New scholarship for multicultural women announced

By Our Reporter
The late acclaimed designer and multicultural champion Carla Zampatti . Pic supplied

Applications are open for the Australian Multicultural Foundation Carla Zampatti Scholarship for Young Women. The new annual scholarship is a national initiative developed by the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) to celebrate the legacy of acclaimed Australian fashion designer, businesswoman and champion for multiculturalism, the late Carla Zampatti AC.

Carla, 78, died last year on April 3 after her incredible 56 years of work pioneering the fashion industry and breaking down barriers for women in business. The scholarship will go on to continue her work of celebrating multicultural Australia and directly support young women (18 – 29 years of age) from new and emerging culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in life where they may encounter financial barriers and insufficient support.

“This scholarship will support the commencement of a personal or business project – whether it be education, technology, arts or business et cetera. This isn’t exclusive to fashion, and Carla wasn’t exclusive to fashion, she was a trailblazer in business. Through this Scholarship, we want to see more young women from diverse cultures overcome barriers and challenges to achieve their aspirations and in the process, strengthen the future prosperity of multicultural Australia,” says Dr. Hass Dellal AO, Executive Director Australian Multicultural Foundation.

In its first year, the annual scholarship will pledge $10,000 to a single recipient. Additional funding for the scholarship will be sought in sequential years to increase the number of recipients each year and supporting funds. Applications for the scholarship will close on Friday 6 May, and the winner will be announced on the 31st of May in Melbourne, a press release from AMF said.

Carla Zamapatti SS17 Show. Photo by Lucas Dawson Photography

AMF formed a longstanding partnership with Carla, aligning on their united commitment to Australia as one people drawn from many cultures to enrich social connections and economic growth.

“Carla was on the board of AMF for over 10 years, and she championed multicultural women on and off the catwalk, she wanted them to have a voice and succeed. It’s that legacy we’re keeping alive with the support of her family,” Hass adds.

Carla’s three children, Alexander, Allegra and Bianca speak passionately on their mother’s contribution to Australia and proudly support AMF’s dedication to her cause.

“My mother’s journey to Australia as a young girl and her determination to set up her business is a journey for all women. We know launching this scholarship today is the beginning of supporting many wonderful business ventures for young multicultural women everywhere in Australia for years to come,” says Alexander Schuman, Carla’s son and CEO of Carla Zampatti Pty Limited.

Carla’s own journey to Australia and then into business was not without challenges and strokes of luck.

She emigrated to Australia with her parents in the 1960’s from a small town in the Italian Alps to another small town in Western Australia. Her move to Sydney as a young woman to chase her dreams was advanced by a chance meeting on a bus ride with a head of a department store who would then employ her. When she realised she wanted to go out on her own, she couldn’t access small business loans like men could back then in Australia.

“There’s been a dramatic change over the last 50 years to advance female business ventures, but before 1971 women couldn’t access bank loans, this was the case for my mother in the 60’s when she wanted to start her business. Luckily a cousin of hers was able to help her out. Yet, multicultural women still have barriers in business endeavours today, my mother would want us to keep breaking them down in her name,” he adds.

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