- From: The Daily Telegraph
- July 22, 2009
New Miss World Australia crowned
Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO
Aspiring performer Sophie Lavers is the new Miss World Australia.
The 2008 titleholder, Illawarra glamour girl Katie Richardson, crowned her successor at the Star City Casino in Sydney late last night.
The 24-year-old Canberra winner was up against 19 other finalists, including Albion Park teenager TJ Viney, who finished in the top eight.
Ms Lavers will now represent Australia at the Miss World competition in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 12.
Meantime, Katie Richardson said she was looking forward to winding up her Miss World Australia duties.
''I feel really good and very excited,'' the 2008 winner told the Mercury ahead of the ceremony.
''It has been wonderful but it will also be nice to move on as well, I don't think you could sustain this for the rest of your life.''
In her year as Miss World Australia, Ms Richardson travelled to South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong as an ambassador and attended countless functions and charity fundraisers.
She said her year as the titleholder was ''the highlight of my life so far''.
''It has just been wonderful. I have learnt so much about myself and how to relate to people and network and the worth of people and how important it is to maintain relationships,'' she said.
''I really enjoyed the travel to Japan and Hong Kong and the different cultures and the excitement of cities such as Tokyo.''
Now that Ms Richardson no longer has full-time Miss World Australia duties, she has moved into a full-time job in sales at Wave FM.
She will also return to the University of Wollongong to finish her course in nutrition and she later hopes to be accepted into the Graduate School of Medicine.
And her advice to her newly crowned successor?
''Just to make the most of it while you have it because then I don't think you can finish up with any regrets,'' Ms Richardson said.
''And also to appreciate what you have, it is important to focus on the positives and not the negatives.''