Perth dancer Renae Ayris wins Miss Universe Australia
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A DANCER and photography lover from Perth has been crowned Miss Universe Australia.
Renae Ayris has been voted the nation's most beautiful woman and presented with a $30,000 Temelli Jewellery crown at a black tie event in Melbourne tonight.
She narrowly edged out Melbourne woman Mary Vitinaros, who was named runner-up.
The night saw some of Australia's most beautiful women take to the stage in swimwear and evening gowns before judges declared a winner.
Melbourne's hopes of a local winner were buoyed when two of the final five included Melbourne woman Mary Vitinaros and Victorian Julia Perrott-Clarke.
Ms Perrott-Clarke won the crowd over after facing a controversial question from former news presenter Naomi Robson about her views on gay marriage.
"I believe that everyone should have equal rights whether it be marriage or any other factor," she responded.
"Everyone has their own opinion and if it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights then I think it's a great thing."
Shouting her final reply she ended by saying.
"If they are in love, then they should celebrate that love and if that means marriage, then they should get married because it's amazing."
Gallery: Miss Universe Australia winners and national costumes
The response saw her named 4th runner-up.
Strutting their stuff in evening gowns in front of a crowd in the hundreds in the Melbourne Sofitel's Grand Ballroom the finalists wowed the room.
The panel responsible for naming the winner included actress and model Annalise Braakensiek, actor Vince Collosimo and fashion designer Wayne Cooper.
The West Australian girl will now represent Australia at the international Miss Universe competition.
Thirty-three national finalists battled it out for the title, with the winner to go on to compete in the international Miss Universe pagaent in December.