FO­CUSED ON THE FU­TURE

SHE WAS A MATHS AND SCIENCE WHIZ AT SCHOOL, BUT CAIRNS-BORN COVER GIRL CA­TRI­ONA GRAY IS NOW WOW­ING JUDGES ON THE CAT­WALK AT MISS WORLD PHILIP­PINES

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page - WORDS//

“Since 2007 they have been pro­vid­ing free and ac­ces­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion to the youth of Tondo, but their cur­rent fa­cil­i­ties can only cater to so many. As a re­sult, many chil­dren miss out on the chance of an ed­u­ca­tion.”

Ca­tri­ona’s an­swer was Paraiso: The Bright Be­gin­nings Project.

She re­cently held a ben­e­fit concert and con­tin­ues to fundraise for the pur­chase and ren­o­va­tion of a build­ing so it can be­come a new preschool and child­care cen­tre.

“By giv­ing these peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to make a life for them­selves in the work­place, and not in the trash dumps of Manila, hope­fully they can even­tu­ally sup­port their fam­i­lies and poverty in Tondo can come to an end,” she says.

An early favourite in Miss World Philip­pines, Ca­tri­ona has re­mained a clear fron­trun­ner with all the pageant pun­dits.

“Still lead­ing our list is fash­ion and com­mer­cial model Ca­tri­ona Gray,” Pageant fo­rum Mis­sosol­ogy Philip­pines said last week.

“She has al­ready ce­mented her spot as the girl to beat af­ter win­ning the Miss Han­nah’s World Philip­pines award dur­ing the can­di­dates’ so­journ in Ilo­cos Norte.

“With a golden voice ready for tal­ent rounds, run­way ex­pe­ri­ence, and an ad­vo­cacy for her Beauty With A Pur­pose project, Ca­tri­ona is Miss World bound!”

Tow­er­ing above other con­tenders at 1.76m, and by no means un­lucky as con­tes­tant No 13, Ca­tri­ona also took home four of six awards at last week’s Char­ity Gala Night and Fash­ion Run­way Com­pe­ti­tion, in­clud­ing Miss Tal­ent.

Fly­ing in for Sun­day’s fi­nal are the reign­ing Miss World, Mr World and Miss World owner Ju­lia Mor­ley — a first for the event.

If crowned Miss World Philip­pines, she will give Aus­tralia and the Far North a sec­ond con­tender in this year’s Miss World pageant.

Among the ap­prox­i­mately 120 con­tes­tants com­pet­ing in Wash­ing­ton in De­cem­ber will be Made­line Cowe of Tully, crowned Miss World Aus­tralia in July.

Ca­tri­ona may be ge­net­i­cally blessed, but she still con­sid­ers her­self an ev­ery­day Aussie girl who loves the out­doors, en­joys a good steak and has a laid back, “no wor­ries” at­ti­tude.

A Black Belt in Choi Kwang Do, she en­joys sketch­ing, painting, pho­tog­ra­phy and cook­ing, and is re­mem­bered by her school as a maths and science scholar with a bright fu­ture.

The only child of Ian and Mita Gray, Ca­tri­ona says the three are ex­tremely close and is thank­ful they have joined her in Manila.

“Not only are they my role mod­els, they are my best friends. I re­ally missed be­ing able to see them. They are very sup­port­ive of my lat­est en­deav­our and I’m so happy that they can share this jour­ney with me.”

To find out more or do­nate to Ca­tri­ona’s Bright Be­gin­nings Project, visit cat-elle.com/ paraiso on­line.

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