An Australian model of Indian origin, Priya Olivia Serrao has been crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019 and will be competing in the Miss Universe 2019 competition later this year. The 26-year old was born in Belmannu, Karnataka, near the city of Mangalore, in India. She spent most of her early childhood in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. When Priya was 11 years old, her family migrated to Australia, settling in Melbourne. The beauty queen has a degree in arts and another one in law. She has worked as a policy adviser for the Government of Victoria.
In the beauty pageant, Priya competed against 26 other women from across Australia, and won the title with contestants Bella Kasimba and Marijana Radmanovic placing second and third. Speaking after her win, Priya said, “I just want to see more diversity and the fact someone that looks like me and has my background is here is amazing.”
She said that winning the title was a huge surprise for her: “I have never entered a pageant before and I have never done modelling before… So this was a huge surprise. I wanted to be a part of the experience.”
Priya said that she was so sure she wouldn’t be placed anywhere, so she did not invite any of her family members or friends to the event. Speaking to an Australian newspaper, she said that fitting in had been challenging when she initially moved to Australia as she found the accent hard to understand and did know about local slang or celebrities. Sharing photos on social media, she wrote, “I still can’t believe everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours. A huge thank you for all your support so far. I can’t wait to get started!”