Annette, as she likes to be called, spent her first 12 years of life growing up in Kenya.
With an ambitious mother by her side, life was an adventure.
“My mum is really big on education and she was studying and she did really well with her studies and graduated with her Masters. She was looking for jobs overseas, she always wanted to move overseas and she applied for a job in Australia, which she got, and we moved.”
Annette embraced the move from the bustling city life of Nairobi to the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga.
“It was a huge culture shock in that sense!...I was actually the only person of colour in the entire school at the time, but despite that I had a really good time and I think being the only person of colour was really welcoming as well, people were really excited to meet me and had a lot of questions.”
The self-proclaimed goal oriented and ambitious Annette was in year 8 when she started thinking about her future – her mind racing with a world of opportunity.
"“I was like, I want to be a model, I’m going to be a teacher, a nurse, a vet. Then I discovered the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and I found that interesting.”"
From there, she discovered the world of Cadets.
“I joined Cadets in Wagga Wagga and then did that for a couple of years and then moved to Melbourne and did Cadets as well and then I served my army application when I was 16.”
After graduating high school in 2017, Annette anxiously awaited an acceptance letter from Defence Force Recruiting.
In early 2018, she was completing recruit training and learning the skills to become a soldier.
"“It was a great tick in the box and it felt as though I’d really set myself up well for my life.”"
She credits her extensive Cadet experience to cushioning her from the shock of joining the military.
But Military Police was what really inspired her. By the end of 2018, Annette had completed almost a year of training and graduated as a member of 1 Military Police Battalion.
After a posting to Darwin and a deployment to Butterworth, Malaysia, Annette was posted to 1 Military Police Battalion’s Charlie Company at Simpson Barracks in Melbourne, in mid-2020.
While successfully working her day job in military attire, she’s also pursuing another passion.
“My entire life I’ve always been told to try out modelling and it’s always been a huge interest of mine.”
Annette remembers hearing about the Miss World Pageants as a young girl in Kenya, but never thought a dream would become an eventuality.
Encouraged and supported by family and friends, and with the ADF backing her, she entered the Miss World Australia Pageant. Navigating the challenges associated with entering a pageant during a COVID-19 lockdown, Annette submitted her audition tape for the Victorian Preliminary Final in August 2020, making it through to the Victorian State Final in April 2021.
“I met so many amazing people, built really good networks and it was a really good experience.”
Focused on her current career while also building her future, Annette realised a newfound passion in media content creation and using her public profile for purpose.
“It was a great way to represent multicultural Australia, which is not always represented, especially in the media. There needs to be a lot more diversity in our media and need a lot more representation. It was good to be that, and I hope to do more of that in the future.”
Speaking at an event earlier this year, Annette paid tribute to hopes and dreams.
"“Here I am today on the Miss World stage representing our Australian Defence Force as I serve full time as a Military Police member. The point of my story is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, your race doesn’t matter, your height and weight doesn’t matter, what matters is what’s in your head and in your heart because we truly are the captains of our own ships.”"