Gold Coast Magazine

Miss Universe Australia - Finalist interview Melinda Kemp of NSW

Congratulations on making it so far in the coveted Miss Universe Australia competition tell us a little about yourself …!
Who inspires you most ….? 
It might sound cliche, but my mother and grandma inspire me the most. They are truly the backbone of our family and are testament to hard working women who love and adore us! The men in our family would be slightly reluctant to admit that my mum and grandma wear the pants, but they most certainly do and do a fantastic job at it haha! If I had to choose a celebrity who inspires me, it would have the be Angelina Jolie. Not only is she one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she is extremely talented and charitable- all whilst juggling that huge family! Her passion for the causes she fights and advocates for is truly inspiring for any woman, I believe.
What do you do for a living ….?
I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English & I work as a full-time model with Scoop Management in Sydney & recently, Wilhelmina in Miami & Dubai. I love that my job enables me to travel and it’s constantly different every day! I am so lucky to be able to meet new people who come from all walks of life and I’ve developed so many wonderful relationships over the years- I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’ve also just enrolled to do my Commerce degree via correspondence which I’m very excited about.
Speaking of Work Where is your favourite place to kick up your heels after a hard day of work …?
There is no place like home! After a long day of shooting in heels, I relish in putting on a pair of trackies and kicking back on the couch and watching some reality tv! But when I’m not feeling like so much of a homebody, I like to go to Hugo’s bar in Sydney and have a pizza and wine. When I’m feeling extra indulgent I love Criniti’s restaurant in Parramatta or Darling Harbour, they have one meter pizza’s and probably the best burgers I’ve ever had! They have a 1 kg burger, but I’m not game enough for that challenge.. yet 😉
And what does your day ideal of rest and relaxation entail …?
I love to read! Most teenagers spent their time rebelling, I spent my time reading books in my room and it’s still something that I cherish! From Shakespeare to Plato, if it can be read, I will read it. I usually try to make time for myself on the weekends where I can just momentarily switch off and just chill out, I find that a massage or mani/pedi always does the trick!
Including your favourite chill out music …?
I always turn to Frank Ocean and John Legend for chill out music, you really can’t beat them. They’re the two artists who consistently make appearances on the “Most Played” list on my iPod.
And how would you say your work if at all has prepared you for the Miss Universe Australia Competition…?
Being a model has taught me so much. Of course it has taught me the basic essentials such as; walking the runway, posing and giving me that stage presence I need. But most importantly, I think it’s taught me how to be determined and handle rejection and challenging situations. It’s an undeniable general stereotype amongst society that models are “dumb” or don’t really work hard, but thats a misconception I’d love to disprove… Models put themselves out there every day and we are also rejected every day. That’s difficult. I think that has given me strength of character and a ‘pick yourself back up’ kind of attitude that I’m so lucky to have. I was always the shy, quiet girl with braces and frizzy hair in high school… I’m still that girl deep down, but I feel like modelling has allowed me to come out of of my shell and I now have the ability to stand on stage and speak for what I believe in.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself..?
That I truly enjoy Shakespeare! People always think I’m joking when I tell them that, but I have seen most of his plays and it’s always been a dream to go to the Globe Theatre in England and watch Hamlet. I also haven’t told many people this (because it sounds pretty ridiculous), but I have a fear of birds! I’m not sure why but I have always been scared of them for as long as I can remember. If I see a group of them I run the other way haha!
How would you describe your personal Style…?
My every day style is very relaxed- I love a good pair of jeans or leather pants teamed with ankle boots/heels. Boyfriend tee’s also have a very special place in my wardrobe! If I’m going to an event, I opt for a more sexy yet simple cocktail dress with a great pair of heels. I’m a lover of shoes and have developed quite the collection over the years (nothing that would rival Carrie Bradshaw’s)… The winner of Miss Universe Australia gets a years supply of Novo shoes, so it would suffice to say that I’d be a very happy girl if I win!
Talking of style who is your favourite designer or brand …?
I love Australian designers. At the moment, I think Toni Maticevski and Steven Kalil are doing amazing things. For gowns and evening wear that make a statement, I don’t think you can go wrong with Belluccio. It’s all about glamour, which I love!
And what does your beauty & fitness regime consist of …? 
I believe in drinking plenty of water, a balanced diet and getting 8 hours of sleep are the core essentials to looking and feeling great. When I was younger and just began modelling I really felt the pressure to be thin and conform to industry standards. Unfortunately, it is a harsh reality that some aspects of the modelling industry require you to be very thin and many girls succumb to this pressure. As I grew in age and maturity, I realised I could not push my body to be a certain way that nature didn’t intend and developed a real love for cooking… which meant that I could satisfy my cravings and have a balanced diet that consisted of eating good, fresh food! I eat chocolate and will not shy away from a meat pie if I’m watching the footy on Sunday haha. Everything in moderation is key! I absolutely love doing yoga because it looks after your body and mind and I try to do the Bondi to Bronte walk at least twice a week. I’ve also just started using Elucent skincare in my preparation for the finals, it’s done wonders for my sensitive skin and people have already noticed the difference!
Where do you see the Miss Universe Journey taking you …?
I’m extremely passionate about many issues such as bullying and depression/anxiety in teenagers, and on a worldwide scale, HIV/AIDS. Not only would it be fantastic to represent Australia on the international stage, but it would it offer me an amazing platform and support system to really share my views on a larger scale and aim to make a difference (even if it is only a small one!). I think that Miss Universe is about finding a well-rounded woman who is an ambassador and I’d love to be a role model for younger women.
We all have a favourite saying or personal mantra what would you say is yours..?
“Fall down seven times, get up eight”
And what are the five things in your life you just can’t live without …?
My family, boyfriend, friends, my pug Baxter.. and of course, my phone! Can I be cheeky and also throw ‘Cadbury Marvellous Creations’ in to the list? It’s become an addiction!

Clare Standfast
Clare Standfast

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