Rocky girl makes her mark in Miss Universe competition
ROCKHAMPTON'S Mikaela McTier-Browne was told from a young age that she had a future in modelling.
On the weekend, Mikaela competed in the first round of the Miss Universe Australia competition and was chosen to go through to the next round as a state finalist later this month.
Mikaela, 20, said she had been modelling since she was 12.
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"The dance school that I went to also offered modelling and I was encouraged by my teacher to do it," she said.
"My modelling coach always told me that I had a future in modelling. In my first modelling competition, I won Miss Photogenic and was given a contract with a Brisbane agency.
"I did modelling for a while but it got too hard when I started high school and then I went on to university, so I've only just gotten back into it.
"I've always wanted to enter in Miss Universe. I entered last year and didn't get through to the state finals but I learnt so much from that first experience."
Mikaela said she went into last weekend's competition with a different mindset to last year.
"When I entered last year I didn't do a lot of preparation before the competition," she said.
"I went in thinking being myself was going to be enough, whereas this time I put a lot of work into getting myself where I needed to be in terms of public speaking and physical training.
"You don't think there's a lot of preparation that goes into it but it's not just about standing there and looking pretty - there's lots of elements to competing."
Like most girls, Mikaela loves dressing up and modelling designer dresses on the catwalk but for the CQUniversity graduate, the Miss Universe Australia competition is about more than that.
"It's a journey of personal development where you're always learning new things and improving your confidence and that's why I love it."
Mikaela will compete in the Miss Universe Australia state finals on April 29 on the Gold Coast.