Esma Voloder, born in a refugee camp to parents who fled Bosnia and grew up in Australia has just taken home the title of Miss Australia 2017. The practicing muslim is hoping to use her platform to share a different view of Islam and muslims worldwide, where present day the religion is clouded in terror and turmoil with an increasing number of horror stories linked between perpetrators of terrorism and their allegiance to the religion. “A lot of things have been misconstrued about Islam,” she told The Daily Mail Australia. “‘I feel that a category has been created that is not really what the Quran actually promotes. I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity and inclusion.”
Esma started in the circuit at a young age and even took the title of Miss Teen Australia in 2008, and went on to complete her studies in psychology which she currently uses in her job as a criminal profiler.
She will join competitors from around the world later this year in China to compete for the Miss World title. The Miss World pageant centres around the theme of “beauty with a purpose”, which includes volunteering, interview and talent-based components as well as traditional beauty pageantry with evening wear and bathing suit segments. For her submission in the pageant Esma drew anime commissions to raise money for the children’s charity Variety,she is also an active supporter and advocate against bullying working as a representative for Bully Zero Australia.