29 May 2012

In This Edition

• A Message From the CEO

• Launch of the 2012 Australian Furniture Association International Fellowship
• 2012 Fellows’ Induction
• Dry Stone Walling Workshop – A Great Success!
• Fellows’ News
• Other News

A Message From the CEO

In recent weeks ISS Institute has awarded seven Fellowships. The number and quality of applications was quite extraordinary. It has been heartening to meet so many talented people who are passionate about addressing the skills shortage in their particular industry.

Congratulations to Fiona Hillary, Rhonda Ingwersen, John Morris and Dushan Slavovic who were awarded the 2012 Higher Education and Skills Group Overseas Fellowships. The State Government of Victoria through Higher Education and Skills Group (formerly Skills Victoria) has worked collaboratively with ISS Institute for the past 12 years. Together we have awarded 95 Fellowships to talented individuals who have had an enormous impact on ensuring that we continue to develop our skill base in Victorian and remain at the cutting edge of innovation and skills development.

Since 2005, The George Alexander Foundation, together with the ISS Institute, have been privileged to facilitate opportunities for five young people in the prime of their careers to take up a Fellowship to positively impact on the development of skills in Australia. This year we had two outstanding applicants: Richmond Loh and Natalie Roberts. Thanks to the generosity of The George Alexander Foundation and The Ian Potter Foundation who are committed to providing opportunities for promoting young people, we were able to recognise both of these worthy applicants who, in the spirit of George Alexander and Sir Ian Potter, will go on to ‘give something back’ to the Australian community. We are indeed grateful to both of these Foundations for their commitment to improving the outcomes for all Australians.

Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) represent the workforce training and skills development needs of the construction and property services industries. CPSISC are committed to improving skills development within the building industry. Since 2009 CPSISC have worked collaboratively with ISS Institute and together we have provided four Fellowships. Since completing their Fellowships the awardees have made a significant contribution to the building industry. We congratulate the winner of the 2012 International Building & Construction Fellowship: Matthew Sullivan.

In the second half of the year ISS Institute will be awarding a further 14 Fellowships in a wide range of categories and these will be advertised on our website. The first of these Fellowships is now open: 2012 Australian Furniture Association International Fellowship. To find out more about this Fellowship please see below. I look forward to meeting many more innovative and inventive individuals who are keen to gain skills overseas to share with their industry here in Australia.

We are also preparing for four international Fellows who will be visiting Australia to share their knowledge with us. The first Fellow to visit Australia will be Sunit Tandon. Sunit is Director of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, the premier mass communication and journalism institute of the country. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the Lok Sabha Televsion Channel, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Parliament of India.

With the generosity of The City of Melbourne in conjunction with the Sister City of Mumbai, Sunit will travel to Australia in August and his Fellowship program will coincide with the Melbourne Film Festival and the Melbourne Writers Festival. He will be involved in a variety events open to the public through the Melbourne Film Festival, the University of Melbourne, RMIT and ACMI. As soon as the program of events is finalised, these events will be advertised on our website.

We will keep you advised of all these programs as they progress and the opportunities they bring for you to either apply for Fellowships that you are eligible for, or, in the case of the International Fellowships, to participate in the programs that we are developing in collaboration with a range of institutions and organisations.

We look forward to sharing these opportunities with you.

Bella Irlicht
CEO, ISS Institute

Launch of the 2012 Australian Furniture Association International Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that the 2012 Australian Furniture Association International Fellowship is now open. Australian Furniture Association Inc and ISS Institute are offering one (1) international Fellowship in the amount of $10,000.

This Fellowship aims to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice in the Australian furniture industry. It is intended to examine innovative approaches that demonstrate potential benefits for, and application in, Australia.

Applications close at 4:00pm on Monday 23 July 2012. To apply or find out more, please visit our website.

2012 Fellows’ Induction

The 2012 Higher Education and Skills Group Overseas Fellowships, the 2012 International Building & Construction Fellowship and The George Alexander Foundation International Fellowship 2012 have now been awarded.

Each newly awarded Fellow will be presented with a significant monetary amount to enable them to travel overseas to bring new skills back to Australia in their area of expertise. Our new 2012 Fellows attended an induction program on Monday 14 May. They had the opportunity to meet one another, to network and discuss their projects. The ISS Institute staff who will support them to achieve their Fellowship goals were available for discussion.

