Award-Winning Media Personality Maria Thattil is one of Australia’s boldest South-Asian voices.  A Penguin published Author, Host, TV Presenter, Actor, Cover Girl, Speaker, Columnist, Activist, and Creator. Maria was 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.


In 2023 Maria joined an all-star lineup as a guest judge on Season 3 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under & debuted her acting career on ABC’s reboot of ‘Mother and Son’. Not only was she awarded Marie Claires ‘The Voice of Now’ Woman of The Year Award, but is a guest host on Channel 10’s The Project and a panellist on Channel 9’s Today Extra and Talking Honey. Maria’s multi-hyphened media career has also lead her to becoming an official TEDX Speaker and release her first Penguin published book Unbounded in 2023 – which navigates the complexities of race, sexuality, gender and identity and offers readers an active guide towards self-mastery.


Her 2022 appearance on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! made waves internationally when she came out as bisexual on-air. She has gone on to headline global campaigns and champions LGBTQIA+ rights, inclusion and equality for brands including Olay, Alfa Romeo, Clinique, Piper Heidsieck, and L’Oréal Paris. Gracing the covers of Stellar MagazineBody+SoulWellness AustraliaStar Observer and BEAUTYcrew magazine.


In July 2023, she launched her own podcast The Maria Thattil Show - which takes a deep dive into everything from sex to feminism, love to personal development, and pop culture to social issues. As a staunch diversity advocate using her voice to campaign for change, Maria has also been a keynote speaker for global conglomerates including ARE Media, Westpac, Procter and GambleL’Oréal and Monash University, and support charities close to her heart including Minus 18, Polished Man and Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.


As sought-after columnist, Thattil writes for outlets including 9HoneyStellar Magazine, Buzzfeed, Body+Soul, Mamamia and Women’s Agenda for which she was nominated for the prestigious Columnist of the Year Awards at the 2022 Mumbrella Publish Awards. Thattil also frequents best-dressed lists and leading fashion publications for her style including Vogue Australia, Harpers Bazaar, Elle Australia and Marie Claire.  


Maria is set to propel her acting career by appearing on another leading network show in 2024. A passionate advocate for diversity, she has dedicated her career to campaigning for diversity, youth empowerment, mental health and inclusion.






Diversity and Inclusion | Gender Equality | Women’s Rights | Body Image | Identity | LGBTIQA+ | Bullying