A young Muslim woman who came to Australia as a refugee during the Bosnian war has been named Miss World Australia 2017.
Esma Voloder who is a 25-year-old criminal profiler from Melbourne was named Miss World Australia 2017 on Friday night.
Voloder, who came to Australia with her family after escaping a refugee camp when she was five months old, said that she hopes to inspire peace and tolerance with her position. “The Islam that I know, that is in the Quran, I don t associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world”, she stated after taking the crown.
A seasoned pageant competitor this is not the first big prize that Voloder has won. She was previously named Miss Teen Australia in 2008 and had competed in numerous pageants since that time. She had also excelled academically and holds a degree in psychology.
However, with the winning of the Miss World Australia 2017 pageant Voloder has entered a whole new league. Not only has the title allowed her to take home the coveted $68,000 pearl-encrusted crown but it has also given her international fame.
Voloder believes that she can use her newfound popularity and celebrity status to promote unity among people. After winning the competition she stated: “Despite what your personal beliefs are, if we all believe in what is good, we can work together and make this world a beautiful and liveable place while we are here.”
Unfortunately not all people are so understanding and the crowning of a Muslim woman as Miss World Australia has created a bit of a debate in the country. While many Australians have been supportive of her, the Miss World Australia organisation has received “awful and demeaning calls” from some people after the crowning..
The callers had demanded that Voloder be replaced as she was a Muslim and did not represent Australia.