If you have been following the pageant over the past few weeks or months, you will be pleased to learn that we are finally ready to officially announce the crown winners. We also want to include a quick reminder for ourselves and everyone else about the reason we host the pageant and what we aim to achieve by doing so. Rather than being about superficial, external beauty, our pageants focus on the best side of human nature, which is the desire to support and help those in need. Each of our contestants is a shining example of the positive traits we all aspire to obtain, such as courage, motivation and the ability to see the good in every person and situation.
Out of 200 applicants, we were able to have eight incredible finalists, and let me tell you that it was not an easy choice. Together, our crown winners have raised more than $32,000 to support charities in which they believe, but that is not all. They have also raised over $5,000 for the Children's Hospital at Westmead, and every penny counts when it comes to helping children in need. Instead of thinking only of themselves, they used their time in the spotlight to make the world a better place for everyone, making them true queens with hearts. Our long-term goal is that our winners will continue to find ways to inspire people, and we hope their effort will encourage others to do the same.
Acknowledging our Proud Winners
Chantal Togany Mrs. Australia 2018, you have worked hard and demonstrated unbreakable dedication to reaching your goals, and it has paid off.
Renee Turner Ms. Australia 2018, you have competed in this year's competition, but you also strived to win the title last year, showing you are committed to supporting our vision and the values in which we believe.
Cathrine Ayad Miss Australia 2018, your bold smile and charismatic joy were the first things we noticed when you stepped onto the stage for the first time, and you have earned your crown.
Ceara Lewis Miss Teen Australia 2018, your beauty shines from within each time you stand up and show how much you care about the world and the people in it, serving as the perfect role model for your generation.
Indyanna-Rose Ciccone Goodwill Ambassador 2018, you have become the youngest title winner in any industry, earning you a spot in the history books. As a 13-year-old, many people would have dismissed your voice and opinions, saying that they come from a mere child. Winning the crown has given you a voice to which people will now listen, and you have used it to benefit others. Your victory is not only a privilege, but it's also a responsibility. Young people around the world still live without basic human rights, and you can now speak for those who can't speak for themselves.
In closing, we would also like to thank our judges, sponsors and followers for everything they have done for us. Our pageants are only possible because of the caring and supportive people who stand behind us each step of the way. Now that we have finished our current competition, all of us stand together and look for even more ways to serve others in the future, and we hope you will come along for the ride.