Joelle shines for the good of the Earth
JOELLE Gabriel has decided to hang up her pageant crown, but she's made sure she's going out with a splash.
The former Clarence Valley resident travelled to Las Vegas to represent Australia as Ms Australasia Earth in the Ms Earth pageant, and came away with some bling, placing as the fourth-runner up in a field of 56.
"Ms Earth is an international pageant with an environmental focus, to which I traveled as a brand ambassador for water3," she said.
The contestants were judged on interview and environmental involvement, as well as an evening gown, and swimsuit section. Joelle also had an additional personal platform for her charity Share the Dignity, and the evening gown she wore had sanitary items incorporated in the dress design as a part of an awareness campaign she will head up later in the year.
"This is my second international pageant, and I was once again blown away by the sisterhood that is built between contestants," she said.
"I was lucky enough to meet up with a couple of ladies who I had bonded with in Belarus in 2015, and made several other lifetime friendships. It is such a bonding experience, and such an honour to meet incredibly accomplished women from across the globe."
Ms Gabriel said the schedule is very intense, with focus on appearances and rehearsals, although the organisers tried to ensure we had enough rest around the early morning photoshoots.
"The interview judging was a round robin style with five judges, and we had three minutes per judge, which goes really quickly," she said.
As part of making the top six in the pageant, she was asked an onstage question, which focussed on what the contestants would do with the title if they won.
"I described my involvement with water3 and my plans to be involved with it's global expansion and integration into Australian schools," Ms Gabriel said.
Ms Gabriel said she was extremely happy with the results, the Australian delegation did brilliantly, especially as pageants are not as huge in Australia in other countries, and said it was now time to hang up the crowns.
"I think that this will be my final pageant, and bringing home an international placement was a wonderful way to conclude my pageant career, and will really help with the environmental work that I have planned over the next few years," she said.