MEET 17-year-old Chelsea Wallis: university student, budding stage performer, advocate for environmental sustainability and animal welfare, and a contestant in this year's Miss World Australia.
The Noosa local entered the national beauty pageant only on a whim, sending her application away eight months ago without so much as a thought of making it to the selection process.
"I thought it would be a worthwhile venture and a fantastic opportunity, so I applied for it," Ms Wallis said.
"I was asked in for an interview at one stage, but I couldn't make it
because I was so busy with uni exams at the time.
"I really didn't think I had much hope with it."
Needless to say Miss Wallis was "beyond shocked" to hear she had been fast-tracked to the semi-finals for the national competition's People's Choice category.
She is one of 200 hand-picked ent
rants to have made it this far and is one of 47 Queensland contestants.
All the girls are competing for the People's Choice title and a guaranteed spot in the Miss World Australia national finals.
Beauty pageants aside, it seems like the world is an oyster for Miss Wallis.
Miss Wallis graduated from high school when she was only 15.
"I did find the work as well as a lot of things I was learning at school quite boring, so in order to keep my interest at school I had to do a few tests before I was found able to skip two grades," Miss Wallis said.
She is in her final year of a business degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"So when it came to starting university, I certainly didn't really want to move away from home because I was so young."
Through studying her Bachelor of Business, Miss Wallis developed a love for learning about the environment and continues to share insights and ideas with others on improving conservation and sustainability in the local community.
Miss Wallis said this year's pageant theme, 'Beauty with a Purpose' resonates with her aspirations to promote issues she is most passionate about on a national stage.
The chance to make a difference with the competition's charity endeavours was her true motivation.
"There is such thing as beauty with intelligence, and more so, a conscience," she said.
"I want to call attention to the impacts on animal welfare in the food and fashion industries as well as the human impact on environmental sustainability and conservation.
"The competition shows that there are far more important things than beauty or looking pretty in makeup and an evening gown.
"As contestants, we are given the platform to promote important, worthwhile causes and being able to effect change in those areas.
"I'm not in it for the accolades. I'd like to do something worthwhile with the title if given the chance."
To vote for Miss Wallis in the Miss World Australia People's Choice 2012 competition, visit starnow.com.au/chelseaclementine.
Voting closes on Wednesday June 20.
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