Jasmine’s World Domination
WORDS: Greg Pride PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Usher plus supplied
Miss World Australia Jasmine Stringer breezes into Currumbin Surf Club in all her stunning and statuesque glory. She’s dressed stylishly (as you’d expect) in low-slung tan jeans and matching halter crop top, an outfit accentuating her perfect figure. The striking brunette exudes a cool confidence, but her radiant smile and friendly banter convey a down-to-earth warmth.
We order drinks at the bar (lemon, lime and bitters for her, a beer for me) and make our way upstairs to the surf club’s function room where we can chat in quieter surroundings overlooking the ocean. It quickly emerges that Jasmine is far from a stereotypical “pageant queen”. She is a woman of substance and many talents, with a teaching degree and passions from music and horse riding to raising funds and awareness for domestic violence.
It’s been a whirlwind of public appearances, fashion shows and TV engagements since she was crowned Miss World Australia at a glittering ceremony at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in August, but Ocean Road managed to pin her down for an interview recently after a morning modelling shoot in northern NSW.
Jasmine tells us that she’s a proud Gold Coast girl, born and raised on the northern Glitter Strip. “It’s awesome – I’m a huge advocate for everything Gold Coast,” she says. “I’ve never lived anywhere else, and I don’t know if I ever will.” Growing up on the Goldy, Jasmine attended Ashmore State School and then Aquinas College before completing a Bachelor of Education at Griffith University in 2019. Between modelling assignments, she’s a relief teacher at her primary school alma mater, Ashmore State.
“It’s a nice full circle – I really love the school and the kids there,” she says. “I can be on a photo shoot one day and teaching the next so it’s an interesting contrast. I haven’t been back in the classroom since winning Miss World Australia, sadly, as it’s been pretty hectic. “But I was teaching all through the beginning of the year, term one and two, and I plan to teach the last few weeks of term four. It’s always fun teaching at the end of the year when they’ve wound up all the serious stuff.”
The daughter of a public servant mum and concrete worker dad, Jasmine recalls a humble but happy childhood with her three siblings at Highland Park. “My parents are just classic Aussie hard workers – they’re both still working full-time,” she says. “I come from a very humble, modest upbringing. For me to go off and find myself travelling down the path that I have is quite extraordinary, and I’ve been so lucky to have such a grounding, supportive family behind me. “They don’t love the cameras themselves – they prefer to stay behind the scenes – but they’ve been absolute pillars in my success.”
Jasmine was 15 and with her mum at a local shopping centre when she caught the eye of a modelling scout. “It was at a Coffee Club actually,” she remembers. “I was with my mum and the scout saw me and then ended up messaging Mum through Facebook and organised my first photo shoot. “About a year later, I met a hairdresser and one of her clients ran Miss Teenager Australia and put me forward for that. And I ended up winning that at 16, so that’s how I set my sights on the pageant world.”
Jasmine went on to win the Miss Teenager Universe competition, beating 30 competitors from around the world in Panama to launch her pageant career on the big stage. She has been modelling professionally since the age of 16, in her younger days for brands including City Beach, and more recently for the likes of Sanctuary Cove, Georgini Jewellery and Novo.
“I finished Year 12 and towards the end of my studies, I was offered a small scholarship to Griffith Uni to do a business degree, and at the same time I was offered a contract to go and model in Asia for three months,” she says, recalling how her modelling career first took off. “I tossed it up for a really long time, but I ended up taking the modelling contract and I went over at 17 years old to be based in Bangkok and I modelled over there for three months. And then from there, I came home to Australia and started my Bachelor of Education. But I’ve been modelling for local and national brands since I was 16, so I’ve kind of been in the industry for a very long time.
Jasmine reveals she had four tilts at winning a national pageant before finally taking the Miss World Australia crown in 2023 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. “So my story’s definitely one of resilience and perseverance,” she says. “It wasn’t something that I just got lucky with. I went back again and again. After my third attempt at a national pageant, I decided I was done and retired from the pageant world at the age of 24. “But Miss World is the biggest international pageant, with over 138 countries competing, and they approached me to enter. At first, I thought I just didn’t have it in me; I thought I was done. And then I made a decision, on a bit of a whim, to just give it one more shot before I aged out.”
Jasmine entered Miss World in February and was among 10 young Queensland women chosen to represent the state in the Australian finals, held on the Gold Coast in August. “I competed against 32 girls in six categories: charity, talent, social media, interview, sport and top model,” she says. “So they’re really looking for the whole package and you have to perform well in every single category to be eligible as the winner. I did well in most things other than sport,” she laughs. “They put us through some hectic drills. It was a gym-based competition, and it started off with a knockout round of how many squats and sit-ups and push-ups you could do. Some of these girls were guns – I’m talking triple the number of squats that I could do in 30 seconds and don’t get me started on the push-ups!”
