Canberra's sole hope to take out the Miss World beauty pageant crown has advanced through to the national finals.
Brook Leslight was one of 30 contestants from around Australia chosen by pageant judges to attend the nationals in Melbourne later this month.
Ms Leslight said she received the news early last Tuesday morning after a nail-biting wait for the judges to make their final decision.
“They kept on sending out texts [on Monday evening] saying they hadn't made a decision, so it wasn't until one o'clock in the morning that I found out,” she said. “It was a big night.”
Ms Leslight will spend four days in Melbourne from July 17-20 undergoing a series of different tasks including a fitness test, a talent show, a photography session and an impromptu speech.
“[The schedule is] from 7am to 10pm every day, so it's going to be exhausting, but I'm really looking forward to it, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
The Miss World pageant has required Australian contenders to raise funds for the remote Lilla community in the Northern Territory, which will be used to upgrade basic living and education standards.
After part of her fundraising efforts, Ms Leslight hosted a charity cocktail party at Playground in the city on June 13, which raised $1500 for the cause.
“At the cocktail party, there were a lot of people who'd never heard of the community, and what Miss World did – they were surprised that it wasn't just a beauty competition, that it was charity-focused,” she said.
Ms Leslight, who will be studying medicine next year, said she had her fingers crossed to make it through to the world finals in September, which would take place in Bali.
“Even just qualifying for the nationals is a huge thing, I can't even believe I got this far,” she said. “I've been flying by the seat of my pants since I filled out an application on the internet.”
While she was excited to make it through to the nationals, Ms Leslight said she would hold off celebrating – for the time being.
“I can't really break out the bubbly yet, because I'm on a fitness kick for it,” she said. “But afterwards I'd love to.”
To assist Ms Leslight's fundraising efforts for the Lilla community, visit gogetfunding.com/project/lilla-foundation