Naval officer vies for Pageant Honours

SLt Nimmi Augustine, Photo by SLt M.X. Déry

SLt Nimmi Augustine, Photo by SLt M.X. Déry

SLt M.X. Déry, MARPAC PA ~

By the time SLt Nimmi Augustine packs her bags this fall and heads off to the University of Toronto, she will have one amazing story to tell.

One that involves a little glitz, a little glamour, and touches on her Master’s Degree in Global Affairs.

The junior Marine Systems Engineering Officer is vying to become the next Miss Universe Canada, with the pageant set to start Aug. 16. Her goal is to showcase her belief of inclusivity and acceptance of all communities, part of her global affairs philosophy.

“There is more than one avenue to your ultimate goal,” said SLt Augustine of the contest. “I feel this is another piece where I can at least try to reach people.”

Before she can glide across the stage at the John Bassett Theatre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, representing British Columbia in the preliminary and final competitions, she must first fulfill her role as a contestant by learning the many pageant skills.

To prepare, she has dashed over from Vancouver Island to Vancouver once a month since February for pageant workshops.

“They teach you everything from walking to speaking to the public,” said SLt Augustine. “One thing Canada does very uniquely in our pageants is we have a charity piece portion where we have to host a charity event.”

She’s dived right into this component and planned a July 27 dance workshop entitled “The Secret Language: Charity Partner Dancing Workshop and Social” where dance instructors from Victoria will teach the foundations of partner dancing and communication.

“The instructors are coming from all different styles. The lessons and activities can be used in all forms of dancing.”

She believes there are no gender roles in dancing because, with good communication, either person can lead.

“Whoever wants to take the lead can take the lead,” she said.

All funds raised will go to the Victoria Cool-Aid Society, particularly to the Sandy Merriman House, an Emergency Shelter for homeless and at-risk women.

“It [Sandy Merriman House] has a very inclusive definition of women,” explains SLt Augustine. “It includes trans-women, gender fluid and non-binary people. I think that is the direction we should be going when it comes to acceptance and including people in the community.”

That strong sense of inclusion is what defines her view of the Miss Universe Canada pageant.

“My platform is one of acceptance and inclusivity, and instead of redefining beauty, un-defining it. Meaning that anyone has that within themselves; anyone can do it.”

The pageant is like the Royal Military College, where trainees learn to balance education, fitness, and learning to become leaders.

“It gives you that sense of confidence,” she said. “Building yourself up, especially at a young age, to being an officer and having to make decisions.”

Regardless of the pageant outcome, she plans to use the experience, coupled with her navy work, towards her degree. 

“My ultimate career ambition is to find a job that fuses both international development and international security. We need to create a secure space for people to conduct their activities and ensuring their liberty to do so. An example would be working in infrastructure protection and looking for robust solutions to enhance the security of refugee camps.”

For those interested coming to the charity event for the Victoria Cool-Aid society visit:
The charity workshop event is July 27, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. is the dance class;  7:30 -9:30 p.m. is the social,  at the Downtown Community Center, 755 Pandora Ave.
Cash at the door, sliding scale $5-$30.

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