What Katie did next: our beauty queen graduates

Former Miss World Australia Katie Richardson is used to wearing tiaras, but a mortar board suited her just fine at her graduation yesterday.

And while she's worn many a glamorous gown since becoming Miss World Illawarra in 2006, she was proud to don the University of Wollongong's bright blue graduation gown during the morning ceremony.

The 24-year-old took two years off from her university studies to compete in the prestigious pageant, and she was crowned Miss World Australia in a glittering ceremony in 2008.

The Albion Park beauty graduated with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, with honours.

"It's a nice feeling and it's recognition of all your hard work, and to share that with your peers is very exciting," she said.

"Miss World Australia was a full-time role and involved a lot of keynote speaking, a lot of travelling as an ambassador for Australia, and a lot of charity work," she said. "It was a platform for me to do lots of different things that I wouldn't have done otherwise, and it was an amazing experience.

"I think I really matured during those two years, and I had a lot of great experiences, but it was also great to get back to uni and finish my degree."

As part of her charitable work in the role, Ms Richardson got to work alongside those who make the lives of sick children, and their families, brighter at Ronald McDonald House, Randwick.

"I've always been interested in health and to see the work they do there was so rewarding for me," she said.

"It really motivated me to finish my degree, and I now want to find work as a dietitian in the hospital system, and do my bit to help improve people's health too."

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