A Masters student in Nutrition and Dietetics, a taekwondo black belt, and a model walk into a bar… It sounds like the start of a joke, but for University of Canberra (UC) student Lorna Munro, it’s her reality.
Lorna began practising taekwondo at the age of eight when her family was planning on moving into what was considered a rough town in rural NSW. Her dad naturally wanted his little girl to be able to protect herself. For Lorna though, this wasn’t ideal.
“When I first started I very much did not want to be there… I wanted to be a ballerina or doing horse riding or gymnastics. However, it didn’t take me long at all to fall completely in love with the sport.” She said.
Since then Lorna has become a formidable force in her sport. She is an internationally recognised black belt and is a part of the Australian taekwondo team. In her category she has won the Australian National Championships five times, is the current Oceania Champion in the -67kg division and just last year she represented Australia in the 2017 Summer Universaide.
When she isn’t competing, Lorna teaches classes for people of all ages and is a passionate instructor within the Jasiri self-defence initiative.
“This has been a huge passion for me and something that I hold close to my heart… To be a part of Jasiri and to be helping victims of violence and empowering other women is so fulfilling for me. I love being able to pass on my skills and knowing that it is going to help someone and keep them safe is just the cherry on top of it all.”
“I think self-defence and self-awareness is so underrated. I believe it is an essential skill to have as it can prevent a lot of unwanted situations and will also be your greatest tool if you are ever caught in a dangerous or pressing situation.”
While at the age of eight Lorna wanted to be a horse-riding-ballerina, being a model wasn’t something she ever considered. It wasn’t til last year when she entered the Danielle Cleary Events (DCE) model search and won, that her priorities and goals in the industry started to evolve.
Now the newly appointed ambassador of DCE, Lorna is looking forward to the opportunities that are presenting themselves.
“I never thought I would be a model or be modelling as a job, so it’s been hard to work out where it sits in my life. However, hopefully you will see a bit more from me in the future. I think it is something I’m looking to pursue.”
On top of her sporting and modelling achievements, Lorna is in her second year of a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics while co-running an up and coming Instagram page, the blonde dietitians.
“The Blonde Dietitians is an Instagram page my peers and I made to showcase our recipe modifications, tips and knowledge.”
“We all do the Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics together at UC and are all blonde. Throughout our first year we received numerous comments about how we won’t be taken seriously in the profession because we are blonde. So, we made the page to say we are blonde and guess what we still know what we are talking about!”
So, with all these aspects in life, what’s Lorna’s key to success? Focus.
“I used to struggle with being stressed about training while I was at university and being stressed about uni while I was at training. This does not allow you to give one hundred percent to what you are doing.”
“So, my rule is to have an amazingly organised schedule, be prepared and be present. As soon as I bow into my training centre I am hundred percent there to train and when I get to uni or I sit down to study I am hundred percent there to learn. I think that’s what allows me to have balance.” She said.
Whether it’s enjoying a cup of tea with her mum, training, or a Showpo photo shoot, the most important thing she believes is giving herself one hundred percent to that moment.
“In Australia, we have such a phenomenal quality of life. I am so grateful to have food to eat and a roof over my head. My biggest worry or problem is that I have to train hard, study hard and work hard every day, and that in itself is also a blessing.”
“Knowing that there are people living in this world, with problems and worries much greater than I could ever imagine really puts things in perspective for me and shows me that there is no reason why I can’t achieve everything I want.”
This editorial originally appeared on HerCanberra.