We’re excited it’s that time of the year again when we get to introduce you to the contestants of Miss Universe Australia. We’re kicking off our eighth year of finalist interviews with Tasha Ross from New South Wales, one of the twenty-eight talented, and inspiring contestants from all walks of life who are vying for the title of Miss Universe Australia 2019.
So Tasha, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I work as a full-time model, and I have just graduated from University with a Bachelor of Business. For the last two years, I have been a spokesperson for the Endometriosis Australia Organisation where I’m able to educate the public on this disease which I face and, one in ten women also face.
What would you say was your motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
Miss Universe Australia is an incredible platform for the winner to inspire others. I would love to be Miss Universe Australia to help create awareness for people with Endometriosis, as this is a disease that does not get enough recognition and has no known cure.
The program is certainly full of amazing experiences in the lead-up to finals, You’ve just returned from the National Finalist Trip to Bali staying at the sensational Alila Hotels. How was this experience?
This was a trip of a lifetime! Not only because I could finally meet everyone in person, rather than just on social media, but mainly because it was an incredible self-development journey.
The Bali Trip is a combination of finals boot camp, personal development and team bonding exercise with a tropical escape thrown in for good measure, what would you say are some of the best things you’ll take away from the trip?
Confidence and a better understanding of who I am! One of my favourite experiences of the Miss Universe Australia Bali trip was participating in the Powerful Impressions workshop. This workshop enabled me to identify my strengths and weaknesses which allowed me to have a better understanding of myself. I also loved the photoshoot with Jarrad Seng! Being born with talipes (a deformity of the foot and ankle) basically means I struggle running on sand. During my photoshoot, I was required to run on sand which I was absolutely terrified about, but I still gave it my all! I’m usually not one to do something out of my comfort zone and this experience taught me that I need to make adventurous decisions even if they scare me!
So now you’re home and, winter has set in and the finals are only just around the corner, how are you feeling in the leadup to Melbourne and what sort of preparation are you doing before finals week?
Other than focusing on not having chocolate and making sure I’ve been exercising regularly I have been working hard on my runway walk! Thanks to Thelma Rodriguez (our runway coach) the NSW finalists have been preparing by practising our runway walks together! The finalists are all extremely supportive of one another and I’m so unbelievably excited to see who will be the next Miss Universe Australia 2019!
With so many of you all bringing an individual flair to the competition, what do you think sets you apart from the other contestants?
After meeting the contestants, I noticed how different we all are! We all have completely different goals, aspirations and reasons for wanting to be MUA.
As I have been a spokesperson for the Endometriosis Australia Organisation for the last couple of years and I’m extremely passionate about educating the public on this issue, I think I would make a great Miss Universe Australia because I can give so many women a voice. Women with this disease struggle to be heard and it would be a fantastic opportunity for the Endometriosis community.
Your next question comes from Simon Ross of Minespec Parts How much of a deciding factor for entering this year, was the Minespec Parts Grant of $20,000 to put towards your education or business startup?
I originally entered in 2018 prior to the Minespec Parts Grant announcement however this grant coincidently was perfect for me and that is another reason why I decided to return in 2019! As a Business graduate, it’s been a dream of mine to become an entrepreneur and the Minespec Grant would definitely help me on this venture!
And if you were lucky enough to receive the grant, what would you spend it on and why?
I run my own website www.tashalaraineross.com where I discuss obstacles I’ve learnt to overcome to show the world (or universe) that I am human! I would love to add a ‘support’ tab where I can sell merchandise that raises awareness on Endometriosis. The proceeds would go towards the Endometriosis Australia Organisation. In fact, I will even be wearing an awareness bracelet for the national final that I would also love to sell on my website!
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
Other than being strangely talented at the moonwalk, I’d say most people are surprised when I tell them about how doctors warned me I would never be able to wear high heels due to my foot deformity. From a young age I had always wanted to model which meant I had to be able to walk in high heels. After practicing daily I now own an unnecessary amount of heels and am even about to walk on stage at MUA!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or someone you know recently?
I’m sure most of the MUA national finalists will agree with me on this one! We were having lunch at Alila Manggis in Bali and out of nowhere Erin from the photography crew fell with her chair into the decoration pond. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness this it has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. Thankfully she was ok. Sorry Erin for bringing this up but it was way too good not to!
As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?
I always believed that adults just became naturally good at cooking and that one day I would just instantly pick it up. As I’ve grown I have realised that this definitely isn’t the case and most people in their 20’s just have 2-minute meals. Needless to say, my childhood dream of being a chef has passed!
What will you do differently compared to other years competing in MUA?
Miss Universe Australia has been a dream of mine since I was 16 years old and living in Paris. When I first entered in 2015 I was just 18 and incredibly shy. I had no confidence however, the MUA experience helped me to break out of my shell. I decided to return in 2018 however, I went about the experience in the wrong way. I was being trained and I started to overthink everything! I decided to return for a third try and just be myself! The past MUA winners have been confident and are un-apologetically themselves. This year is the first year I have learnt to accept all my flaws and am just being me!
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.