Angourie mum in running to be Mrs Australia
THE dim light of nursing a two-year-old back to sleep is as far as you can get from the bright lights of the pageant stage, but Joelle Webber is excited about taking up the challenge.
The Angourie mum is a finalist in the Mrs Australia quest, which is a pageant for married women, and Joelle says the ethos of the competition is what drew her to it.
"The competition really embraces the idea of beauty not just being physical, but something that comes from within," she said.
"It also doesn't discriminate whether you're over 30 or have kids."
The pageant aim is to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and works with the charity Teal Wings of Hope as the main beneficiary.
'It's one of the things I want to do as part of the quest is to get out and talk to young women about ovarian cancer and raise awareness of it," Mrs Webber said.
"I'd especially like to talk to young people in the community, as the rate of ovarian cancer is rising in young women in their 20's."
Mrs Webber said she had fond memories of being part of a pageant after being an entrant in the Miss Australia contest in 2005 and being named Miss Photogenic at the Darwin finals - being presented with her award with the previous year's Miss Australia Jennifer Hawkins, who went on to win the Miss Universe title.
"The pageants are not anything like the stereotype you hear about," she said.
"I absolutely loved it last time; it was so inspiring to meet such a group of wonderful women who were working together for a cause.
"With this pageant I really liked the fact that it promoted a similar sense of community and aimed to inspire younger women.
"And if I get to get in some dresses at the same time, even better."
Mrs Webber will hold a major fundraising event for the pageant next month at The Shed Function Centre in Maclean.
The "Teal Appeal" night will include raffles and door prizes and already local businesses have donated nearly $2000 in prizes for the event.
But the night of the pageant looms just around the corner in April, and Mrs Webber says she can't wait for the big night.
"I can't wait to get down there and join in with all the other women I've been talking with, and meeting them; there's such an energy that you just end up laughing the whole time," she said.
"I want to be able to represent and help the community out, while celebrating the fact that I'm a mother who has regained my health and fitness and wants to give something back."