Beauty's talent woos organisers

OLIVIA Sallaway has the cool, classic beauty of screen legend Grace Kelly, although the unassuming Gympie State High School student would, no doubt, be very embarrassed to hear that.

At the national finals of the prestigious model search, Miss Country Girl Australia in Sydney on Tuesday evening, she was described by modelling heavyweights as “an amazing talent”.

Olivia was chosen from a field of 60 young beauties at the regional heats held at Centro Gympie last month, and while she didn't win the national title, the 17 year old certainly had a memorable time aboard the luxurious multi-million dollar Bella vista cruise ship in Sydney Harbour, gaining great exposure and invaluable experience.

Narrowly beaten by Goulburn girl, Gemma Walsh-Robertson, organisers said Olivia represented herself and her community commendably.

“Olivia was beautiful, gracious and amazingly good talent, however it was just such tough competition with 23 girls competing for the title,” Miss Country Girl Australia director, Katie Jones said.

“I would certainly encourage Olivia to keep at it and never give up 'cause you win some and you lose some … just like Rachel Finch who gave the Miss Universe Australia title two goes before success.”

Speaking from Sydney after the event Olivia said the experience was unforgettable.

“The whole experience has just been amazing and next time I'll know how it feels and what to expect,” she said.

And she would love to see the competition come back to Gympie again.

“I definitely think Centro Gympie should host this event again in the future - it's just been a wonderful experience for me.”

The red carpet event was televised by Southern Cross Ten and Face Fashion TV.

Centro Gympie marketing manager Kellie Stewart said it was a fantastic opportunity for the teenager and both Olivia and her mother Karen Sallaway were particularly appreciative of the many local businesses and individuals who supported her trip to Sydney.

They were a big part of making the experience a reality for Olivia, Ms Stewart said.

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