Dubbo's Miss Universe Australia hopeful Rachel Wykes fundraising for ToyBox International Australia

A young Dubbo woman is taking up the “amazing opportunity” of the Miss Universe 2018 competition.

Rachel Wykes is a state finalist in the pageant for a second year in a row, looking to challenge herself as well as help children in need.

She will be fundraising for ToyBox International, a charity dedicated to supporting sick and disadvantaged children.

It marks a busy start to the year for the 20-year-old, who recently moved to Sydney to pursue personal and professional goals.

Ms Wykes is studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in public relations and communications, working full-time in hospitality and also modelling, which involves weekly photoshoots.

She said being in Miss Universe Australia made her proud to be part of a “driven army of successful women and promote education and amazing career aspirations”.

Before her move Ms Wykes worked as a manager of the Commercial Hotel at Dubbo and was also the face of Elle and Vee Boutique, appearing on its poster at Riverdale Shopping Centre.

For 2018 her personal goals were to make a step in her professional career by moving to Sydney, but also to participate in volunteering in more not-for-profit charity organisations, she said.

“A part of the incredible opportunities through Miss Universe Australia, we have the privilege in raising much needed funds for ToyBox International Australia,” she said.

“Having the opportunity to support this charity warms my heart as being a country kid I understand the struggles of access to medical support and services.

“Having seen multiple kids that have either been relations/ family friends or even local children desperately need medical services makes me want to help this incredible charity even more.”

Ms Wykes hopes to gain support from “businesses, local families and anyone in a position to help this amazing charity to improve the quality of life for Australian children”.

“As this is my second year participating in Miss Universe Australia State Finals, I hope to beat my fundraising record of 2017 which was $1500,” she said.

“Even if it’s just $5, you will be helping my one step closer to keeping the Toybox full.”

Her fundraising page is here.