Miss Canada

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Tijana Arnautovic

Age:18
Occupation: Student
Height: 180

Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your home town/city, and family.
I was born in Serbia and Montenegro and I moved to Canada as a child. I grew up in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, where I live today. Ottawa’s two official languages are English and French, both of which I speak fluently. This naturally beautiful city is very rich in culture and heritage. It offers outstanding recreational opportunities and breathtaking views. Visitors to Ottawa enjoy its many festivals, sporting events, theatres and exhibits at world-class museums and galleries. In the winter, everyone gets together to ice skate on the Rideua Canal, which transforms into to world’s longest skating rink!I live with my parents and brother. Family will always be on the top of my priority list. I feel that it is very important for people to appreciate the value of family and not to take it for granted. Jobs, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends may come and go, but family will be with you for a lifetime.

What Jobs have you done? What was the most interesting/bizarre?
I have always had a strong work ethic, and since I never wanted to be too dependent on my parents, I have worked part time since I was fourteen. I have worked in sales and as a receptionist, and my most interesting job was working at a girl’s clothing store. I would look forward to work every day, because I love working with people and I really enjoy fashion. Our store always had an energetic and lively atmosphere that attracted a great number of customers. Seeing their eyes light up after I’ve helped them find that perfect outfit truly made me happy.

What are your career ambitions, how do you plan to realise them?
My career ambition is to become a lawyer. The field of law has always interested me. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved anything that had to do with courts and the legal system. Today, there is still a lot of wrongdoing in society, and people still manage to get away with their crimes; by becoming a lawyer, I will have a greater chance to prevent such injustice happening in the future. I hope to be able to make a difference by contributing towards making the community a safer place. To fulfil this dream, I will continue to study hard at university. With the goal in mind, I definitively fee that this path will lead to success. There are many high-ranking women in the Canadian justice system: two women were recently appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court in my country. I look forward to seeing their contributions to the legal system over the coming months and years, and these women continue to inspire me towards greatness.

What is the proudest moment of your life? (Not including winning your National Title)
My proudest achievement was graduating from high school with honours and receiving a full university scholarship. During my four years of high school, I had many wonderful experiences and some difficult ones as well. The day I graduated was very special to me. I felt empowered! I had worked so hard and now no one could ever take this achievement away from me.

What was the funniest/most embarrassing moment of your life?
When I first moved to Canada, I began my education in a French immersion school, yet I didn’t know a word of the language. The only word my mother had taught me to say was "oui" (yes), which became my answer to any question asked! The first day of school, a classmate came up to me and asked me, "What’s your name?" to which I answered "oui". With a confused look on his face he asked me, "What’s the matter with you?" and once again I responded "oui". Then he yelled out in an angry tone, "Do you have any idea what I am saying? Of course, I was so frustrated now as well, so I naturally shouted back, "oui!!" The whole class started laughing, and I did not understand what was going on until it was translated to me. That incident taught me a lot about patience, people skills and honesty, even at an early age. At that moment, though I wanted to die from embarrassment, when I think about it now, oui, it was so funny!

How has your life changed since winning your National Title?
As a titleholder, I have a platform to voice my opinions and have the public to listen to what I have to say. I have attended several events where I had the opportunity to address many crowds, from dignitaries to high school students, and it is amazing to see that people are interested to hear what I have to say and to offer. Thanks to the Miss World Canada title, they literally absorb all my words! This makes me feel empowered and someone else’s life has been improved as a result of my actions truly gives me satisfaction, and inspires me to work even harder.

Tell us about an interesting event you have attended, or a person that you have met.
I have taken part in was being a panellist on a TV sports show. I was supposed to discuss the latest happenings in football, baseball, hockey and other sports with three other guests and the host, all of who were older men and professional athletes! Though I am a die-hard hockey fan, with my weak sports knowledge I thought I was going to die on the spot and the whole country would see all the gory detail on television. I couldn’t prepare for the show in advance because the content was determined that day, so I was a nervous wreck! Surprisingly, when the show started, I had no problems expressing my opinions and I really enjoyed myself. At the end of the taping, the host said that I did a fantastic job and he wanted me to come back again on the show. I will definitely be going back!

What would you like to do, if you became Miss World 2004?
My main priority would be to work with sick and disadvantaged children, a cause that will always be very close to my heart. Having lived through the civil war that ravaged my home country, I know what a rough childhood is like. This first hand knowledge propels me to work on behalf of those who have no voice. As our future is defined through our children, we need to give them extra love, care and support in their young years, so they can grow up in an environment where they can thrive and continue to make this world and amazing place to live.

If you had a personal motto what would it be?
My personal motto: "Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow"

Give details of any charitable work undertaken?
As Miss World Canada, I work on behalf of several children’s charities in my country. In addition, one of the most important tasks I have done is to raise money for breast cancer research. When people say that we can’t make prevention work, or we can’t find a cure for this tragic disease, I always say, "Yes we can!" Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and reading in the newspapers that not a single person in the world had lost their lives to cancer. This dream can become reality in our lifetime. However, to get to that point, we have to continue to make cancer research a priority today. I know that working and fighting together, we will win this!

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