Renae Ayris. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Now that her official reign has well and truly wrapped up, former Miss Australia Renae Ayris is ready to take the next step in her career by kicking off the year with a fresh start in Sydney.

The Connolly beauty, who has spent the past two months back home in Perth after a six-month stint in Melbourne, has been heavily focused on building up her personal brand away from the pageant scene and said a move to Sydney felt like a natural progression.

"I was travelling to Sydney once or twice a week for work because my management is based there," Ayris told AAA.

"I only finished my reign in July, so we have been trying to build my brand up, which is a beach vibe with a focus on health and fitness."

But relocating to Sydney will have its sacrifices, with the 23-year-old living away from both her Melbourne-based boyfriend, Essendon footballer Tom Bellchambers, and her family in Perth.


While she admitted being apart from Bellchambers was hard, Ayris will have one important person close by - her sister Rachel, who made it to the Miss Universe national finals last year and also recently moved to Sydney.

"It will be a lot easier with my sister living in the same State as me," Ayris said.

The former dancer said her next big goal was to follow in the footsteps of fellow Miss Australias Jennifer Hawkins and Jesinta Campbell by making the transition from modelling to TV presenting.

But she laughed at the idea of another common model move - becoming an actress.

"I have tried acting, and I'd love to be able to do it, but I really can't act," Ayris said.

"But who knows. I never thought I would be Miss Australia so you never know, I could be an actor."

The myriad ways her life has changed since first stepping out on the Miss Universe catwalk in 2012 are certainly not lost on Ayris.

With recent highlights including work with fitness guru Lorna Jane and judging heats for the latest group of WA pageant hopefuls, she says her current path is bigger and better than she ever could have hoped.

"I sometimes think about how many different directions my life could have gone if I hadn't done this," Ayris smiled.

The final round of Miss Universe WA preliminary pageants are on Saturday from noon at Armadale Shopping City.

The West Australian

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