Well here in Queensland we’ve just wrapped up another sensational Summertime the weather is sparkling, and the search for the next Miss Universe Australia is heading our way with finalists being announced across the country now.
We thought we would kick off our home state interviews with Rylee Bradford
Congratulations on making it through to the state finals, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
Thank you! I am a 22-year-old born and bred Queenslander. I grew up on a small island. However, I always knew I wanted to travel the world and create a great purpose for my life. I studied for four years and graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. I currently live in Brisbane and work on the Gold Coast pursuing a career as a psychiatric Occupational Therapist. When I am not dedicated to achieving my best in my career, I enjoy spending time with my family. Growing up my family has always been the most important aspect of my life, including my three gorgeous puppies who are incredibly naughty due to being spoilt. I love spending my free time exploring and being close to the beach, being active and spending time with the people who mean the most to me. There are not too many times when you would not find me laughing or trying to find the positive in every situation!
We all have motivations, Mine usually revolves around coffee ? but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?
With some encouragement from the people around me I decided to enter Miss Universe Australia because why not? I have always enjoyed a challenge and applying for Miss Universe Australia was something out of my comfort zone. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised how big of an impact I can have and the possibility to make a difference to the people around me. I have always been intrigued by the beauty and glamorous side of pageants however the most important reason why I chose to apply was that I want to be someone people look up to, to recognise their challenges and to reassure them that there is someone who will raise awareness for the struggles they face in daily life. I believe the competition is a great platform to discuss issues I am passionate about and also to work with some fantastic brands and sponsors along the way.
What part of the Miss Universe Australia program are you most looking forward to?
From being surrounded by like-minded successful women to working with amazing sponsors, I have already had so many incredible experiences so far! However, this year a part of the competition which has caught my eye is the $10, 000 education or business grant that is kindly provided by Minespec Parts. It is a part of the competition I look forward to discussing further and getting creative with ideas.
We are all unique so what would you say is something that makes you stand out from the other contestants?
I would have to say exactly that. We are all so unique, and the fact that no one else has had the same journey or experiences as me is what will set me apart in the competition. I would definitely say that by being myself, being witty, enjoying myself and staying true to who I am, will set me apart from anyone else.
With the state finals, a few days away, has your routine changed at all?
For the most part, my routine has not had many changes. I have a demanding work and life schedule. Therefore, I have to manage my time wisely. I have always enjoyed being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I have enjoyed spending my free time fundraising for ToyBox International and preparing for workshops. I believe I am fortunate that each day I can draw inspiration from my work environment about the issues I am passionate about in preparation for the final. Although I have cut back on the sneaky late night chocolate runs, I wanted to stay as true to my typical daily routine to allow the judges a view into the real me.
What is something that you hope to bring out of the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
I believe there is so much to gain from a competition like Miss Universe Australia. I am very patriotic, and I would love for Australia to be represented on the international stage by a strong, powerful, educated and passionate woman. I hope to continue to develop my skills both personally and professionally through this competition. This competition encompasses being confident, unique and perfectly imperfect. I aspire to bring a positive image for all Australians by being transparent and sharing my knowledge regarding mental illness. I believe even by helping one person through this competition it would be a great achievement in itself.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I feel like I am constantly embarrassing myself which often leads to everyone having a good laugh. More recently though, on a visit to my hometown Bribie Island I was walking my German Shepherd with my Mum along the coffee rock at the beach. When my dog (Sheldon) decided to chase another dog, I lost my footing and went down like a sack of potatoes. Somehow, through the chaos, I managed to maintain my grip on the lead, and I ended up being the one taken for a walk/ drag along the beach. Between laughing and trying to get up, luckily I was not injured. I think I laughed for days getting flashbacks.
How would your closest friend describe you?
I think she would tell you that when times are tough, I’m always there to see things through and try my hardest to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Name five things you can’t live without?
-My family – My dogs – Thai food – The beach – Laughter!
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
For the most part, I believe that we create our destiny and that it is not always left up to fate. I think every decision has an outcome, and the opportunities we take are what shape our lives. From growing up on a small island, I had a wonderful upbringing by the beach. However, I was quite sheltered from the rest of the world. I have always been a motivated person and known I wanted to pursue goals which allowed me to be the best possible version of myself. I actively seek out opportunities in my everyday life to continually develop as a person. Each day I try to challenge myself because I strongly believe that great results do not come without great effort. I believe while I have been surrounded by some incredible support networks, my passions and personal qualities have controlled the course of my life.