Congratulations to Priyanka Annuncia, who was crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2023 last night, at the iconic Amber Lounge during during the Singapore Grand Prix Weekend on 16 Sept with special guest Lil John performing.
This is also the first crowning under the stewardship of Pinktank Events and its directors, Troy and Sophia Barbagallo who brought in a contingent of Australians to also support the Singapore crowd.
We caught up with her for a quick chat in the lead up to the National Final; read the full interview below.
So, Priyanka why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I have been an entrepreneur and personal trainer for 6 years. I recently completed a double major in Law and Criminology, and I’ve now embarked on a mission to drive change within the legal justice system, particularly in combating Human Trafficking (AAT Thailand).
With a background in Private Investigations, I’ve spent three years refining my investigative skills. Presently, I lead investigations, oversee rescue missions and manage reintegration programmes for survivors. My childhood aspirations aligned with this path, and I’m grateful to be actively pursuing my calling.
When I’m not busy fighting crime or coaching, you’ll find me managing my body-positive clothing line, a venture I initiated four years ago.
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Singapore?
My motivation to participate in MUSg is a direct reflection of my personal values, ambitions and dreams. I place significant importance on my advocacy work, and the Miss Universe platform offers me a potent tool to magnify my voice and enable me to create more positive influence in this field. Imagine having the ability to secure a place at any table where change is sought, with the ability to reach tens of thousands of people. That level of influence is exceptionally formidable. My purpose here is to champion diversity and inclusion, challenge conventional beauty stereotypes and commemorate the rich tapestry of various cultures and backgrounds.
As part of the program, you recently went on the National Finalist Trip to Vietnam at Furama Resort Denang, with the Australian contestants. What was the experience like?
From beginning to end, it was an incredibly enriching experience. The focus was entirely on us, the programme was carefully designed to nurture our personal growth. It aimed to build our character, boost our confidence and enhance our skills. There was no pressure to conform to any particular ideal; instead, every contestant was celebrated for their unique qualities. The training we received was of the highest quality, and it allowed me to explore and understand certain aspects of myself on a deeper level. Additionally, the interactions with the contestants from Australia were truly remarkable. I gained valuable insights into their way of life, culture, social issues and more. It certainly broadened my perspective and these interactions allowed me to form deep and meaningful connections.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of my trip would be, without a doubt, further unlocking my self-confidence. In previous years, I often held back, thinking I might come across as excessive or that I shouldn’t showcase my strengths too openly as well as encountering specific challenges that required resilience and personal growth for me to overcome.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other finalists?
I’m passionate about creating positive change in various areas, including the legal justice system and entrepreneurship. I’ve dedicated a significant part of my life to advocating for these thus giving me a strong sense of purpose and determination. Life has taught me resilience, helping me handle the pressures of life with grace. I’m a lifelong learner, always seeking personal growth and adaptation and I have a clear vision for my role as Miss Universe Singapore, aiming to be an agent of change. Finally, what you see is what you get with me. I value authenticity and believe in actions speaking louder than words and I have been a testament to this.
Singapore is a multicultural society with people from many different backgrounds and walks of life. As Miss Universe Singapore, how would you use your platform to bring people together?
I would use the Miss Universe platform to continue to advocate for greater representation of all ethnic groups in various sectors, including media, politics and business. Support initiatives that promote inclusivity, such as anti-discrimination campaigns and diversity training programmes and continue to be a role model by embracing and celebrating your own multicultural background and heritage.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
I am someone who is driven by passion and purpose. I have a deep passion for everything I engage in, whether it’s fitness, managing my online store that advocates for inclusivity in the fashion industry, teaching, or conducting investigations. The common thread that ties all these pursuits together is the sense of purpose they bring. Making a meaningful difference through my work is of utmost importance to me.
I firmly believe that human beings are not designed to limit themselves to a single pursuit. We are inherently multifaceted and meant to explore various avenues until we discover what truly fulfills us.
To finish up the interview we have a few quick questions
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in Thailand for a while, it is a country so rich in culture. The people are absolutely lovely and it is where I do my most meaningful work – anti-human trafficking investigations and rescue. So settling there would mean that I will get the chance to 100% devote my energy and time to my work.
What would your perfect weekend look like?
My ideal weekend involves indulging in activities that I’m passionate about and truly enjoy. This can include either engaging in work I love or indulging in a binge-watching session of crime shows. Honestly, I already feel like I’m living my ideal weekend every week because I get to do both, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What makes you laugh out loud?
MEMES! I have way too much fun with memes and sharing those memes with people who have the same sense of humour!