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Girl with universal appeal

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Tegan Martin from NSW has been crowned Miss Universe Australia after twice finishing second in the beauty pageant.

The 21-year-stumbled on her evening gown as she sauntered down the runway, but retained her composure to trounce the competition with her answer to a question on what she would change about the federal budget.

“Whilst I acknowledge the current government’s desire to move the budget back to a surplus, I think a better overall approach would have been to make the shift more gradual,” Martin said.

“If I could chose one thing in particular, it would be to increase funding for education and reinstate the cap on university fees.

“In the long term increasing fees will disincentivise lower income families and students from enrolling.”

Martin grew up in Newcastle and has been living in Sydney for the last few years.

She is also studying a bachelor of health science and is a qualified hair and make-up artist.

Martin only decided to enter again a few months ago after finishing second in 2011 and last year.

“Coming second for the second time I thought to myself there is no way I can do that to myself again because it is such a long process and a long journey,” she said.

“But then when the application forms came out I thought to myself I have to give this one last shot.

“It’s definitely third time lucky, I just had a good feeling about this year and I was right.”

The international final will take place later this year at a location yet to be confirmed.