BIG CHANCE: Karalee resident Simonette Wallace is in the Queensland finals of the Miss Universe competition.
BIG CHANCE: Karalee resident Simonette Wallace is in the Queensland finals of the Miss Universe competition. Rob Williams

Could this girl be the next Jennifer Hawkins?

KARALEE beauty Simonette Wallace has hopes of following in the well-heeled footsteps of her idol Jennifer Hawkins, after making the state finals for the next Miss Universe quest.

But no matter what the outcome, the 18-year-old already considers herself a winner.

"When I applied to take part in the quest, I didn't know what to expect," she said. "I'd never been involved in a contest like this before.

"I found out about the contest while researching about former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins, who I am a fan of.

"I saw it as a good opportunity to take part in something that was outside my comfort zone."

With the help from her boyfriend's mum - a former judge at the Miss Tourism Australia contest - Miss Wallace was given a crash course in pageantry.

During the quest, she was judged in swimwear, evening wear and question and answer sections.

It seems the lessons paid off; to her delight - and surprise - the university student was the last name announced as a top 30 finalist.

"When my name was called, I couldn't believe it, I was so excited, I think I ran out onto the stage," she said.

Miss Wallace said she entered the contest as way to boost her confidence and now hoped to become a role model for other girls.

"The experience has taught me that the world is full of possibilities, and if there is something you wish to achieve, go out and achieve it," she said.

"That's the message I am keen to get across to other young girls."

The former West Moreton Anglican College student will take part in the finals tomorrow, held at Hotel Grand Chancellor on the Gold Coast at 2pm.

The Miss Universe pageant provides a platform for Australia's most beautiful, talented, educated and confident young women to compete for the Miss Universe Australia Crown.

It gives entrants the opportunity to represent Australia at NBC and Donald Trump's International Miss Universe Pageant later this year.



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