Recently, MultiConnexions had an exclusive interview with Australia’s representative for Miss Universe 2019 – Priya Serrao. In what is a celebration of multiculturalism and diversity in Australia, Priya’s story is well worth a read! She talks to us about how she entered the competition without any previous modelling experience, some of her interests and passions outside the pageant, and more.
Congratulations Priya! It’s an incredible win not only for you, but for multicultural Australia as a whole. For those that don’t know you – how would you describe yourself?
I’m ambitious, fun-loving and a bit of a nerd. I’m also quite energetic, extraverted and like novel experiences and meeting new people.
How would you describe your experience of the whole pageant?
I think the experience has been insightful, exciting and a steep learning curve.
You’ve mentioned you have no previous modelling or pageant experience – which makes your win even more remarkable. What prompted you to enter?
I applied to enter because I thought the experience would provide me with a great platform and opportunities to give back to the community and pursue other creative interests.
What do you think this win means for the ethnic and migrant communities around Australia?
I think my win is testament to Australia’s commitment to embracing diversity. I hope it encourages others to step outside what feels safe and comfortable and try something they wouldn’t otherwise try!
Miss Universe aside, you’re already an incredibly accomplished individual – and are officially going to be a Lawyer in September (congratulations!). Now that you’ve added this feather under your cap – where do you see yourself heading?
So far, I’ve only really considered the next six months, during which I’ll be preparing for the international finals and working a little more with local community organisations. Beyond that, I’m open to any opportunities that might come my way in the next year!
There have been some exceptionally talented women from all backgrounds who were a part of the competition this year – and you collectively spent time across various activities (including an amazing trip to Bali). Can you give an insight into the environment and experience of being together with so many great people the last few months?
Absolutely! The highlight of this experience has easily been the incredible, accomplished women I’ve been lucky enough to meet and have amazing conversations with over the past few months. I have been asked a few times about whether there was ever any cattiness or rivalry and I can assure you there was none of that. Instead, everyone was supportive and encouraging which made it a great experience for everyone involved.
You’ve shown yourself to be incredibly supportive on the topic of community – volunteering with the SES and doing social work with OakTree Foundation and the United Nations in East Timor are some of the many things you’ve done to help give back to the community. Why do you feel these are important areas to address as a society, and what are some other areas you’re passionate about?
I think it’s important to give back in any way you can if you have the time and resources to do so. I am passionate about issues such as diversity, gender equality and women’s empowerment and I hope to become more involved in organisations that work within this space. I sincerely think that diversity of ideas and experiences in mainstream conversation leads to a richer society.
Can you tell us something unique about yourself?
I have attended approximately 14 different schools!
Once the festivities died down, what was the first thing you did immediately after being announced as the 2019 winner?
I had a small belated birthday dinner with my family.
Thanks so much Priya! Congratulations and all the best for the future.
Priya Serrao will be a celebrity judge at the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition 2019 held at Federation Square THIS Saturday 10th August. The event is open to the public and is truly a fun day out for family and friends. Join all the fun, music and festivities with Bollywood celebrities and dance performances from 12pm onwards.
Want to know how to reach the multicultural audience of Australia more effectively? Contact MultiConnexions today for more information and to learn more.
Images source: Priya Serrao Instagram