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 Grady Wulff, from Western Australia 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 Grady Catherine Wulff, and I am 22 years old from Perth, Western Australia. In February 2016 I graduated from Curtin University in Perth with distinction in a Bachelor of Commerce Majoring in Marketing and Advertising and have held jobs in a number of industries as a result of my hard work and determination.
I am sporty, active and live an incredibly busy life. My can-do attitude and constant will to challenge myself have led to many challenges overcome and great personal development, making me the strong person that I am today.
I am currently working as the Marketing Manager for the software company ClientVault as well as the Marketing Assistant for Fearless Active Wear. I have just finished my time at The Neurological Council of WA after assisting with their rebranding and spending 18 months transforming the way in which the nursing service was delivered from paper and pen to a web-app platform.
Grady 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 so much, I didn’t expect to make it this far and am so grateful for everything that has come from the competition.
The Miss West Coast, and now Miss Universe Australia competition has been like no other experience I have ever participated in before. I have grown so much as an individual, discovered new passions and enhanced my confidence thanks to the program.
From day one I knew I was well out of my comfort zone regarding public speaking and sharing my story.
The Bali trip was a highlight and is a journey I will never forget. I was immersed in a week of bonding activities, personal development, cultural experiences and beautiful people, which truly put things in perspective and enhanced my appreciation of our lives in Australia.
I am so thankful for the entire experience and no matter the outcome of the National Final I feel as though I have won in so many ways as a result of this program and am excited to see what the next chapter of my life brings.
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?
The Miss Universe National Finalists trip to the Intercontinental Resort in Jimbaran Bay, Bali was nothing short of incredible and is an experience that I will treasure forever. Not only did we get to meet and build friendships with the other beautiful national finalists, but we were also exposed to the traditional Indonesian Culture through the different daily activities. The weather was tropical and proved as a nice escape from the winter chills currently felt in Perth, and also pushed us harder in the condition for morning workouts.
As an Australian, the phrase ‘the lucky country’ had particular resonance when visiting the Bali Life Foundation Home. Many of us Australians become complacent with how lucky we truly are living in such an amazing country. Visiting a country like Indonesia clearly exemplified this notion, particularly visiting the Children of the Bali Life Foundation. Seeing others with so little yet being so happy and positive emphasised how integral it is to appreciate the small things in life. The Miss Universe competition has given all of us the opportunity to give back in small ways and make a positive impact on those less fortunate than us as well as realise how very lucky we are to live the lives we do.
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?
I honestly cannot believe how fast the National Final is approaching; it feels like yesterday we were in Bali! I am extremely excited, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, however, I feel I am preparing to the best of my ability and pushing myself to prepare the best version of myself every day in the lead-up.
I have upped my fitness by attending more boxing sessions at The Hurtlocker Claremont each week as well as running most mornings along the beautiful WA coastline.
My diet has always been quite strict however I am taking more notice of what I eat and have cut out the cheat days given how close we are to finals.
Mentally preparing for the final involves listening to positive affirmation videos and meditation podcasts (also relaxing me throughout my busy days) and I regularly spend car rides rehearsing my introduction.
With so many women all bring their individual flare to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
The level of competition this year is unbelievable; every girl is absolutely stunning inside and out, and as you mentioned, all bring their own flare.
My experience in web-app design and development, and innovative app ideas involved travelling to present to City Councils, Industry professionals and businessmen and women well beyond my years and expertise. Standing in front of a room of council members at the age of 19 selling my passion for the retail app idea I had devised, and the team had developed rewarding and challenging and has prepared me for any situation of public speaking moving forward.
Such experience also relied on a great determination to not give up no matter how tough the challenges faced appeared. My determination, confidence, diverse skillset and passion are traits I hope to convey in the National Final to stand out above the other contestants.
I am a realist but also give 150% to every task I undertake. Working in the medical industry, in particular with clients living with neurological conditions, I have developed a strong passion for raising awareness for the lack of knowledge, understanding and funding for anyone living with such conditions. I hope to be a voice for the wonderful clients I know and don’t know living a life restricted by their respective Neurological condition.
I am hoping to bring something unexpected to the table, however, will remain grounded and real to myself standing beside the other unique contestants
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
My style changes but I stick to the neutral colours. My Beauty Secret is my mascara. I use a cheap mascara; I feel it is the simple secret to every makeup look. My Mascara is often the only makeup product I will use for a look especially living such a busy lifestyle. Mascara gives me a confidence boost ready to take on any task my day throws at me.
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
I have been asked in the past to enter the Miss Universe competition and felt I didn’t have enough behind me to offer as much value as I personally could. I am the kind of person to give 150% to everything I do, and I knew at the times of being asked, my ability to perform wouldn’t have been at my personal standard.
