In the beginning...
With Sydney growing up on a farm in the Far North of New Zealand, makeup, heels and dresses were far from anything that even mildly peaked her interest. After being influenced by social media and the negative stigmas that people associated with beauty pageants, Sydney too, believed that beauty competitions were for big blonde hair, petite figures and looking glamourous on stage. However, that thought was challenged when Sydney's mum, Tania, got her to enter into the Miss Far North beauty pageant at 16 years old in 2017.
Miss Far North Competition
16 years old | 2017 | Sponsored by Mangonui Haulage
A W A R D S
Miss People's Choice 2017
Miss Far North Runner-Up (2nd) 2017
Sydney's First Beauty Pageant Experience
At 16 years old, Sydney entered the Miss far North beauty pageant in 2017. This was Sydney's first real taste into the modelling/pageant industry that she had never even dreamed of. Although it was only a small national pageant, it still opened up doors that lead to things like photoshoots, confidence building, and personal growth and development. Sydney met so many wonderful new people, including some life-long friends whom she competed with that year.
During this time, Sydney was in a very compromised mental state, which was impacting her overall well-being; Sydney's physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health were all severely damaged. This made competing in this pageant extremely difficult, for she had to navigate through some of my darkest times, while also in the process of preparing for my first ever beauty competition.
However, Sydney pulled through and committed to the competition and ended up doing really well for her first time. She won the People's Choice award and was the First Runner-Up (2nd place overall) in the competition. Sydney believes that even though she did not win this pageant, it was an experience that she gained much more than a dazzling crown. Sydney gained more confidence, new friendships, and a much more positive outlook on beauty pageants and the overall beauty industry as a whole.
Miss New Zealand Competition
19 years old | 2020 | Sponsored by Geoskincare
A W A R D S
Best in Evening Gown
Miss Beach Beauty (Swimsuit Catwalk)
Miss New Zealand International 2020/2021
A proud ambassador for Brave Charitable Trust
Becoming an International titleholder
It had been three years since Sydney last competed in a pageant. After the Miss Far North competition, Sydney initially decided that she was done with pageants, thinking of it as a "been there, done that" situation. However, after her younger sister, Xaria, competed in the Miss Far North competition in 2019, Sydney had some nostalgic feelings while walking across the stage in her heels during the final hours of her sister's practice time before the 2019 show began. Not thinking further into it, Sydney continued to finish her university entrance at Taipa Area School and work her summer job at The Little Kitchen café in Mangonui until she moved to Auckland for study.
Right before she made the move to the Big Smoke (Auckland city), her good friend, Jessica Tyson, founder of Brave Charitable Trust and Miss World Oceania 2018, messaged Sydney and convinced her to join the Miss New Zealand beauty pageant. While Sydney's first thought was not to enter, the feeling of being empowered as a woman perked her up. Thus meaning Sydney began rehearsals for Miss New Zealand in February 2020.
Due to the global pandemic, COVID-19, the pageant continued to get postponed and pushed back. This caused people to drop out due to the inconvenience at the time, as well as the lockdowns making it difficult to attend any rehearsals. Sydney, along with the seven other wonderful contestants, trained for the pageant for 10 months. Rehearsals for Miss New Zealand involved more activities than Miss Far North back in 2017. These activities included fundraising for Brave, the Sports Day competition, and personal development and public speaking workshops.
On October 3rd, the preliminary competition was held. This involved the contestants meeting the judging panel for the first time. The preliminary competition involved the judging panel and the contestants only, as no family members or friends were permitted to attend. Preliminaries was an intimate event, where the judges had a chance to meet and get to know each of the contestants personally. This event involved a national costume catwalk, bikini catwalk, cocktail wear catwalk, and evening gown catwalk, very similar to the final show. Extra activities involved were the judges interview and showcasing a talent. Sydney did a contemporary Jazz number to 'All That Jazz' from the Chicago musical, which was choreographed by former Miss New Zealand manager and Miss All Nations 2018 titleholder, Imogen Marshall.
A week later, on October 11th 2020, Sydney was announced as the winner of the Miss New Zealand beauty pageant. Along with this, Sydney also won the Best in Evening Gown award and the Miss Beach Beauty (swimsuit catwalk) award. Sydney was in disbelief of her win, and admits that she didn't actually hear who the announcer said had won. It wasn't until the announcer told her to talk her first walk as Miss New Zealand International, that it finally hit her. A wave of shock an emotion overcame her, and Sydney felt this immense feeling of gratitude and pride hit her like a tidal wave.