Miss West Coast contestants hope to follow in 2016 winner’s footsteps

Miss West Coast hopeful Ashleigh Taylor. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d466448
Miss West Coast hopeful Ashleigh Taylor. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d466448

AFTER 2016 Miss West Coast winner Caris Tiivel made it all the way to the Miss Universe International finals, five local women are hoping to follow in her footsteps at this year’s competition.

Fremantle’s Ashleigh Taylor, Hilton’s Georgia Stewart, Jandakot’s Shannon Kelly and Coogee’s Mikayla Puca and Michelle Garbin were among two dozen women vying to make the Miss West Coast finals during two recent heats.

Despite none of the girls getting through the heat, there will be a second chance for them as a wildcard, which will be announced on March 23.

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Ms Taylor said she was drawn to the competition after her friend encouraged her to participate.

“It has given me so much confidence and I feel at ease speaking in front of a large audience now,” she said.

“There’s a common misconception that beauty pageants are all show and no substance but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The competition has been incredibly supportive and empowering and is a celebration of the diverse and talented women who live in WA.

“The program also gives me a platform to promote the importance of equality for women in the workplace and throughout my Masters studies in business at UWA this has been a recurring theme; the gender pay gap in Australia is currently 16 per cent and action needs to be taken.”