Sheridan Mortlock is a model and influencer who has worked with numerous brands such as Bec+Bridge, Sass&Bide, Alice McCall, Manning Cartell, Seafolly, and many more. After three attempts at the crown, having participated in 2019 and 2020, she was finally hailed as Miss Earth Australia 2022 – which means she will be representing Australia at the Miss Earth International pageant to be held later this year in Manila, Philippines. She is currently studying at the University of Wollongong taking up a double degree in Global Sustainability and Politics.
StarCentral magazine recently caught up with Sheridan to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the pageant industry?
The first pageant I ever did was Miss Teen Australia when I was 16. The experience, while fun, completely overwhelmed me! So I wasn’t too enthusiastic to try pageants again until I was 19, when I decided I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to try something new. That’s when I joined Miss Earth Australia because I love the message and awareness it is spreading. The protection of our environment is as urgent as ever, and I believe that the more people are aware of what is happening and the actions they can take, the better. I haven’t looked back ever since!
Can you tell us three fun facts about yourself?
My family and I traveled around Australia for 14 months living out of a tent. I have also done work experience at the Parliament House in Canberra and worked at a local members’ office during one of my summer holidays, and I love languages. In fact, I’m currently learning French and Japanese.
Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil
Tell us about your advocacy.
I believe everyone can make little changes in their daily habits to impact the world positively. Whether it be switching from plastic bags to reusable, using a bamboo toothbrush, or shopping local. I am a big supporter of the slowing of fast fashion, and I believe that buying second-hand clothes, or even hiring clothing, is the best way forward.
How do you feel about finally winning the Miss Earth Australia title?
It feels like fate! After I joined in 2019, I wasn’t expecting to do another pageant. But after coming runner-up, I knew I had to pursue this further. After two years of COVID and lockdowns, I am ecstatic to finally be crowned Miss Earth Australia and represent the nation on the international stage!
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?
It’s hard to pinpoint one particular moment. Being part of the pageant industry has opened doors of opportunity that I would never have been privy to if I hadn’t participated. Meeting so many different people and getting to experience events such as AGSA are definitely memorable.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
I didn’t realise how much self-reflection and personal growth would come from pageants. I definitely feel as though I fast-tracked working on myself and am surer of who I am as a person because of pageants. Knowing who you are as a person and standing up for your beliefs is a crucial part of not just the pageant industry, but life in general.
Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil
Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?
I wouldn’t say that the outside characteristics are the only thing emphasised in the pageant community. As mentioned above, what you stand for and are doing to help better the world are definitely looked at. However, whether it be physicality or advocacies, comparison can quickly drain your inspiration and fill you with self-doubt. My biggest tip is to put on your metaphorical horse blinders and focus on yourself and what you’re doing in your lane. I don’t stalk other contestants’ Instagram pages while competing; instead, I put all my energy and time into giving the best performance I can.
Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry?
Yes! While the pageant industry is new and slightly foreign to them, they support me in any way they can. I was so grateful that my parents were able to come to the Miss Earth Australia show this year and all of my grandparents. This was not an easy trip for them, and I feel so lucky that my family will fly out to support me and cheer me on while competing.
What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.
After the Miss Earth pageant wraps up (if I haven’t won), I plan to finish my double degree in Global Sustainability and Politics. I have two more years of full-time study left, so I want to push through that and then see what other doors of opportunity await me on the other side.