Our new Fellows have study projects ranging from photovoltaic energy efficiency to welding. We are enthusiastic to introduce our new 2012 Fellows and to highlight each Fellow’s specific area of study. There will be an introductory paragraph about each new Fellow provided in the June Update.

Dry Stone Walling Workshop – A Great Success!

Held on Saturday 5 May, our ISS Institute Dry Stone Walling Workshop was once again an absolute success and we would like to thank all the participants who attended the event. Two dry stone walls, each of approximately 10 m in length, were completed by the participants on the day. To see more photos of the workshop, please visit our Facebook page.

We would like to especially thank our very skilled presenters: David Long, ISS Institute Fellow, and his colleague, Alistair Tune. The workshop that they facilitated was well received and applauded by the 30 participants. We learnt a great deal about dry stone walling and a memorable day was had by all.

The venue at South West TAFE’s Glenormiston College, with its bluestone cottage and its heritage listed trees, was a fantastic backdrop for us all on the day. We would like to extend our thanks to Joe Piper, CEO South West TAFE, and Robert Graham, Centre Manager, Centre for Food and Primary Industries, South West TAFE for embracing this workshop.

If you would like to be notified of all future workshops/events then please see the contact us page of our website and select 'Activities and Events' from the list.

Fellows' News

Congratulations to Renato Balestra (2005 ISS Institute/Victorian Government (Design) Fellow), on his wonderful Haute Couture Spring–Summer Collection 2012. This amazing collection has been described beautifully:

“'Flowering meadows’ are printed on lightweight and floating silk for ‘Fairy Queen’ dresses. Brightly colored [sic.] flowers in the hair recall the imprints. The ‘Wisteria’ dress [pictured], is very sinuous, shimmering and iridescent. It is dotted with hundreds of pearly crystals in all shades of lilac.”*

For more information or to view the full collection please visit the Renato Balestra Website.

Mark Thomson (2011 Skills Victoria Overseas Fellow), has just returned from the UK, Italy and Greece. He studied water-based furniture finishing applications, viability of alternative products, elimination of toxic chemicals, and the different training techniques relevant to the Australian industry.

Mark gained insights into new technologies available overseas, including witnessing the demonstration of a robotic arm system that sprays the water-based finishing application over the product, runs it through a UV curing process and then stacks it ready for shipping all in under approximately 10 minutes. The finished products are stacked one on top of the other after the process is completed and are then immediately ready for packaging and shipping. Mark is now in the process of preparing his Fellowship report. If you would like a copy of the report once it is published then please email us with ‘Send Copy Mark Thomson report’ in the subject line

Susan Morris (2011 Skills Victoria Overseas Fellow), has also just returned from the overseas component of her Fellowship. She travelled to the UK and Europe to study European sustainability regulations to inform future developments in Australian sustainability and thermal performance regulatory reform and to investigate successful collaborative learning opportunities for students in the building trades. Susan is now preparing her report. If you would like a copy of the report once it is published then please email us with ‘Send Copy Susan Morris report’ in the subject line

Well done to Alan Platt (2010 Skills Victoria International TAFE Fellow), who presented his Fellowship findings to the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME) earlier this year. The presentation included highlights of overseas site visits, a technological overview of US hybrid vehicles, brief detail on the GM Volt, soon to be released in Australia as the Holden Volt, and a question and answer session. Alan is currently preparing his Fellowship report. If you would like a copy of the report once it is published then please email us with ‘Send Copy Alan Platt report’ in the subject line.

Other News

Congratulations to David Wittner AM, member of the ISS Institute Board, who was awarded a Lord Mayor’s Commendation this month. The Commendation has been awarded to David for the shoe business started by his father.

“The family has always believed that you can’t excel in a vocational pursuit unless you have a passion for it – there was never any pressure on me or my children,” said David, who this month collected a ‘generational’ Lord Mayor’s Commendation for the family business. To read more, please click here.

* Renato Balestra Haute Couture Collection Spring-Summer 2012





and Management

Patron in Chief
Lady Primrose Potter AC

Mr James MacKenzie
Mr Tony Schiavello

Founder/Board Member
Sir James Gobbo AC, CVO

Mr Mark Bennetts

Board Members
Mr John Baker
Ms Julie Belle
Ms Sue Christophers
Mr Franco Fiorentini
Mr Jack O'Connell AO
Mr David Wittner AM

Ms Bella Irlicht AM

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