Justine Clarke became the first Australian woman in a wheelchair to compete in the Miss World Australia contest.
The 26-year-old, who competed in the state’s final in Adelaide, suffers a ‘lower leg deformity’ and was keen to be involved with the competition so that she could help to raise funds for Beauty with a Purpose. Justine was keen to help inspire others and spread an empowering message about body positivity.
She said, “I want the catwalk to be a fair and inclusive place for everyone. A wheelchair does not define me or limit me. I can still be strong, feminine and beautiful”.
“For somebody in a wheelchair to be able to compete is a big thing. I really hope it sends a message that no matter what your race, size or disability — whatever makes you different — you are beautiful,” she added.
Miss World Australia’s national director Deborah Miller said Justine’s involvement in the pageant was proof that “beauty comes in all forms”.
“I think Justine is incredibly inspirational, actually, and she really embodies what Miss World is all about,” she said.
Unfortunately, Justine didn’t make it to the next stage of the competition, but she’s planning to continue working with Beauty with a Purpose and Variety, the Children’s Charity, which she hopes will motivate people to make a difference to youngsters’ lives through donations.