Beauty queen’s char­ity mis­sion


Re­gional beauty pageant win­ner Emily Sul­li­van never imag­ined her­self on stage strut­ting her stuff in a national com­pe­ti­tion.

As a young girl she felt in­se­cure, strug­gling with self­con­fi­dence just like many other young women, de­scrib­ing her­self as ‘‘quite anti-pageant’’.

But for the last three years she has been study­ing per­form­ing arts at the National Acad­emy of Singing and Dra­matic Arts (NASDA) in Christchurch, and has spent that time cre­at­ing her­self, grow­ing in con­fi­dence and work­ing on things she feels pas­sion­ate about.

Emily works part time in a rest home as well as vol­un­teer­ing for the an­i­mal rights or­gan­i­sa­tion SAFE and now she is keen to tell her story about what she says has been an amaz­ing jour­ney. While search­ing on the in­ter­net for ways to fur­ther her char­ity work, she stum­bled across the Miss Five Crowns pageant, and was drawn to it be­cause of the fundrais­ing com­po­nent.

‘‘My goal was to do more char­ity work. I had never con­sid­ered beauty pageants but I saw Five Crowns had raised money for the Heart Foun­da­tion. I also thought it would help fur­ther my per­form­ing skills. It was still quite daunt­ing but I’m quite lucky be­cause of the de­gree I’m do­ing, my love of per­form­ing re­ally helped me in the com­pe­ti­tion.’’

Emily en­tered the pageant in March and by June she had found her spon­sor, New Zealand First Homes, Ric­car­ton. She set about fundrais­ing for her cho­sen char­ity, Youth­line. Her $3,000 ef­forts earned her sec­ond place in the char­ity com­po­nent of the con­test.

‘‘I was so happy to do it for Youth­line be­cause it had lots to do with young peo­ple postearthquake. I felt like I was giv­ing back in a way.’’

Emily now wants to use her crown as a plat­form to share her story with other girls, to help them feel com­fort­able with be­ing them­selves.

‘‘I would like to help with men­tal health and eat­ing dis­or­ders. There are so many young women around who don’t have that self­love, so many

Next year Emily will be rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand on the in­ter­na­tional stage, and is now keen to do more pageants, but only for her own rea­sons.

‘‘I would have to love the char­ity they are work­ing for. The crown and the sash were just the cherry on the top of what’s been an amaz­ing jour­ney.’’




Emily Sul­li­van has been crowned re­gional win­ner in national beauty pageant Miss Five Crowns.

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