Albion Park campaign to win Miss World crown

Miss World Australia Ashleigh Francis at Tecnica salon in Albion Park with Felice Colarusso. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER Ashleigh Francis shows the style that won her the Miss World Australia title.

Is Ashleigh Francis, 23, the young woman who can bring the Miss World crown back to Australia for the first time since Belinda Green won in 1972?Albion Park hair and beauty salon owner and national Miss World Australia judge Felice Colarusso thinks she has a great chance.In fact, Mr Colarusso and hairdresser Zarrette Sheil are keen to help Ms Francis prepare in any way they can to be the first Australian in 38 years to win the international title.They talked her into choosing Albion Park for her first public appearance since she was named Miss World Australia, on August 3.It didn’t take too much to convince the former McDonalds’ College of the Performing Arts student and budding fashion designer to visit the Illawarra.Ms Francis lives at Rushcutters Bay with her Jamaican father and Scottish mother, but once lived in the Macarthur region and spent many a summer’s day visiting Bulli.”I used to go to Bulli for the dogs and I would sit under those big palm trees and get fish and chips across the road,” she said.”Bulli was awesome.”Ms Francis’ visit to Albion Park on Saturday was an important part of her preparation for the Miss World judging in China in just over a month, where she will contest the title with 119 other young women from around the globe.The contestants won’t have hairdressers or beauticians on hand during their four weeks in China, so Ms Francis was invited to the Tecnica salon for tips and advice on how to manage it all herself.She said she was also using her contact with Mr Colarusso, who has also judged in Italy, to help get herself mentally ready for the month away from home.”It will be very intense but I am up for the challenge,” she said.”We will be constantly watched. It is very exciting.”The pressure to go there and do your best is a challenge in its own right and that is what I have promised myself and Australia that I will go and do.”It is 38 years since Australia has won the title … I believe it is our time.”

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