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 Olivia Rogers, from South 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?
I am a 25-year-old, born and bred Adelaidian. I am one of five children, plus a few dogs. I also have a very large extended family who are, and always will be, a very important part of my life. I currently live in Melbourne with my boyfriend and our two dogs, though I will always be a proud South Australian. I am a qualified speech pathologist, a professional artist and I also work as a model. My dog (Mooshie) is currently the most popular dog on Instagram in Australia, so managing his account has become another part time job for me. I studied for four years at Flinders University in Adelaide, to complete my Bachelor of Speech Pathology, and during this time I started my business painting and selling my art. I am currently illustrating a children’s book written by a friend of mine – we hope to have this published very soon. I have been modelling since I was 17 and I currently freelance as I love the freedom of picking and choosing jobs that make me happy. I love painting, reading and spending time with my friends, fam and dogs. I have a new found love of cooking (though I still have lots to learn!) and I love running – it is my favourite way to clear my head. I have had personal experiences with anxiety and depression in the past, so I have been my social media as a platform to help raise awareness about these issues and to promote positive body image. I am also an ambassador for Canteen Australia and Captain Courageous, and I will be fundraising for Beyond Blue later this year. I am very lucky to be doing so many different things that I enjoy every day; I couldn’t be happier.
Olivia 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! It has been an incredible experience, one that I never expected to have, I feel so privileged to have been a part of the Miss Universe competition so far. I have met so many amazing girls who I know will remain, friends, long after the dust settles on this exciting competition.
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?
I had an absolute ball! We were spoilt to stay in such a beautiful resort, and to be decked out with goodies from so many incredible sponsors. I found the Intercontinental very traditional which gave us great insight into the Balinese culture – and they treated us like royalty! I really enjoyed the workshops we had, particularly ‘Powerful Impressions’ with Nat**. The lessons we learnt were not only very relevant to the MUA competition, but they also translate so much into our everyday lives. We learned more about our own personalities, how we can best present ourselves and how to read and interact with others – no matter what their personality type. It was also a great way to learn about the other girls in the competition; I made some beautiful friends through this. Another highlight of the trip was sharing a room with the other South Australian girls; we laughed til we cried every night, it was so much fun.
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 am so nervous to be completely honest!! I keep having dreams that I’m walking down the runway, and my dress has a hole in the back, and everyone can see my whole bum (yikes!). However, other than the nerves, I am feeling excited. I generally exercise regularly and eat well anyway, but over the last few weeks I have stepped up my boxing sessions and cut back on the wines on the weekends. I think it’s important to be true to myself though when it comes to the day, so I’m not planning on making any drastic changes before then.
With so many women all bring their individual flare to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
I’d have to say my sense of humour and ability not to take myself too seriously. I have never been a super competitive person which I think helps in a high-pressure situation like this. I will definitely be having a good time out there, no matter what happens.
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
It’s not necessarily a secret, but for me, I just wear whatever I feel like and things that make me happy. Being comfortable in what you’re wearing is bound to make you feel more confident, and confident, happy people seem to attract other positive people.
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
When I was first asked to enter the competition in December, I actually said no. I didn’t think that a ‘pageant’ was really my cup of tea. However, after speaking to friends and family, the main consensus was that I had nothing to lose in taking part and I might as well give it a go. It helped too, that I had heard from past contestants, that Troy and Sophia are such genuine, down-to-earth people, and consequently it is not your stereotypical pageant situation. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to use this platform to speak about issues that I am passionate about. As I mentioned earlier, I have battled with depression and anxiety in the past, and as most girls have – I have struggled with body image quite a bit. This competition is all about being confident, loving the skin you’re in and being strong, independent women. I want to be a role model for younger girls and help them with these issues, and I think I can do so by talking openly about my own experiences.
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
People who are open & honest and don’t try to be something that they’re not, inspire me the most. There is nothing more inspirational or contagious than people who are genuine and open, and not afraid to be vulnerable. Jessica Sepel is one of my greatest inspirations; she is an amazing person.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I have a serious phobia of noisy eaters – mouth sounds drive me nuts!!
What does the average day look like for you?
I don’t really have an average day, with so many different things on my plate at the moment. If it’s a painting day, I’m usually in my PJs all day until I go to boxing or for a run in the afternoon. Some days I might have a shoot in the morning, then paint in the afternoon, or vice versa. However, no matter what my day looks like, I am constantly hanging out with and taking photos of Mooshie – gotta get that content haha.
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
It would have to be my painting room. My desk is set up in the corner of two big windows, so I get so much natural light in there. I love switching off from the rest of the world, listening to an audiobook and just painting away for hours. If I could relocate this painting set up to Bali, that would be even more ideal.. maybe one day.
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
‘Yes’ – I have a bit of an issue with saying yes to too many things! I am an over- committer.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
My advice would be to stop wasting time caring about what others think. As I get older, I realise more and more that other peoples’ opinions don’t matter and shouldn’t impact the way you live your life. As long as you are being a good person, and staying true to you, people can think whatever they want.
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
• My family & friends (can we count them all as one?)
• My dogs