The West

Cultural mix makes pageant a beauty

It was the cultural focus behind Miss Galaxy that prompted *Perth * businesswoman *Joan Dellavalle *to step up and help mentor the young *WA * women progressing through the pageant.

Although it shares similarities with other beauty quests, with a focus on charity work as well as on physical appearance, the relatively new international contest places a heavy importance on cultural and ethnic diversity among its contestants, igniting the interest of the Zambian fashion designer and director of CBD salon Ebony & Ivory.

Not only has Dellavalle given the Australian pageant a healthy cash injection to become the headline sponsor, she acted as a judge at the WA State finals. She has also run a series of beauty workshops for the eight local finalists spread across the Miss Galaxy and Miss Teen Galaxy categories, before they head off to the national decider next month in Surfers Paradise.

At the final teen workshop, Dellavalle told _Access All Areas _she was drawn to helping the young women in the hopes they would have a platform to spread positive messages.

"I am big on culture and anything that connects people and (the pageant's) understanding and involvement in the community brings a lot of people together," she explained.

"I am also a big believer in helping girls build up their confidence."

Representing Western Australia in the Miss Teen Galaxy leg are *Chiara Fragomeni *, of Henley Brook, *Taylor Savarese *, of Swan Valley, *Maddy Anderson *, of Busselton and *Georgia Carroll *, of The Vines.

They are all currently juggling their schooling alongside last minute evening gown additions and learning cost-effective hair care tips from Dellavalle - a bonus for the parents footing the bill for their daughter's progression through the contest.

But for Carroll, 16, the multicultural aspect of the Miss Galaxy Australia quest is just as important as the glitzy exterior.

"I don't think there are any two people who have the exact same nationality, there are heaps of different backgrounds in the competition," she said.

With both the Australian Miss Galaxy and Miss Teen Galaxy winners hailing from Perth last year, the pressure is certainly on for this crop of contestants to follow in their footsteps.

And Dellavalle will be behind them the whole way.

"Hopefully we might have a Western Australian winner again," she smiled.

"But it's anyone's game; it's up to the girls to win."


'I am

also a big believer in helping girls build up their confidence.'

The West Australian

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