The Big Reveal: Meet The 2022 Miss Earth Australia National Finalists

Miss Earth Australia is one of the most prestigious pageants in the land down under to date. It is held annually to choose which beauty queen will represent Australia in the international and global annual environmental-themed competition, Miss Earth. It was established 18 years ago and aims to utilize its beauty, brains, and talents to promote social awareness regarding environmental concerns and compassion towards our one and only Mother Earth.

Over the years, Miss Earth Australia has aimed to promote pageantry as something that is not always just about the crown, sash, and beauty. It continues to integrate and embrace more inner qualities such as substance, intelligence, kindness, and diversity.

After passing regional screenings, 18 finalists were selected to compete for the Miss Earth Australia 2022 title. Below is the list of candidates:

Himaya Wijeyaweera | Victoria

Her advocacy: “Living in Australia has made me so appreciative of the beauty that we carry throughout nature and the diversity of cultures. My – STRIVE FOR SUSTAINABILITY- approach targets everyone on how we as a collective need to work in unity to incorporate sustainable practices in our everyday lives! This pageant encourages the fulfillment of a purpose toward the protection and preservation of our mother Earth. By taking small steps to educate others on sustainability, I aim to use my platform to target the healthcare industry to bring light to how we can make the change to be more considerate.”

Judith Sanougah | Victoria

Her advocacy: “My decision to join Miss Earth Australia stems from my belief for the environmental problems with a special focus, especially on deforestation – this is my chance to have the journey where I try my best to make a change and leave my mark on our planet, along with teaching young women especially ones like myself with my kind of skin colour and my kind of hair that they are also considered beautiful, and that beauty is not based purely on looks, but that beauty stems from having a purpose.”

Zena Skuthorpe Dowel | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I joined Miss Earth Australia as I believe this organisation gives young women, whose voices are generally silenced, a large platform to talk about huge global issues to do with the environment.”

Jaisy Molina | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I chose to compete in Miss Earth Australia because it is an opportunity to raise awareness about the ongoing climate crisis. MEA stands for more than just beauty; it also stands for bravery and courage. Owing to this, I can speak out and inspire others to reduce and eliminate plastic pollution. Let’s protect our precious mother Earth. We are stronger when we work together.”

Fulla Sami | New South Wales

Despina Karpathiou | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “We need a change in the world! There’s so many things happening that aren’t being noticed! Gold mining in Uganda, kids working underground and dying. The weather events happening! The constant floods and devastation. We gotta stand up and do something!

Mariah Whyte | Victoria

Her advocacy: “I joined Miss Earth Australia as I believe this organisation gives young women, whose voices are generally silenced, a large platform to talk about huge global issues to do with the environment.”

Simonne Meiers | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I’m really passionate about the environment, in particular, climate change and what we as a whole population can do to lessen our carbon footprint on the planet and the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions released into our air. Miss Earth Australia is a really great platform where I am surrounded by like-minded people who care about the environment and our Mother Earth, where I believe I can really make a difference and be in a position to advocate for real change.

Haley Cobb | Queensland

Her advocacy: “I found Miss Earth Australia aligned very closely with my values and beliefs, and I believe Miss Earth Australia will allow me to further develop my self-confidence in my advocacy by raising environmental awareness towards businesses’ social responsibility.”

Sheridan Mortlock | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I joined MEA because fighting for the conservation and protection of our planet is the most significant battle we must overcome. I’ve always been an advocate for the environment, but this has been further intensified by my university studies. Currently, I’m undertaking a double degree in Global Sustainability and Politics. Miss Earth Australia provides an excellent platform to amplify our voices and action as we protect mother earth.”

Kajol Chand | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I decided to join Miss Earth Australia to pursue my interests in serving and preserving our environment. My love for nature stems from my upbringing and my background – having Fijian blood meant I was attached to nature. Nature is a big part of the Fijian culture, with much emphasis on keeping it thriving. I share this journey of mine with my sister Shayal who was born with a rare disability – she continues to inspire me to believe that we can create the perfect environment for coexistence between humans and the natural world.”

Robyn Russel | Australia Capital Territory

Her advocacy: “I joined Miss Earth Australia because I love the mission behind the organisation. I will be able to meet like-minded girls who have the same mission as me. It aligns with my morals and views to save Mother Earth. In my current full-time job, I am educating people about sustainability and the impact of internal combustion cars on climate change. Through this platform, I can broaden my audience and educate more people. Miss Earth Australia truly is beauty for a cause.”

Sofiia Starchevska | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I’ve decided to participate in Miss Earth Australia this year as I believe my life goals and values align with this pageant’s ethos. I’m here to learn more about what we can do to create the best future for the next generations, collaborate our minds, and drive a global change!”

Riley Aston | Queensland

Her advocacy: “I joined Miss Earth Australia 2022 because I believe in promoting environmental awareness, conservation, and social responsibility towards Mother Earth. I will utilise the Miss Earth Australia platform to make a difference by highlighting the importance of our environmental actions and acting on our social responsibilities to conserve the natural beauty of this planet we call home. I am excited to lead by example and share my eco-friendly tips with everyone throughout my Miss Earth Australia journey.”

Jessika Bassan | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “Coming to Miss Earth Australia, I can be a voice to empower everyone to be independent, believe in their potential, and don’t lose their essence of life. Being the eldest sister of my three younger sisters, I believe that I should be a good role model for them, where I live a humble and respectful life – while genuinely learning and finding my life’s true purpose.”

Ariel Beninca | Queensland

Her advocacy: “Our environment through Miss Earth Australia is such a solid cause to speak for and represent my advocacy – “Political Change for Climate Change.” Climate change is the greatest threat to our existence, and there’s only so much we, as individuals, can do about this issue. We need all governments worldwide to act on climate change, and we need to implement renewable infrastructure and hold corporations to account.”

Kelsy Prest | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I joined Miss Earth Australia because I absolutely love what the competition stands for. As a scientist, our job is to provide facts and information, so I wanted to do just that and use this opportunity and platform to promote biodiversity, encourage sustainability and create awareness, and will back it all with scientific evidence.”

Naomie White | New South Wales

Her advocacy: “I gravitated toward the Miss Earth Australia pageant as I was inspired by my trip to the Philippines in 2018 and met former Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco – she opened my eyes to the fact that young women have a voice to be a catalyst of change. As a young woman who has been proactive about the idea of a sustainable Earth, I find this the utmost opportunity to become a quintessential part of the change.”