Monika Radulovic has been crowned as this year’s winner of Miss Universe Australia.
At the ceremony on Friday, Radulovic paid tribute to her parents for their courage.
Monika told The Sydney Morning Herald: “They literally left everything behind, they packed a small suitcase and fled” the 24-year-old told Fairfax Media. “They arrived in Australia with nothing.
“My parents basically had their shirts on their backs, so they are definitely my inspirations and my heroes, so it’s great to do them proud.”
The Sydney Morning Herald also reported that she and her newborn brother Stefan relied on charity from the local church and goodwill from their new neighbors while their parents, formerly a lawyer and an architect, struggled to learn English and find work after arriving in 1994.
The Herald Sun stated Radulovic had the crowd in the palm of her hand with her answer to a question on violence and extremism. “I hope in 50 years’ time we won’t be asking this question at Miss Universe Australia,” she answered.
Another Miss Universe candidate who shows exceptional qualities is the Miss Universe Canada 2015 winner.
Her family in China have been threatened for her being outspoken on China’s persecution of religious minorities.
CTV News reported that Lin’s father texted her: “You must stop all the political and human rights work you are doing, otherwise I will stop all support to you,” he told her. Lin says she tried to call her father after receiving the text, but he refused to speak to her out of fear his phone might be tapped.
Lin tells CBC Radio As It Happens co-host Carol Off: “I think the best way to protect my father at this point is to continue speaking out about it; to raise awareness about the issue and hopefully they will back away.”
And she is being supported by Canada, Ottawa. The Globe and Mail reported: “But Ottawa’s backing of Ms. Lin is a high-profile example and ratchets the diplomatic stakes. China will host the Miss World final in December, and Ms. Lin, who now has her own government’s support, will require a visa to go there.”
Watch this short video about Anastasia Lin—Beauty with purpose:
I am really proud of both these girls. As well as being smart and beautiful, they both have experienced hardships and have had the courage to break through and make a difference.