The Courier-Mail

CROWNED WITH A SMILE

- Miss World · Australia · Gold Coast · Perth · Beijing

QUEENS­LAND has re­tained the Miss World Aus­tralia crown – all $2.5 mil­lion of it.

Gold Coast beauty Tess Alexan­der took out the ti­tle on Sun­day night, re­ceiv­ing a $2.5 mil­lion pink diamond tiara in Perth. How­ever, the pricey tiara is only on loan.

Tess was com­pet­ing in her first beauty pageant since be­ing scouted by last year’s win­ner, Bris­bane’s Court­ney Thorpe, who saw her at a bridal show.

“She has been so amaz­ing and help­ful,” Tess said of Ms Thorpe, who crowned her. Tess said she was shocked to win.

“It was a to­tal sur­prise. The cal­i­bre (of con­tes­tants) was amaz­ing.”

This is the first year the con­test hasn’t had a swim­suit cat­e­gory. Tess said it was a pos­i­tive change.

“I think it is great,” she said. “We are more than what we are on the out­side.”

The next few months will in­volve in­tense train­ing ahead of the in­ter­na­tional fi­nal in China in De­cem­ber.

Tess in­tends to use her op­por­tu­nity to “serve as an am­bas­sador to char­ity, en­rich the per­cep­tion of beauty, and en­hance a new strength, energy and spirit for the ad­vance­ment of women while pos­i­tively im­pact­ing their com­mu­ni­ties”.

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