Holding off from entering was the best decision I have made. I am now confident in my ability to deliver as well as having achieved things I never imagined achieving including designing and developing a web-application to transform the way in which the nursing service is delivered by the Neurological Council of WA and more.
Thus I guess to answer your question, I saw entering Miss Universe as a challenge to build my confidence in public speaking and spread further awareness about Neurological Conditions and their presence in Australia. I was inspired to face my next internal battle and spread awareness of a topic I am so passionate about.
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
Professionals and leaders of the medical industry in Australia inspire me. Dr Charlie Teo is probably the most inspiring Surgeon and leader in the Australian health industry given his mantra to go where other surgeons refuse to go to prolong the lives and chances of every patient he works with. Dr Teo is constantly progressing and adopting medical advancements to improve enhance the services he offers and push boundaries to give every patient a chance they deserve at recovery.
Regarding what inspires me, I am truly inspired by progression in technology specific to the health industry.
Having played my part in technological enhancements to deliver services through the web-app, E-Wellness, that I created for the Neurological Council of WA, I am constantly in awe of global technological growth and developments in the medical industry to treat, prolong and add value to the services offered to all patients on their respective health journeys, to aid the management and maintain their wellness for as long as possible.
My involvement has inspired me to constantly learn more and expand my skill set to further make a mark in the health industry in the future. I am currently teaching myself iOS app coding to bring to life my deeper idea and design for health service delivery.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I am 6ft tall, have blonde hair and defy the blonde stereotype with my self-taught experience in web-app development.
I absolutely love playing and watching sport in particular netball, which I played State League at the Perth Lions for a number of years. If I am not busy working and running around for various commitments, you’ll find me down south at Quindalup, Western Australia by the beach as this is my favourite place to escape.
My creative flare and hard work have to lead to jobs in various industries, and my motivation, determination and passion drive me to give 150% to every task at hand.
I have developed a strong passion for web development, in particular, devising new app ideas while completing my iOS coding course.
I am selfless, caring and loving and will always be here for my friends and anyone who needs me at all times and I love being able to help people through tough situations.
What does the average day look like for you?
My day-to-day life is never the same, and I very much enjoy it that way. I work two jobs and model as well. I guess if I had to give a snapshot of an average day in my life this year is would be as follows:
5 am – Rise and shine for Boxing at the Hurtlocker in Claremont
7 am – Head into the office I work to hit the ground running in my role as the Marketing Manager for ClientVault
12 pm – I often have to pop to fittings, press shots, or castings on my lunch breaks around Perth
1 pm – Back in the office
4.30pm – Head home to get ready for an event or new venue opening
6 pm – Attend the event
9 pm – Home to work on the social media role I have just commenced with Fearless Activewear and reply to any emails I have received
11 pm – Time for Bed!
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
My family has a holiday home in Quindalup, which is in the South West Region of WA (About a 3-hour drive from Perth). I try to escape down there as much as possible to relax and unwind even if only for a few days.
The country air, relaxed ambience, beach close by, and endless amounts of things to do and see make it my all time favourite place in the world. I actually went there a few weeks ago to begin my preparation for the Miss Universe National Final for fitness and to get into the right mindset for the Final.
We sometimes forget how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country like Australia with so many amazing sights at our doorstep, and escaping to the countryside is my way of relaxing and unwinding.
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
(Sometimes even when I am not)
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
Let fate and hard work determine your future. The 150% you give to everything is about to pay off in a way you will never believe. You may be facing the toughest times and challenges you ever have, and at times you may want to give up, but that is not in your nature, and your challenges have built you to be the strong woman you are today.
The next three years really are YOUR YEARS. Wake up know the future is extremely bright and putting in the effort now and every day will pay off beyond well your expectations. Don’t compare yourself to others, be a true friend, and present and build the best version of you.
Stay am humble, grounded and never stop to look at what you have achieved, keep asking yourself ‘what is next’, and continue living by the quote ‘Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell and got back up again’ by Nelson Mandela as you have fallen many times, but jumped back up twice as high to conquer many challenges. Keep going; you’ve got this!
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
1. My Phone for communication, news updates, organisation, podcasts, maps and music
2. The Beach – Running along the coast is my favourite form of exercise and meditation to start my day positively and clear my mind
3. My Nivea lip balm; everyone who knows me knows I have a lip balm (or 2) on hand at all times.
4. Family and Friends; my family are everything to me. They are the ones who have pushed me and provided me with the best opportunities to become the person I am today. I love spending time with my family down south and turn to my parents for guidance in times of adversity or challenge. My friends have supported me through many obstacles and projects I have faced in my life and are the ones who I know will always be there for me no matter what.
5. My running shoes; I live an incredibly active and busy life. Having loved sports and exercise from a young age and playing Netball at a high level for many years, I have come to rely on my runners every day from playing tennis with friends to netball and running I can’t live without my runners.