Miss Universe Australia 2015 Finalist – Kate van Bennekom

Miss Universe Australia 2015 Finalist - Kate van Bennekom
Photo by: Matthew Gillam

Well, it’s that time of year when the search to find Miss Universe Australia is well underway with finalists being selected across the country.
Early next month at the Sofitel on Collins Melbourne the judging panel have the incredibly hard job of selecting the 2015 Miss Universe Australia.

Today we are chatting with finalist Kate van Bennekom from New South Wales who is one of the national finalists who will be competing for the 2015 title of Miss Universe Australia and hoping to follow in the footsteps of Jennifer Hawkins, Rachael Finch, Jesinta Campbell and last years winner Tegan Martin.

Kate Congratulations on making it so far in such a coveted competition! We have to ask how has the overall experience been so far …?
It’s been thrilling! But also humbling! I’ve learnt that the whole Miss Universe experience isn’t about flying solo, it’s about a team effort! I couldn’t have come this far with out the help and encouragement from family, friends, designers, makeup artists and choreographers!

And how are you feelings in the lead up to the finals. ..?  

It’s a mixture of excitement and complete peace! I’m stoked to be a part of it all, and whatever the outcome, I’m so grateful for the experience itself!

With contestants coming from all over the country and bringing their own individual flare, what do you think will set you out from the rest of the finalists  competing in the 2015 competition …? I think each girl has her own set of unique qualities, which cannot be replicated or compared, kind of like fingerprints! A lot of people would say my height sets me apart, honestly there’s no grocery shelf I can’t reach haha! But in all seriousness, I’d say my ability to talk to total strangers and make them feel welcome and loved is pretty unique to me

Photography by: Caco photography
Photo by: Caco photography

What is something people might find interesting about yourself …? 

I’m currently interning as a journalist for MTV Australia! Which involves everything from writing the latest and greatest on celebs, to researching the most beautiful destinations across to the globe, to assisting on interviews with talent…it’s a blast!

Speaking of a person’s unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret …? 

Don’t be afraid to reflect your individuality in the way you dress! I love seeing a girl who goes a little against the current with her style, it speaks volumes of the confidence she possesses.

With Fitness becoming more and more a part of a person’s personal style how would you describe your fitness regime and how it relates to your life …?
I’m very much about the outdoors! I’d choose a run during the sunset over a gym session any day! I think there’s no better combo than fitness and nature

Who or what inspired you to get involved in the Miss Universe Australia Pageant …?
At first it was some of my rolemodels who had been involved in Miss Universe, who inspired me to look into it. Rachael Finch for example: a woman who has taken the journalism realms by storm, but also remains humble and generous.

What drew you to such a competition ….?
The opportunity to influence the younger generations of women was a pretty big motivator! Miss Universe offers a platform where lots of eyes are on you, if you use this to demonstrate a life of love and health, then you’ve just shown millions of eyes what a positive life looks like, which could cause them to do the same. Imagine a global community that loves all…it’s a pretty amazing thought!

Speaking of inspiration who inspires you most …? 

My mum, hands down! She’s a woman who only becomes more and more adventurous with each year that passes. She’s always kept an open heart and an open door for anyone who needs it.

The Miss Universe Pageant has a long history of associating with charity are there any social causes that are particularly close to your heart that you would like to  use the platform of miss universe to advance …? 

Last year I visited an orphanage in India that cares for and educates homeless railway children, this is a charity I would love to continue to support! There’s no better way to change our globe for the better than starting with the younger generations!

What is something you hope to bring out of the Miss Universe Australia Pageant …?  I know more doors will open after Miss Universe, be it career-wise, friend-wise and opportunity wise. I won’t say that I hope for it, I am sure of it! So that’s pretty exciting, and something I’m already thankful for.

Now the Quick 5

1. What is something you find yourself always saying …? 

I sing, “Don’t go changing, to try and please me, you’ve never let me down,”  in a horrible Irish accent! It’s from Shrek, and I wish I could say there was an inspirational reason for it, but there’s not…it’s just for laughs!

2. Your Favourite place in the world to wind down and relax …? 

A little beach called Woodgate. My family and I have holidayed there every year since I was born! There’s not much to it, there’s a caravan park, a convenience store and a bowls club…but it has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. We also whip out the family catamaran and go sailing there, but every year something on the boat breaks, it’s hilarious!

3. What song would you say is your personal anthem or theme song …? 

No, not the Shrek song (as previously mentioned) haha! I’m a mega Beyonce fan! So I’d have to say Crazy in Love by Beyonce, I can’t help but dance to it whenever it comes on…even if I’m in my car and half restrained by a seat belt.

4. If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago what would it be …? 

You are valuable and you are beautiful. Simple as that.

5. And Finally five things you can’t live without …?

God, Family, Friends, Travel, Dreams.

Spend your Sunday poolside sipping Veuve Clicquot at W Brisbane