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 La’Ace de Vries from Queensland 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.
First of all the all-important introduction tell us a little about yourself…? Hello, I’m 22 years old and I am an international model. I love to be outdoors, especially with my horses. I’m a big animal lover so you can often find me in nature. If I’m not there, I’m spending time with family or friends. In the future, I would love to study nutrition, as I believe it is the road to a long, happy and successful life. I also want to spend more time involved in charities that help animal conservation.
La’Ace Congratulations on making it so far in such a coveted competition! We have to ask how has the overall experience been so far …? And how are you feelings in the lead up to the finals. ..? Thank you so much. I was so overwhelmed when they announced my name. It has been an amazing experience so far and I’m excited to see what the nationals bring. Preparations have been much more intense than the last round. You must have the perfect dress and be in the best shape physically and mentally. I find myself constantly reading the news and having discussions with family. The Questions and Answers section is paramount; it’s really the part that separates the finalists from the other contestants.
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 …? From what I have seen in this competition, every contestant is unique and all bring their own amazing qualities to the finals. I believe that what sets me out from the rest of the contestants begins in my upbringing. As an only child, growing up with all sorts of animals on 15 acres has really allowed me to become down to earth, understanding and compassionate. These qualities are really important for a competition such as Miss Universe because it is what allows you to be relatable. Those who can inspire are people we can relate to. I am also quite ambitious and determined to make the most out of life. I am not afraid to go outside my comfort zone if it means growing more as a person.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself …? I had a very eclectic mix of interests as a young teen. I became an owner-trainer driver for Queensland harness racing and would frequently be down at the old Gold Coast Harness Racing Track off the Smith Street motorway. I also was an actress on the children’s show Mortified.
Speaking of a person’s unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret …?
Having my hair pulled and teased as a model, it’s always getting damaged. I massage castor oil onto my scalp to help promote hair growth. I also believe good health starts with what you consume and one of the best ways I like to nourish myself is by taking superfoods. My favourite is organic brown algae from Divinita. It is great for a detox and gives me lots of energy.
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 …?
Throughout my life, my regime has been keeping active, mostly outdoors horse riding. When I was younger, I did harness racing, but I also loved to horse ride in the hinterlands. Recently, I have taken up going to the gym. I enjoy it more than what I expected but it’s a different sort of fitness.
Who or what inspired you to get involved in the Miss Universe Australia Pageant …? What drew you to such a competition ….?
The Miss Universe Australia Pageant has always appealed to me. I think that it’s a great platform to build confidence in many young women. The experience alone is enough to motivate young women to believe in themselves and aspire to achieve the best that’s within them. It’s also a lot of fun and a great way to meet like-minded people.
Speaking of inspiration who inspires you most …?
The person that inspires me most would have to be Miranda Kerr. Ever since I started modeling, I found her values, her kindness and her determination a real inspiration to be the best I could be. I have also had the pleasure to meet her and her family and they are every bit as genuine as I hoped.
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 …? Since I was a young girl, animals have been such a big part of my life. They have kept me grounded, empathetic and even uplifted my spirit when I felt down. Mahatma Gandhi said ‘the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ For this reason, I would like to support charities that deal with the conservation of animals, such as Wildlife Warriors. Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation even more important. 87% of our mammal species, 93% of reptiles, 94% of frogs and 45% of our bird species are found only in Australia. Not to mention that our animal ambassadors, the Koala, the Platypus, the Kangaroo and the Emu are completely unique to Australia. Also dealing with horses on a personal basis, I have realized how much the therapy of being with animals can help people on a spiritual level. Spending time with animals gives you so much love and helps lift your mood.
What is something you hope to bring out of the Miss Universe Australia Pageant …? One thing that I hope to get out of this experience is to increase my confidence. I think it is a great opportunity to voice your opinion and openly reflect on the person you wish to be. This is something so many young women find confronting and even intimidating. Having a good foundation for the sort of person you want to be and using it as criteria to build on, allows you to have a much more positive outlook on life. This is important if you have big dreams and don’t know where to start to achieve them.
Now the Quick 5
1. What is something you find yourself always saying …?
My parents like to collect antiques and one of the antiques they had was an old army water canteen. It has an inscription on it that my Dad always told me to read.
“Good better best, better than the best. When you’re good gets better, you’re better is best.”
2. Your Favourite place in the world to wind down and relax …?
There is nothing better than saddling up my horse Effie and going for a ride. It reconnects me with nature and makes me calm.
3. What song would you say is your personal anthem or theme song …?
Anything by Gwen Stefani.
4. If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago what would it be …? Always stay positive. Carpe Diem, seize the day and never give up.
5. And Finally five things you can’t live without …?