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 Tayla Damir.
Congratulations on making it through to the state finals, why don’t you tell us about yourself?
Hi, My name is Tayla Damir. I was born and raised in Perth Western Australia and have recently made a move to the east coast to follow my career goals. I have completed a degree in Communication majoring in journalism and broadcasting. I work as a full-time radio presenter and have my own morning show. Its a fantastic job for me as I talk way too much already but now I get paid for it. I have competed in Miss Universe Australia before. I represented WA in the national finals in 2015 and loved every second of it. Since then I have grown as a person and had a lot more life experience under my belt. I am half Lebanese half Australian; I have a younger brother, two loving parents, the worlds cutest dog and a big family and friend network who have supported me throughout my life.
We all have motivations, Mine usually revolves around coffee ? but what was your key motivation for entering the Miss Universe Australia competition?
My motivation behind competing in Miss Universe again is the fact that I am truly confident and happy with who I am as a person. I was so young the first time I competed; I was unsure about what career path I was going to take and I was just starting ‘adult’ life. I made so many amazing friends from the competition and so many inspiring people within a networking community. Knowing how blessed I am to still have the people I met through Miss Universe in my life was, of course, a reason as to why I’m competing again. I also feel as if I have a lot more to give this time. I can stand on the stage this year and know exactly who I am, exactly what I stand for and be confident and content with that. I want people to look at me and know that I am authentic and true. I live life by this quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, and Miss Universe allows you to step outside of that zone
What part of the Miss Universe Australia program are you most looking forward to?
Having competed before I can safely say one of the best parts of the program was travelling to Bali to visit the Bali life orphanage. This experience was a turning point in my life. Seeing these children who had no families, no money, limit living necessities and seeing how happy they chose to be was truly incredible. I was able to appreciate opportunities I had been handed in life and my family and friends so much more after having my eyes opened to this. I’m excited if I make it that far again to see all the children and bring them toys and supplies again and be touched by their drive and happiness in life. Another major thing that excites me is the fact that I made so many lifelong friends last time I competed which is why I can’t wait to meet all the girls. I found we all had similar interests and really motivated each other to reach our full potential and that’s an amazing environment
We are all unique so what would you say is something that makes you stand out from the other contestants?
Being unique is so important. I truly believe what makes me unique is my ability to hold a conversation with absolutely anybody. I take a real interest in learning about what has made someone who they are and what inspires them. I think that it was because of this genuine interest I was drawn to journalism and broadcasting because essentially that is your job, to find out the back story. When put in a group environment or an environment that people would usually find intimidating I am able to really stand out and show people that I want to listen and engage with them. I also have a daredevil side of my personality which people find intriguing. Not many girls at 21 can say they have competed in Miss Universe twice, won two charity boxing matches, skydived twice and travelled the majority of the world.
With the state finals, just a few days away, has your routine changed at all?
I love keeping fit and active, and I find a real sense of happiness through exercising. Going into the competition this time I have found I am a lot less harsh on myself and more confident in my body. I exercise daily and always try to eat healthy with the exception of sugar (my weakness). I, of course, have stepped up my exercise routine slightly as I do want to be at my healthiest and fittest when competing. I like mixing up my exercise routines and find reformer pilates, boxing, running and HIIT routines really benefit my body type. We also have fantastic sponsors such as F45 who are helping us with our preparation leading into state finals. It’s taken me a long time to find what works for my body and being someone who is dairy and gluten intolerant it has always been a trial and error process when working out what foods work for me. I have been eating super clean and listening to my body.
What is something that you hope to bring out of the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
For me, Miss Universe is all about empowering, strong and confident woman. I want to be able to walk away from the competition knowing I have impacted at least one person’s life by being true to myself. I remember watching Miss Universe as a kid at home on the couch with my grandma and mum and idolising these woman who was on stage. I want to be among those woman on stage, but I want to be able to show at least one person that its ok to not be the skinniest in the room, or have the most mathematical brain, or have 5 degrees. I want to show Australia that we as a woman shouldn’t be comparing ourself we should be embracing our differences, our culture, our bodies and our brains. We need to be unique in order to grow, and most importantly we need to build each other’s differences up to allow the people around you to grow.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Being on live radio, there are lots of opportunities for mess ups. Recently a producers name would come up in my log as ‘NIEKED’, so I was pronouncing the name as ‘KNEE-KKD’. After pronouncing it like this for a solid week on air, I had someone tell me on air that it’s in fact pronounced ‘NAKED’. The office and listeners definitely had a good laugh at my expense.
How would your closest friend describe you?
Adventurous, over carer, determined, goal setter, loud. I say adventurous because they know I’m always up for any activity no matter how big or small in there. I love discovering new places and opening my eyes to the world. Over carer because I always put others first which can be a good and bad thing at times, but that’s just who I am. Determined and goal setter because once I set my mind to something I won’t stop until I have achieved it or given it my absolute all. If I say I’m going to make something happen, I do. Loud because well growing up in a large Lebanese family who learn being loud is the only option if you want to be heard.
Name five things you can’t live without?
1)Family and Friends 2) Hair straightener ( I have very naturally curly hair) 3) ability to exercise 4) phone and technology 5) Mirrors
What are your biggest fears?
Fears are a funny thing. They give you two choices. 1) To flight, meaning run basically and never face your fear. 2) To fight, meaning acknowledging your fear and facing it head-on. I’ve always known my fears but now I’m not scared of having these fears as I’m prepared to choose option two (Fight). I have always had a massive fear of sharks. I strategically place myself around a group of people if swimming in the ocean or won’t go past a certain point in the ocean to avoid feeling as scared. I am currently trying to face this fear in my journey of learning to surf so ill keep you updated on that one. I have another fear of not succeeding or reaching my full potential in life. This is a fear I have learnt to love as it means I can choose option two again and know I will always push myself to face this fear and make sure I do succeed and live my life to the fullest. Last but not least the fear of being alone. This has also been a great fear to have as I push myself to challenge this fear. I have moved across the state and have learnt I am more than capable of being alone and will continue to challenge this fear throughout my life.