She may have missed out on the crown last year, but Katherine born Renee Turner is hoping to take out the top spot at this year’s Ms Australia beauty pageant.
Ms Turner will be taking the stage in Sydney on February 22 for the three day Ms Australia event.
Ms Australia sets itself apart by “showcasing the accomplishments of today's modern women”, where the other competitions focus on the accomplishments of young, teen and married women.
Ms Turner, who is divorced, said she is exempt from entering other pageants like Miss Universe and Miss World which require contestants to have no marital status.
“Ms Australia is so much more than a beauty pageant, whether you are married, divorced or single, it give women an opportunity to be a part of something and make a difference in their communities,” Ms Turner said.
“Being in a beauty pageant is more than just looking pretty, it is about helping others.”
Her chosen charity is the Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, which aims to raise funds to find new treatments for bone marrow failure.
“Katherine is a very small town and I think people are afraid to leave because they think they won’t make anything of themselves. But it is not about where you come from, it is what you can do,” she said.Renee Turner
Ms Turner was titled as the first runner up in the Ms Australia pageant last year.
“I felt a lot of mixed emotions, I felt like I wasn’t good enough but at the same time felt privileged, I worked really hard to get to where I am,” Ms Turner said.
Ms Turner attended high school at both St Joseph’s Catholic College and Katherine High School.
“I grew up in Katherine and lived there for 18 years, I started school at MacFarlane and my mum was a teacher there but I moved to Katherine South Primary in Year 4,” Ms Turner said.
“My mum and dad always told me to move away and experience what the world has to offer.
“Katherine is a very small town and I think people are afraid to leave because they think they won’t make anything of themselves. But it is not about where you come from, it is what you can do,” she said.
Ms Turner’s parents Lindsay Turner and Samara Wilson still live in Katherine.
At the ripe age of 18 the pageant hopeful moved to Darwin and later to Queensland before pursuing the crown.
“Ms Australia was the first pageant I did in 2016 and I got first runner up, I was titled for that in 2017,” Ms Turner said.
“My friend did the same pageant in the Mrs Australia category and I saw all of the opportunities she was getting so I decided to enter the Ms category.
“There is a lot of mental preparation which goes in before a pageant, it is an emotional roller coaster. You need to do a lot of charity events, secure sponsorship and finding all of the right outfits so you can ensure everything is prepared,” she said.
“A lot of work goes into it but it is all worth it in the end.”
Ms Turner said despite growing up in a rural town, she was not overwhelmed by the glitz and glamour of the pageant world.
“It all came pretty naturally to me, I have always been a girly girl and loved doing my hair and makeup and wearing pretty dresses,” Ms Turner said.