Today we are talking with Molly Ferguson from South Australia on of the twenty-eight. Talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2020.
In what has certainly been an unpredictable and unprecedented year of ups and downs we’re thrilled to bring you our ninth year of Miss Universe Australia finalist interviews.
So Molly, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
My name is Molly and I’m passionate about science, environmentalism and the community. I currently have my own tutoring business where I predominantly tutor high school students in physics, chemistry and biology. I also am studying iOs software development, whereby I’m combining the knowledge I’m acquiring from this course and my passion for sustainability, to develop my own iOS app.
Another important aspect about me would be my philanthropy. I am currently volunteering in the OneGirl Campaign with Taboo, which is a social enterprise that aims to end menstrual poverty. Then in my spare time, of which there is not much, unfortunately, I enjoy dancing, writing, singing and acting.
The Miss Universe Australia program has been on hold since earlier in the year and now making its way towards a virtual final to be held on October 28, What motivated you to enter the Miss Universe Australia Program?
The reason for entering Miss Universe for me was actually that my childhood best friend rang me telling me that she had a dream that I was in the competition. That planted the seed, and once I researched the program, I realised that it would be an incredible platform for my philanthropy, as well as an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. The Minespec parts grant was definitely a key incentive in applying as well as I do have a business startup idea that I would love to pursue.
This year has been like no other, how have you been coping so far and what’s been the biggest challenge and positive that has come out of it all?
If I’m completely honest, the pandemic has been incredibly anxiety-inducing for me since it is a situation that feels entirely out of my control. My biggest challenge has been managing this anxiety, which I have by becoming aware of what I can control and shifting my focus away from what I can’t control.
The biggest positive from the pandemic is that as a country we’ve learnt that we are not powerless in the face of great change. In a short period of time, we mobilised to the point where half of humanity took drastic action to protect the most vulnerable. The way that we’ve reacted demonstrates we can come together and fight an invisible threat. I believe we can harness this and apply it to the invisible threat of climate change.
With everyone bringing such an individual flair to the competition, what do you think is something that will set you apart from the other contestants?
Whilst I am passionate about academia, I also am passionate about the performing arts. I would like to think my flair pertains to my creativity with my writing, piano playing, acting and dancing.
The winner of Miss Universe Australia 2020 will also receive the prestigious Minespec Parts grant worth $20,000 to spend on your education or business startup, what would you do if you received this grant? And would you say your answer has changed now during the current COVID climate?
If I received the Minespec Parts grant, I would invest it into a business startup that I would love to pursue. As I mentioned before, environmentalism is my advocacy. I think as a society, we are aware of the threat of climate change, but we aren’t sure how to directly engage with the issue, particularly on an individual level.
To address this, I’ve developed a prototype for an app whereby users are allocated a daily quota for how many carbon equivalent gases they can consume in a day. Taking into account a multitude of factors including recycling habits, transportation choices and diet, the app is designed to educate users on the environmental impact of their daily actions.
If anything, the COVID climate has reinforced the importance of becoming more conscious of how we contribute to consumerism.
The human footprint on the environment lightened during the pandemic, as there was a reduction of carbon equivalent emissions in urban areas. This is only temporary, but it provides an insight into the benefits if a systemic change in high emitting investor-owned companies is implemented.
First thing you will do when this pandemic ends?
I have family in Victoria, so once the border restrictions permit, I would love to visit them and give them a big hug.
Place you will hope to travel to next?
I’d love to travel to Europe and explore countries steeped in history and culturally different to Australia, such as Germany, Sweden and Prague.
Have you taken up a new hobby, skill or learnt a new dish during lockdown?
Just to be original, I took up baking amidst the pandemic. I may or may not have perfected the art of baking peanut butter banana bread.
Minespec Parts are proud to be the presenting sponsor for Miss Universe Australia, Working to empower and support women not just through the Miss Universe Australia pageant and their $20k education and business grant, but through many platforms with various activities across Australia all furthering and supporting women in the workplace.