To me it's not just a crown. It's a platform. A key to open doors beyond my wildest dreams. It is an opportunity to make a difference and to embody something that I believe so passionately in. It is a chance to boost the platform of mental health awareness, and to represent my family, my friends, and our beautiful country. What an honour it would be! It is something that I couldn't even dream of one year ago when suffering from severe illness, and now that I have the opportunity to make it come true I am more determined than ever!
At the start of 2016 I was in the beginnings of recovery from mental illness. I deferred university and made a promise to myself; this year I was going to take every opportunity possible to better myself and to make a difference. I wanted to reconnect with my community after shutting myself off and I wanted to bring positivity back into my life. Overall I wanted to communicate my story to anyone who would listen, to try and prevent even a single person from having to go through what I felt and experienced. Then I found pageants, and everything clicked into place.
I want to win the crown for the people that have supported me not only through this journey, but over the past couple of years. For my friends and family that have stood by me and supported me to this point. There is no way that I could have recovered without their constant love. I wouldn't be the person I am today without my amazing support network. They went through all of the ups and downs with me, and I want to be able to bring this title to them. They are all superheroes to me, and they deserve the world.
More than anything, I want to win this crown to raise the platform of mental health awareness, and to make a dent in the negative stigma surrounding mental illness within our society. I want to show others who may be suffering that there is hope in recovery and seeking help. I want to be able to inspire others to think differently about illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and to encourage individuals to talk more openly about this issue. I want to be able to talk to as many people as I can and spread the message that it's okay not to be okay. I want to share my experiences with as many people as possible to try and prevent even one person from having to go through what I went through.
I'm doing this not only for myself, but for my family, my friends, and for those who aren't able to at the moment, because there is always hope. I am determined to be your next Miss Australia International 2017, and I cannot wait to meet my International family and share this passion with you all! Lots of love and positivity. Brooke Murray Miss Australia 2017 National Finalist.