Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray (centre), who was born and educated in Cairns, Australia. Must credit Photo: Bong Tan/Missosology.Org
Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray (centre), who was born and educated in Cairns, Australia. Must credit Photo: Bong Tan/Missosology.Org

Cairns beauty eyes Miss Universe crown

TWO years after her tilt at the Miss World crown in Washington, Cairns-born beauty Catriona Gray is vying to become the next Miss Universe.

The first person to win both Miss World Philippines and Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona is carrying the hopes of two nations with her.

The stunning 24-year-old Filipino-Australian model has lived in Manila since graduating as an academic high-flyer from Trinity Anglican School in Cairns in 2011.

Catriona was a Top 5 finisher in Miss World 2016 and is considered a hot favourite in Miss Universe, being held over two weeks in Thailand.

She wowed audiences at Monday night's national costume competition with a stellar vision of Filipino cultural heritage.

"I want to represent the Philippines in all forms," Catriona told ABS-CBN News.

"When people see the Philippine sash, it's just a word on a sash, but really, we're made up of so many different places and so much different aspects to our culture."

North Queensland talent scout Henry Petersen, who helped launch her catwalk career, says Catriona is a winner.

"I knew when I first saw her 11 years ago, she was destined for greatness," he said.

The final is on December 17.