STAWELL - Ashleigh Dark is Miss Humanity material in her own right, the 22-year-old is a passionate advocate of animals rights issues and the rehoming of pets.
Ash has already proven her dedication to the cause in Stawell and now has the real potential to take that vigour to the upper echelons of the Australian community.
Ms Dark has been selected as a Victorian finalist for the Miss Humanity Australia 2014 national finals to be held in Melbourne, in May.
The Miss Humanity Australia Pageant entrant has used the exposure from the competition to push for greater awareness of animal rights.
Ash is under no allusions about the magnitude of the event she is contesting and the message she would like to send to people if she claims the coveted title.
"To promote positive and responsible pet ownership to reduce the likelihood of animals becoming impounded and raise awareness about puppy farming and backyard breeders," she said.
"Yes, it's pretty big, if you get crowned Miss Humanity you go to Barbados for the world version."
Ms Dark co-founded 'Adoptable' with friend Lynley Holies after the duo became sick of animals not getting enough of an opportunity for a second chance at life after being surrendered, unwanted or lost.
Her hard work has motivated and captured the attention of volunteers across the region and she was recognised for her pioneering efforts as the recipient of this year's Northern Grampians Shire Australia Day Local Hero Award.
Ash is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the current reigning beauty, and namesake, Ashleigh Wheeldon. Ms Wheeldon was the youngest entrant in the 2013 pageant.
The 19-year-old captured the hearts of the guests and the judges alike securing the People's Choice Award and the crown.
Ms Wheeldon's concern is for the prevention of human trafficking through the A21 Campaign.
She leaves behind large shoes for her successor to fill, but clogs the Stawell and district community already know Ash Dark is more than capable of filling.
Miss Humanity Australia is an innovative and holistic pageant that advocates humanitarian causes through raising funds and awareness, being role models, inspiring young women to participate in charitable initiatives and overall enriching the perception of beauty, spirit and compassion.
Miss Humanity Australia wishes to change the perception of beauty in our society, but more importantly to reignite the need for everyone to help others in our community.
Fundamentally different from other pageants, Miss Humanity Australia does not have an affiliate with a single charity instead supporting and permitting entrants to advocate for their individual causes and providing them with a voice.
The national finals will be held in Melbourne on May 17 and 18 with 21 delegates vying for the title of Miss Humanity Australia 2014.
The event will be hosted by the talented and effervescent, Tottie Goldsmith and judges will include: Moria Kelly AO, Kelly Cartwright OAM, Craig Braybrook and KEAT Modelling Agency.
For more information on the Miss Humanity Australia Pageant go to www.misshumanityaustralia.com.