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By Brendan Rees

Cranbourne North’s Miss Australia International’s national finalist, Catherine Ayad, is on a mission to empower women experiencing adversity.
The 23 year-old started volunteering as a personal dressing consultant with Fitted for Work three years ago, which helps disadvantage women build their self-confidence and get ready for the workforce.
“I was working in retail at the time and I fell in love with helping women feel good about themselves through the outfits I chose for them,” she said. So I was encouraged to start volunteering and help women.”
“At the end of the day it’s how you feel in your clothes because how you feel is then going to reflect to the outside world.”
Catherine, who has also been nominated for the Victorian Young Achiever Awards, says her life was “flipped 180” in 2014 after experiencing a devastating break up with her partner.
“The more I started volunteering and hearing these ladies personal stories it made me realise I can get through a heart break and put my life into perspective.”
Catherine has since created her own small business, by building her website, www.catherineayad.com.au after successfully receiving a $6000 government grant, adding she’s on the “way to the top”.
“My business tagline is driven by confidence and its being comfortable in your own individuality and fully embracing that, not shying away.”
She says she came across the application for the Miss Australia International Pageant by chance on Facebook and decided to apply.
“It has been a dream come true and I live to inspire others to chase their dreams no matter what.”
The Miss Australia International Pageant recognises gifted women, focusing less on beauty and more on women’s talents and contribution to society.
Catherine has chosen Fitted for Work as her charity for the pageant and will be hosting a fundraiser event at Foys Arcade on the Friday 16 February from 6.30pm-8.30pm. Tickets will be available next week through the Fitted for Work Facebook page.
The Miss Australia International Crowning Ceremony will be held in NSW on Thursday, 22 February this year.

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