future generations.

First thing you will do when this pandemic ends? 

My family lives in Queensland, so as soon as I’m able, I’ll be on the first flight to the Sunshine Coast.

!Place you will hope to travel to next? 

After Queensland, it’s got to be Europe! I can hear the pizza in Italy calling my name!

Have you taken up a new hobby, skill or learnt a new dish during lockdown?

Β I absolutely love cooking anything and everything, during the pandemic I mastered the art of bagels.



Presenting Sponsor

Minespec Parts


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.

Watch the virtual final tomorrow night by getting your tickets at gcmag.me/missuniverse


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