One of Australia’s boldest voices, Maria Thattil is a Penguin published author, TV presenter, actor, speaker, activist, and creator. Propelled into the spotlight when she was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020, she placed in the top ten of the international competition in 2021 and was only the third woman of colour to represent Australia in the pageant’s 69-year history.
A sought-after columnist, Thattil writes for outlets including 9Honey, Stellar Magazine, Buzzfeed, Body+Soul, Mamamia and Women’s Agenda. She has headlined global campaigns and champions LGBTQIA+ rights, inclusion and equality for brands including Olay, Alfa Romeo, Clinique, Piper Heidsieck, and L’Oréal Paris. Her first book, Unbounded, navigates the complexities of race, sexuality, gender and identity and offers readers an active guide towards self-mastery.
A guest Host on Channel 10’s The Project, Thattil is also a current panellist on Channel 9’s Today Extra and Talking Honey, and her 2022 appearance on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! made waves internationally when she came out as bisexual on-air. A fashion aficionado, Thattil frequents best-dressed lists and leading fashion publications for her style including Vogue Australia, Harpers Bazaar, Elle Australia and Marie Claire.
A passionate advocate for diversity, she has dedicated her multi-hyphen career to campaigning for diversity, youth empowerment, mental health and inclusion. In 2023, she is set to release her podcast and make her acting debut.