Priya Serrao, who will be a certified solicitor in August, had no prior modelling or pageant experience before entering Miss Universe Australia 2019.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on June 28, 2019

A 26-year-old India born woman, who migrated to Australia from the Middle East, has been crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019. Priya Serrao had no prior modelling or pageant experience.

Serrao, 26, was left speechless when she won the title in front of a packed crowd at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins on Thursday 27 June.

Born in India, Serrao grew up Oman and then her family spent several years in Dubai in the Middle East before making Melbourne their new home when she was 11 years old.

Serrao told the Herald Sun the Miss Universe Australia crown was “beginner’s luck”.

Hosts Ash Williams and former Miss Universe Australia Olivia Wells watch Priya Serrao crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019. Photo: @jarradseng : Miss Universe Australia

“I honestly just entered, part of it was the experience to see what it would be like,” she said of the Miss Universe Australia venture. “I didn’t even think … oh man, I can’t believe I’m here.”

Serrao, who turned 26 last week, didn’t even invite her family to watch Miss Universe Australia because she didn’t want to disappoint them.

“I don’t know what to tell work,” she told the Herald Sun. “I’m quite nerdy and have a 9-5 job, and this is the other end of (the) spectrum.”

Serrao works in the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and will be a certified solicitor in August.

She took the crown from 28 other finalists from around the nation in an event hosted by comedian Ash Williams and former Miss Universe Australia Olivia Wells. West Australian Bella Kasimba, an Australian-Ugandan, was runner-up.

Former holders of the Miss Universe Australia title include Jennifer Hawkins, Erin McNaught, Jesinta Franklin and last year’s winner Francesca Hung.

Serrao will represent Australia in the Miss Universe competition later this year.