Next Wednesday, April 29th, the Gold Coast Grand Chancellor Hotel will host the Miss Universe Australia Queensland Finals and there’s one contestant that stands out to us, our very own Portia Large.
The past recipient of the Order of Australia award entered the competition with hopes to represent our country and to continue to empower others. Not only is she intelligent and down to earth, this proud Aussie is also a successful business woman, conservationist, and surfer. Need I say more? Emily Norman got an insight into Portia’s journey to date and her future aspirations as an Australian ambassador.
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To future Miss Universe entrants, what is one piece of advice you would offer?
Be yourself, don’t lose sight of your own unique character. If you lack a skill necessary to your success, apply yourself until this performance gap is one of your greatest qualities.
You say the most important result from winning the competition would be to have the increased ability to empower people, what is the second most important thing?
Aside from empowering others, I think it’s critical to be a positive role model to young women leading by example. I believe a great role model not only leads but also observes and listens. Often I learn simply by observing others. When you present yourself positively every day you are shaping those who observe and admire you.
How do you manage to stay well-rounded in terms of business, culture, ambitions, and hobbies? Any advice?
We all have the same number of hours in our day, but what we choose to do with that time is up to us. Life is precious, maximise your time and cease every opportunity. For me, yoga helps me keep balance in the juggling act that is life.
What do you think makes you the best representative of Queensland?
There’s no place like Queensland. With attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, stunning native wildlife, lush rainforests, our spectacular out back and the Gold Coast’s world class surf breaks; there really is something for everyone. Growing up sailing the Whitsunday islands with my family, it was inevitable I’d have a lifelong love for our great state! Living in a town which relies so heavily on tourism, I quickly learnt how important strong marketing and promotional tactics were esstial are to engage a global audience and increase visitor traffic. It is my dream that as people are immersed in the beauty of Australia they too will grow passionate about protecting paradise for future generations. As a spokesperson for various community organisations I’m ready to speak with confidence and knowledge to best represent not only Queensland but also Australia.
As a Gold Coaster, are there any issues that you believe need to be addressed to make our city the best it can be?
I feel so fortunate and proud to live on the coast. It’s been brilliant to witness this haven develop over the years. Natural beauty, practical new infrastructure and quality facilities make our home a tourism hub and in my opinion one of the most desirable living locations on the planet. I’d encourage the community and local business to embrace technology, growth and change. We are blessed to live this constantly evolving, safe community so let’s maximise our resources and champion our city.
Proudest accomplishment to date?
Aside from winning the Order of Australia Award, I was absolutely delighted to learn my employer Rohan Parnell, nominated me for the ‘Aspiring Young Business Women’s Award’. Here is a quote from his nomination: “Whilst producing an online election campaign for Steven Ciobo, Federal Member for Moncrieff on the Gold Coast, I called upon Portia’s assistance to scout youth for the footage. Recognising her efficiency, dedication and flair for the industry I suggested she establish her own talent scouting agency at age 19. Portia’s business, I C TV, now serves an impressive client base, including Southern Cross Austereo and continues to expand its services. Diving into the deep end Portia has proven herself as a successful young woman in business, welcoming new experiences, challenges and business lessons with grace and poise.” – Rohan Parnell Senior Producer at Southern Cross Austereo.
If you could describe yourself in 5 words or less, what would it be?
I’ve been told that I project a natural aura which enables comfort and calm; also that my determination to succeed and venture outside my comfort zone motivates others. My favourite three word description is: Portia Energy Phenomenon (PEP).
Do you have a mantra that keeps you going through any hardships or stress?
Your overnight success story is always a result of everything you’ve done in your life until that moment. You’ll face setbacks, negativity and performance gaps. My advice would be enjoy the journey and be patient.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
I’m not afraid to chat with anyone and from a young age I’ve known networking, uniting and recognising passionate people would be driving forces in determining which career path I choose. Unfortunately, there is no one specific title for such an occupation. So finding my place in the world of work was a challange. My desires to present and produce became apparent when working at Southern Cross Austereo. Exposed to such an industry of power-house personalities, I was overwhelmed and inspired to continue to better myself and push my own limits in media.