While boot camp-style exercises might not be her forte, it’s fortunate for her fellow entrants that the sports category didn’t include an equestrian element – otherwise she literally would have won by a gallop. Jasmine is an accomplished horsewoman, having ridden since she was a young girl. Her family has four horses stabled just north of the Gold Coast, including an ex-racehorse named Fella which she’s owned for 14 years since he retired from the track. “All throughout my teenage years, I competed in dressage and showman, which is a combination of jumping and showing,” she says. “I competed at national level in the inter-school competition. I was captain of my school equestrian team, and that basically filled up my high school years. That’s what I really dedicated myself to.
“And it’s something that never left me. It stuck with me. And although I don’t compete anymore, I still ride at least once or twice a week, I still have horses as part of my life. I think it’s something that keeps me grounded and it’s my escape. Especially since winning Miss World Australia. My schedule has been pretty hectic, I’m constantly on flights travelling around Australia. So to be able to come home and take those moments to just wind down and be out on horseback throughout South East Queensland is, I think, something that I’m so lucky and grateful for.”
Jasmine is also a talented singer, winning singing competitions when she was just 12. She showcased her singing talents during the Miss World Australia competition. “Singing is something I’ve always loved doing, but it’s also something that makes me nervous – which is kind of weird because I’m not typically a nervous person,” she says. “But I’ve been really getting into the music space lately. I’ve just started singing lessons and have been getting into the studio and recording myself. So it’s something that I hope I can build on over the next few years. And I know at Miss World, there’s a talent section, so I’d love to be able to really hone in on that craft and put my best foot forward in the music space.”
Does she have a preferred genre? “I’ve always been a horsey girl, so I love my country music, but my voice I would say is very pop/ R&B,” she responds. “But in saying that, you’ll often catch me by choice singing a big ballad. So I sing (Leonard Cohen’s) Hallelujah. It’s like my little one-hit wonder song. It’s a song that I’ve sung for so many years. I won a local community talent quest singing that beautiful song when I was 12. And now every time somebody asks me to perform on stage, that’s my go-to tune.”
One of Jasmine’s most poignant and bittersweet singing performances came at the funeral of her good friend Tara Brown, who was murdered by her ex-partner in 2015 in a horrific domestic violence killing that shocked the nation. Jasmine sang Sara McLachlan’s Angel at the funeral and has since gone on to become a powerful voice for the Tara Brown Foundation, set up in Tara’s honour to try to reduce the scourge of domestic violence and help fund vital women’s shelters. “Tara was a bit older than me but we grew up next door to each other, and our mums were best friends,” she says. “She was a very close family friend and what happened to her is still hard to comprehend. It’s one of the most tragic stories that the Gold Coast has ever had. But the hard part is, it’s not just a news story – this is real life and something that’s really affected my family in so many ways it’s hard to explain.”
“Her mum, Natalie, started the Tara Brown Foundation as her legacy. She’s basically put all of her grief into action and is raising money for all of the domestic violence charities. “Tara herself went to a shelter with her three-year-old before she was murdered. And she couldn’t stay there because it was no place that was appropriate to have a young child, surrounded by people who were in some pretty dark places. We just don’t have enough funding and awareness for domestic violence in this country. We’ve made so many steps towards progress, but we’re still not there yet. Our stats are actually getting worse. My involvement with the foundation was not something I promoted through my pageant journey because I never wanted it to look like I was using it for self-promotion. But when I won Miss World Australia, I figured now’s the time for me to use my platform for a good cause and try and do whatever I can to make a difference.”
Jasmine is also working on a children’s book to educate children on what to do if they’re in a household with family violence, and who to turn to if they feel unsafe. “As we’ve seen, especially with the rate of domestic violence in this country, sometimes one or both parents aren’t our safe place,” she says. “So having a book that speaks clearly and simply about who are safe people to talk to if you’re in trouble is, I think, a great initiative that I really want to set my sights on.”
Also in Jasmine’s sights is next year’s Miss World pageant, where she will seek to become the first Australian winner since Belinda Green in 1972. “I’d really love to bring the crown back home to Australia,” she says. “We’ve had some great Aussie trailblazers in international pageants such as Jennifer Hawkins, Erin Holland, Courtney Thorpe and Eva Milic, who have gone on to have great careers. I’d love to follow in their footsteps. “I’ve been competing in major pageants now for 10 years and until I won Miss World Australia, I thought I was done. I worked hard but I fell down so many times. “I’d hate to have looked back and wished that I’d given it one more shot. And I’m so glad that I did.”