Meet Australia’s Miss Universe finalists
FROM childcare workers to law students and professional models, these are the young women hoping to take out the title at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant being held in Melbourne.
Thirty young women will take part in Thursday night's final but in a break with tradition there will be no swimsuit competition after organisers dropped it to shift judging away from contestants' physical appearance.
A board member for Miss America said the organisation is no longer a "pageant" but instead a "competition" where candidates will be judged on more than just their looks.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, one of the Australian finalists for the 2018 competition - Tahlia Giumelli - said the main point was "empowering" women, and that the #MeToo movement meant that pageants were as relevant as ever.
But former Miss Universe Australia, Olivia Rogers, told 2GB's Ben Fordham that it was disappointing to have the category removed.
"I absolutely love this aspect, I think it's an awesome opportunity to show that you can be intelligent and confident and beautiful and rock a bikini and not be sexualised," she said.
From Jennifer Hawkins to Jesinta Franklin, the event has produced some of our most recognisable faces when it comes to modelling and fashion - and this year looks to be no different.
So who are some of the front runners for the Miss Universe Australia title competition?
Cronulla model Tahlia Giumeli, who was described by The Leader as "the next Miranda Kerr", is a finalist in Miss Universe Australia 2018.
The young beauty, who is dating South Sydney Rabbitohs player, Tom Burgess, was second runner up in the last year's competition, and this year hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jennifer Hawkins and win the overall crown.
While studying a bachelor of arts, majoring in media, Tahlia has been on the cover of RUSSH magazine Australia and most recently the face of Bras N Things.
She is also an ambassador for Crohn's and Colitis Australia, a condition she has been battling since 2013.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she said her partner had been a big support for her.
Rosy is an early childcare educator at a kindergarten while studying at university for a Bachelor of Education for ages birth to 12.
From NSW, Rosy said in the lead up to finals week she was trying to eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water and stick to her regular routine.
Described as "one of a kind" in a speech made at her 21st birthday, Rosy says she is passionate about early childhood education and her position as an educator
When she was 10, her cousin (also 10) passed away from leukaemia, making her charity (Toybox International) close to her heart.
"The charity supports family's through these difficult times and supplies grants to families that allow them to be there by their child's side over their child's stay, they fund research and provide getaways and distractions for the families to try make their journeys easier," she told GC Magazine.
According to Sportsbet, Emily is the top contender to take out the Miss Universe title. The stunning brunette from Canberra is just 20 years old, and combines modelling with studying for a degree in Bachelor of Commerce with a Bachelor of Laws.
Originally hoping to be a ballerina, Ms Tokic gave it away at 17 after losing her passion for the art.
"For many years, ballet consumed my life - I lived and breathed it, and wanted to pursue it as a career," she told GC Magazine.
"I couldn't see myself doing anything else. However, upon completing year 10, I lost my love for it, and decided to focus on my studies - putting my dancing career aside, which was soon after replaced by my aspirations of a career in law.
"My childhood was spent competing in eisteddfods, performing for others on stage, and preparing for exams. It was a large part of my life that I am incredibly grateful for, as it not only kept me fit and healthy, but it also taught me many invaluable life skills such as self-discipline, confidence and perseverance."
She hopes to specialise in Human Rights Law, to actively protect and promote human rights in Australia.
In preparation for the final competition she will consume a healthy and nutritious diet, as well as high-intensity training sessions.
A former Miss Teen Australia and Miss World Australia finalist in 2016, Tasha is a model, personal trainer and business student.
Despite winning numerous titles, she says she went through years of anxiety, depression and self-confidence issues.
Ms Ross used to be an after-school care sports teacher, and thinks the crown should be for someone who is "driven, passionate and has remained true" to their own self.
Ms Ross was born with a foot deformity, talipes, and told she would never be able to wear high heels. But her dream was to be a model, which meant being able to wear heels, so she would practise constantly. Now, she owns more than 30 pairs.
The stunning blonde also has endometriosis, which affects 1 in 10 women, and is passionate about creating awareness of this disease through her role as a spokesperson for Endometriosis Australia.
Also from NSW, Francesca Hung lives near the northern beaches of Sydney. Her father is Chinese and her mother is Irish/Australian, and she recently completed an undergraduate degree in Arts and Sociology and is studying a Masters in Publishing at the University of Sydney.
Working as a full-time model, the 24-year-old told GC Magazine she likes to practice ballet, piano and perfecting her Italian. Despite being in love with almost every animal, she is allergic to almost every type of hair or fur in the world.
Ruby was scouted at a young age and appeared in Dolly magazine. The 20-year-old from NSW is doing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy Honours at university and hopes to use the degree to specialise in the recovery of neurally impaired patients.
Ms Compton said her brother's recovery from major brain surgery inspired her career path. The stunning blonde hopes her "girl next door" persona will appeal to the judges and to Australia.
Jordan, 25, says one day she'd like to work with children. Now based in Newcastle, NSW, both her parents were in the army and she travelled around a lot as a child.
This is her third year doing Miss Universe, but says she's not entering because she wants to win the crown.
"I really think this year it is going to help me push myself to be more confident and realise that I can accomplish whatever I want to be in life, I just have to go for it. I don't have to hold back or be scared any longer."
The search to find the next Miss Universe Australia will end with the national final taking place on Thursday, June 28 at the Sofitel on Collins in Melbourne.