Brielle Streater suffered at the hands of vicious bullies for seven years but she has used her experience as a way to help others.
The 21-year-old Caringbah resident said she was relentlessly targeted by a group of girls during high-school both physically and emotionally.
She said some of the worst incidents included almost being pushed in front of a train, pushed down the stairs, bags thrown at her, and being ostracized by groups.
She said the experience was life-changing.
‘’All through high-school I was severely bullied, really bad, and I ended up in hospital for three weeks,’’ she said.
‘’So mum and I packed up and went outback. We packed up the car and just starting driving.
‘’That helped me find who I was. I wanted to connect to nature and it brought me back to the person who I wanted to be.
‘’Through that I’ve found so many people out there who just want to help. The youth out there don’t have as much as you do in the city and I want to help them as much as I can help people here.’’
After telling her story on radio she was contacted by anti-bullying organisation Angels Hope who invited her to be its Youth Ambassador.
Ms Streater said it was difficult to speak publicly at first but it was important to her to get the message out.
‘’I hope that people might hear my story and notice similarities between them and me,’’ she said.
She had a message for other young people who might be going through the same thing.
‘’Go for it and do what you want to do. Live life and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks,’’ she said.
‘’If you want to do something, go for it. If you don’t do it now you’ll regret it.’’
Her newfound confidence led her to modelling and she was recently announced as a finalist in the Miss Australia International competition.
‘’You hear about other competitions overseas and it’s all about beauty and how you walk but this one is more about you personally and giving back to society,’’ she said.
‘’I’m a youth ambassador for Angels Hope so I thought it would be good to link them and give back as much as I can.’’
Ms Streater will spend the next three months raising money for her charity and running events before the Miss Australia International winner is crowned in February.
She is hoping to have some local sponsors get behind her bid.
For more information or to donate go to her Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.