There is a quiet revolution out there in the world of pageants and stirring the pageant pot is a former beauty contestant determined to make a difference.
With no age, height or even sex barriers – men are welcome and bikinis are banned – Miss Diamond Australia is a pageant like no other. Instead the competition is based on community engagement, becoming a positive role model and building self-confidence among contestants.
Director and founder, Morgan Mancini, is setting about creating community heroes in the suburbs and cities across the country, with national finalists flying into Brisbane from all over Australia to take the stage at the Miss Diamond awards night at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on April 7.
A seasoned contestant and veteran of eight beauty pageants both in Australia and the UK including Miss England, Morgan says she is breaking down the barriers with a pageant model that focusses on the individuality and diversity of contestants.
Drawing on her own experience as a shy young beauty contestant, Morgan said she wanted to empower and encourage men and women to get out and about in their communities and become a positive voice for their generation.
“I had a fundamental issue with the extreme focus on appearances and the way contestants were pressured and treated” said Morgan. So with the one positive she says she did take away from her pageant days – a new found confidence and sense of self-assurance – with the help of mother and partner Charlie, she set about developing a pageant more in tune with today’s standards.
This year there are 57 Miss Diamond Australia finalists. Contestants participate in a program of activities and are encouraged to fundraise for their chosen charities and be active in their own communities. No contestant goes home empty handed. Everyone is rewarded for their community and charity work.
This year’s finalists have participated in some incredible fundraising, supporting their charities of choice to the tune of more than $40,000 and working with local groups earning their community hero stripes.