| GEO Entertainment|
Women gather in Newcastle for Miss World competition
| Updated at: 0601 PST, Saturday, August 07, 2010|
NEWCASTLE: Twenty of the nation's most beautiful and talented women descended on Newcastle yesterday for the final leg of the Miss World Australia contest.
The annual pageant paid a visit to the city for the first time ahead of tomorrow's Sydney grand final.
The winner will represent Australia at the Miss World competition in China in October.
Two of the finalists are from Newcastle, Maxine Stokes, 21, of Merewether, and Elizabeth Spalding, 19, of Wickham.
Ms Stokes was named Miss Newcastle yesterday. It was announced that the city would host its first official pageant next year.
Ms Stokes raised $5000 for Ronald McDonald House, and was inspired by Jennifer Hawkins.
Miss World Australia chairwoman Pauline McFetridge said Newcastle was this year's choice because the competition had a large following from regional and country-based women.
Finalists were greeted yesterday with a civic reception before being judged on etiquette at a dinner.
They will be put through their paces during sport and fitness judging at The Forum this morning before being special guests at the Newcastle Knights game tonight.