Australia has found its Miss Universe bet for 2019 in Indian-born law graduate Priya Serrao.
Besting 28 other lovely ladies from across Australia, the 27-year-old Indian-Australian clinched the beauty pageant title at the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne on Thursday night.
Born to Indian parents in Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Serrao spent much of her childhood in Oman and Dubai before her family moved to Melbourne when she was 11, reports SBS News.
“I absolutely didn’t expect it. I didn’t even have my parents there or any family or friends because I was so sure I was not gonna be placed anywhere,” Serrao was quoted as saying.
Serrao, who also has a degree in arts on top of her law degree, recalled that she initially struggled to fit in when they migrated to Australia.
“I found it hard to understand the accent and people would make fun of mine. I didn’t know who the celebrities were or what slang was. I just didn’t fit in anywhere and felt awkward,” Serrao said.
Set to become a certified lawyer in August, Serrao currently works as a full-time policy adviser with the Government of Victoria’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in Melbourne.
According to Serrao, she plans to utilize her victory as a means to promote diversity and inclusion in various fields.
“There should be more people of color in media, business, politics, you name it. I think I recently read that one in four people are born overseas and that is a huge number. And you don’t need that in media in politics, absolutely not in politics, opposite and I’d love for that to change.”
Featured image via Instagram/priyaserrao