Miss Samoa Melbourne, Lanuola Tuiletufuga Price, is among nine contestants vying for the Miss Samoa title this year.
The Australia-based 20-year-old has landed in the country for the pre-pageant activities following the official launch at Taumeasina Island Resort yesterday.
Lanuola hails from Apia, Faleasi'u, Lano, Safotu Savai'i and Leone American Samoa.
This is her story:
Sometimes it's best for others to compliment your achievements and aspirations rather than singing your own praises.
Such is the case for Miss Samoa Melbourne, Lanuola Tuiletufuga Price, one of the nine beauties vying for the 2018 McDonald's Samoa Miss Samoa crown.
"I have known Lanuola for two years now and have been impressed with her character and achievements this far in her young life," wrote Cecilia Sagote, Editor Suga Magazine who served as one of her referees.
"A fluent Samoan speaker, this certainly helps Lanuola in her passion to serve her Samoan community in Melbourne and abroad," continued Ms. Sagote. "Her impeccable work ethic is shown through her studies towards a Bachelor of Nursing with the Victoria University whilst also taking on employment to help her widowed mother."
At 20 years old, Miss Samoa Melbourne work experience include volunteering as a Missionary for her Seventh Day Adventist Church designed to serve underprivileged citizens in third work countries. And it has helped her possess a maturity and intellect beyond her years.
In his capacity as Elder of the Church based in Auckland, but who frequents Melbourne several times a year, Eddie Tuiavii describes Lanuola as an "affable and relatable young woman who embodies her language, culture and identity proudly”.
"Born of a European father and a Samoan mother, she comfortably navigates the diversity space with ease and authenticity," adds Tuiavii, the Public Affairs Coordinator with the Auckland based U.S. Embassy.
"During my various visits to Melbourne, I have witnessed Giselle to be a devout and compassionate member of her church, participating in youth and lay activities jovially and faithfully. It is a joy to hear her sing, watch her dance, serve and inspire."
In person, don't let her Caucasian appearance fool you because there is more to a book than its cover when it comes to the determined, young Miss Samoa Melbourne who is not shy from declaring her pride as a Samoan, inside out.
"My mother (Agalelei Price) played a leading role in our upbringing with my older brother," she said. Her late father Dean passed away in 2010 and her mum has been holding the fort since. "Speaking Samoan at home is compulsory and who can forget my mum's oke, Samoan style and of course the spanking," she reminisced. "Our family environment is no different from a Samoan family's daily life of chores and responsibilities.
"It has made both myself and my brother proud to be Samoans."
And she appreciates it all noting that it has helped her acknowledge the challenges of life and what it has to offer.
Helping her mum as one of the breadwinners for the family, since her father passed away has also instilled her resolve to help others and this is translated through her missionary work with the church and her voluntary roles in the Samoan community in Melbourne.
"With my upbringing, I remain a firm believer that education is the perfect platform as a Miss Samoa," she says. "Education is the gateway to opportunities in life that will improve the quality of living for families, communities and country."
She is thankful to have the opportunity and the experience to show and appreciate her Samoan side through the Miss Samoa Pageant. And she promises that she will do all that she can to accomplish her mission, which is never fail to please her mum, relatives and her sponsors.