The search to find the next Miss Universe Australia is underway, with National finalists preparing to touch down in Melbourne later this month ahead of the national finals held at the Sofitel on Collins June 29.
We are chatting with Georgia Gravanis, from New South Wales who will be competing for the 2017 title of Miss Universe Australia,
Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Hawkins, Rachael Finch, Tegan Martin & Jesinta Campbell.
First of all the introduction, Why don’t you tell us about yourself?
My name is Georgia Gravanis, and I am from Sydney! I lead somewhat of a double life as my days vary between working in human resources while also modelling – if not both in the same day (It can be a bit of a balancing act!).
I come from a multicultural background, and I am Greek/Australian. I was brought up speaking Greek and spent a lot of my childhood in Greece with my family. This developed my love of travelling, and I have serious #wanderlust if I’m ever in Sydney for too long as I try and visit a new destination each year. This year I have been lucky enough to go to the Maldives, Singapore and of course Bali!
I’m a bit of a silent achiever and have always set goals for myself. After schooling, I completed my bachelor of business degree at UTS with a distinction average which proved to myself that I could make anything happen and be a role model to help others achieve their goals.
I love to spend my down time with friends and family, and our house has become the hangout spot where we enjoy each other’s company over laughter, good times and of course food! (I am in a Greek household, after all, there is always food!)
Georgia Congratulations on making it so far in the such a coveted competition, we have to ask how the overall experience has been so far?
Thank you! I feel so lucky to be a part of this competition. My whole experience with Miss Universe Australia has been so positive, and the program is run so well by the directors and team. This is my second time competing and last year was a great experience regarding my personal development so I’ve really come back with everything I’ve learned to do the best I can!
We have just heard you returned from the Intercontinental Resort in Bali as part of the program, How was the experience and what would you say was your highlight?
Our Bali trip was unforgettable. I had never been to Bali, so it was incredible to experience a new place with a great group of girls, and not to mention how incredible the Intercontinental resort was! Every area was the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot, documentary or of course our lip synching video! We had the absolute A-team with us for hair and makeup as well (Alarna Bell from Bodyography and Paper Rokk Hair). We went to some of the most amazing restaurants such as Mrs Sippy and Rock Bar and everywhere we went was so rich with culture!
I had two highlights; the first was at Sundays Beach Club – it was a great night getting to know the girls and relaxing by the beach bonfire roasting marshmallows! Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that are the most memorable.
We also visited Bali Life Foundation and spent the day with the children where we danced and played games. The children’s energy was so admirable – one little girl, Ing, was the same age as my cousin here in Sydney and it really put everything into perspective and truly makes you appreciate what we have. It was such a rewarding experience, and I would love to go back to visit the children again.
It’s not long now until the finals, how are you feeling in the lead-up and what sort of preparation are you doing, before the finals get underway?
Finals are coming up so quickly! I’m feeling really happy with my progress by preparing myself physically and mentally and having a positive outlook on the whole experience. I have improved my lifestyle by not giving into my sweet tooth as I am always the first to jump to dessert! However, I believe in everything in moderation, so I still allow the occasional indulgence… I have been focussing on regular gym, and PT sessions and I started boxing eight weeks ago which I am loving! I have also been keeping up to date with current affairs and practising Q&A’s.
With so many women all bring their individual flare to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
Trust me; all the girls are bringing their flare in this competition! I believe my passion and drive is something that sets me apart; it is my goal to inspire others which is why I am here. I am someone that has experienced many challenges, from family circumstances to ongoing health battles to come from a multicultural family but I have always held a strong sense of self which I would hope to carry by being the best ambassador for Australia and inspiring others to stay true to who they are.
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
There’s too many! My mum is a beauty therapist, so I learned all my beauty secrets from her. I’m more about highlighting my natural features regarding makeup, and this all starts with the right skin care so your skin can look and feel its best.
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
I have watched Miss Universe from a young age, both nationally and internationally and have been very inspired by past contestants and what they went on to achieve. Miss Universe Australia is a fantastic platform to act as a role model, inspire others and be an ambassador. I entered because I love to push myself out of my comfort zone, so I thought – if I didn’t enter now, then when would I?
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
Padma Lakshmi is someone that inspires me as she has used her fame as a platform to raise awareness to endometriosis – a condition affecting 1 in 10 women which affect your reproductive organs. I have suffered from endometriosis for eight years, and this disease completely limited my everyday life. However, like her, I am not one to let anything get in my way, and I continued to persevere. I am so inspired by her efforts of co-funding a charity, and she inspired me to share my story.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I absolutely love languages! English was actually my second language as I was brought up speaking Greek. I went to an International school where I learned English which was definitely challenging. Being an International school, there was a strong focus on languages, so I started learning Japanese at the age of four also. This developed my love for languages, culture and of course, travel!
What does the average day look like for you?
My days will depend on whether I’m working in HR or as a model. I’ll wake up, take my dog Bailey for a walk, get ready and go to work, spend my lunch breaks catching up on emails and working on my brand and posts and then back in the office. After work, I’ll fit in the gym and then come home and be spoiled with the most amazing dishes. I’ve also been improving on my cooking skills, so I’ll try new recipes (and hope they go well!). I lead quite a busy life so I don’t get much down time but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
I try and go back to Greece each year as it is truly my second home. It is so important to take a break and find time to relax, rejuvenate and refresh (and escape the cold!).
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
Everything happens for a reason.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
From a young age, I had a strong sense of self and knew what I wanted. I would tell myself to keep working towards my goals and to hold onto my drive to continue to grow and be the best version of myself. The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time so to keep moving forward even if I don’t know what’s ahead
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
Chocolate (An occasional indulgence… or two… so I’m going to count that twice!), my phone (guilty), my dog Bailey and the sun (in moderation – I am a summer baby after all).