Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia 2017

From The Office of Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia Beauty Pageant

Meet The Judges Of ‘Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2017’

An award-winning dancer, an ex-showgirl of the long running all-male ‘Les Girls’ Australian cabaret showgirl and high-profile former transgender beauty queens are among the panel of eight judges who will decide on the winners of ‘Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2017’ pageant at the Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville, on Saturday, 28 January 2017, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

The judges who will pick ‘Miss Gay Australia 2017’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia 2017’ at Australia’s biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant for drag queen performers and transgender women include:

• Award-winning dancer Paul Jesseph Base Hickman, who has wowed audiences both in and outside Australia. Mr Hickman, a passionate clinical and health care professional, co-founded and manages Duxton Allcare, a stay-at-home caring and nursing service. He is also the face of Fight Cancer Foundation, a charity that provides care, treatment and support for people with leukaemia and other forms of cancer. In 2014, Mr Hickman received the Filipino-Australian Career Achievement Award for his work in his hometown of Adelaide. In 2016, he was appointed artistic director of the Filoz Contemporary Dance Theatre Cebu Philippines, received the Filipino Australian Achiever Award and was nominated for Filipino Australian of the Year at the Biennial Filipino Communities Council of Australia Awards.

• Transgender hair and makeup expert Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone, who is proof that if you love your work then you will find pleasure in mastering it. With an illustrious career spanning some 30 years across the Tasman, this multi-talented former hairdresser, wigmaker and actor from Auckland, New Zealand has worked as a model, a Les Girls cabaret showgirl and a makeup artist for supermodels and beauty pageant contestants. Currently working as the head of wigs and make-up for big musical productions such as ‘Jersey Boys’, Miss Johnstone is also working on a feature film.

• Communications and public relations expert and LGBTI community leader David Micallef, who comes to the pageant from a marketing background. Mr Micallef, a trusted advisor to clients in government, not-for-profit and the private sector, has worked in all areas of public relations including media, crisis and issues management, internal communications, strategy and campaign development and social media. He is President of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise), which promotes the careers and businesses of those that identify as LGBTI.

• High-profile transgender beauty queen, model, actress, writer, television presenter, LGBTI rights advocate Trixie Maristela. Visiting from the Philippines as an international judge, Ms Maristela is best known for being the first ever ‘Miss Gay Manila’ in the Philippines in 2015, and later the same year, ‘Miss International Queen 2015’. She is author of ‘He’s Dating The Transgender’, a book about a love story between a cisgender man and transgender woman, and has made guest appearances on popular television shows. In 2016, Miss Maristela made her acting debut on the Filipino television drama series ‘Karelasyon’ where she played a transgender woman with a complicated love life, and in the same year, played herself in the television drama ‘Magpakailanman: Love Knows No Gender’.

• Former Miss Transsexual Australia Chelsey Mikimoto, multi-talented former cabaret entertainer-turned-businesswoman who is best known for being the first ever Miss Transsexual Australia in 2010. Not just a pretty face, Singapore-born Miss Mikimoto made her mark in the modelling, advertising, public relations, corporate events and entertainment worlds before completing her transition in 2009. Since being crowned, she has successfully raised the media profile of transgender women as a major pageant supporter through her strong public relations experience, creativity, ingenuity and tenacity.

img_2829Award-winning entrepreneur, radio personality, transgender advocate and public speaker Michelle Sheppard, who has received recognition for her efforts to make workplaces as inclusive and diverse as possible for the LGBTI community. Her project ‘LGBTI Jobs’, which pairs LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives, won in the ‘ANZ Excellence in Business’ category of the ‘2016 GLOBE Community Awards’. As co-host and co-producer of ‘Trans Positions’ and ‘Family Matters’ on community radio JOY FM, Miss Sheppard has improved the image and dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues.

• Councillor Andrea Surace, Mayor of the City of Moonee Valley, who returns to the judging panel for the second year in a row. The local government councilor, who is also a small business owner and mother of three, sees “community spirit and diversity” as one of the strengths of her municipality.

• Kamol Cosmetic Hospital’s marketing and promotions manager Danai Tanamee, Visiting from Bangkok, Thailand, Mr Tanamee will be the pageant’s second international judge. He will also present a US15,000 voucher on behalf of major sponsor Kamol Cosmetic Hospital for all-expenses-paid cosmetic surgery to Miss Transsexual Australia 2017.

The judges will score the two categories of contestants on costume, evening wear and question-and-answer rounds, swim wear (Miss Transsexual Australia 2017) and talent (Miss Gay Australia 2017). Radio personality Clinton Jack will host the pageant with co-host Miss Transsexual Australia 2014 J.O. Rojas.

Find out more at: http://msgaytsaustralia.wixsite.com/msgaytsaustralia

Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

Published by mishsheppard

Michelle's powerful combination of self and community shines through the platform of radio which has helped raised the public profile and national dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues on a national scale. Surprisingly nothing is off limits with Michelle who connects with her audience brilliantly; obviously through her humor and unapologetic blunt honesty. She is often labelled as an inspiring advocate and role model for youth and adults alike and hers is a powerful story to tell. We know that when a woman has the support of her community, especially her sisters, she is unstoppable. Michelle’s wider support from the women around her, LGBTI+ or ally alike, has helped develop her own unstoppable resilience and body positive confidence that she inspires others with. Now a sought-after public speaker Michelle is admired for her bold public representation of the Transgender community as works to break through the barriers of unconscious bias, cultural and structural issues to ensure equality of opportunity for all Australian work spaces. Winner of the ANZ Excellence in Business Award, ‘LGBTI Jobs’ a relatively new project, they pair LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives. “We’ve started a business that helps anybody who’s in the LGBTI Community. We go to companies and see what they are you doing. This isn’t just for me, this is for the entire community and we are going to make a massive change.” Michelle was recently celebrated alongside some truly amazing individuals from our community as part of the ‘The LOTL Power List 2016’ as someone who does everything in their power to make life that little bit better for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities: sometimes with blood, sweat and tears; and sometimes just by being themselves. Michelle is also a finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017. Awards Globe Awards 2016 - ANZ Excellence in Business Award The LOTL Power List 2016 (28/40) Finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017

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