Jerilderie local crowned 2019 Miss Air

By Daniel Hughes

Former Jerilderie resident Sheridan Mortlock has been crowned Miss Air at the Miss Earth Australia 2019 beauty pageant.

The former Finley High School student who now attends University of Wollongong was crowned 2019 Miss Air in Sydney on Sunday.

Miss Mortlock, 19, competed in a range of categories and tests in the lead up to being crowned in a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.

Her weekend started at the Dooleys Waterview Club in Silverwater on Friday, where she competed with 17 candidates in the pre-judging categories, all based on the event’s theme of environmental activities.

Throughout the day she was tasked with delivering a rehearsed one minute speech, a three to four minute talent and competing in a swimwear pageant category.

Miss Mortlock’s speech was about improved and more sustainable use of depleting fossil fuels and changing of best practices to reduce environmental impact in the agriculture industry.

‘‘This was something that was very near to me and was an easy choice when we had to choose a topic that we were passionate about, that was to do with the environment,’’ Miss Mortlock said.

She wrote an original song, playing it on guitar for her talent which she performed in front of judges during the pre-judging day on Friday.

She was also awarded Miss Photogenic and Darling of the Press minor awards on the day.

‘‘Throughout Friday I had to go through media interviews and photos to prepare me for potentially competing on an international stage,’’ she said.

The judging on Sunday took 50 per cent of their judging from Friday along with how they performed in their pageant duties on the night.

From there, points were reset to zero and a top 10 were selected to participate in an impromptu speech based on randomly drawn hashtag words, each one related to the environment.

The top four were drawn from that contest with 80 per cent coming from their content and 20 per cent from their delivery.

After each contestant was handed noise cancelling headphones, one by one they were asked the same question and were judged on the answer given.

After making it to the final two, Miss Mortlock narrowly missed out on being crowned Miss Earth 2019 from Susana Downes.

‘‘Susana 100 per cent deserved it,’’ she added.

‘‘She missed out last year and came back again this year with persistence; she deserved to win and was very happy.’’

Although Miss Mortlock missed out on the top crown, she was still blown away after being crowned Miss Air 2019, as one of the four elemental queens.

‘‘I had a great night, my friends were there supporting me and my parents watched along live on the event’s Facebook livestream,’’ she said.

Miss Mortlock’s mother Helene was very proud of her daughter’s accomplishment and was quick to say that her modesty and passion for those around her will put the award to good use.

‘‘I am very proud of Sheridan, I’ve always been told to use the resources you have at any stage in your life to make those around yours better, and she’ll do exactly that,’’ Mrs Mortlock said.

‘‘I’m sure it will lead to good things; she’s just that kind of girl who’s determined and has a great head on her shoulders, so I know she’ll put the award to good use.’’

Although Miss Mortlock currently resides in Wollongong studying a Bachelor of International Relations (minoring in French) and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Japanese), she still finds a way to contribute to her hometown as she will volunteer as a waitress for the third year in a row at the Sir John Monash annual dinner and lecture in Jerilderie later this month.