2021 marks 30 years of the ISS Institute, and there is certainly much to be proud of.
What began as an initial partnership between the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the Palladio Trust (Venice) and various key patrons, including Carlo Valmorbida, Loris Sartori, Lady Primrose Potter (AC) and Sir James Gobbo went on to become the International Specialised Skills (ISS) Institute. Since its inception, the Institute has provided almost 500 Fellowships to extend the skills of many Australians so that they also provide leadership and influence through their own work locally.
In 2021, Katrina Jojkity, joined the Institute as the new CEO. She explains the aim of the Institute and is very clear about its objectives.
“To develop a better skilled Australia we provide Fellowships for Australians to undertake international skills enhancement and applied research. To create social, vocational and economic impact by preserving and advancing skills means that there is more opportunity to work locally, to increase the quality of the work and to foster the development of skills in others. This has economic benefits—and it also provides a better environment to innovate, be part of change. Be changemakers in fact,” said Jojkity.
Alongside the ISS Institute’s partnership with the Palladio Foundation, The George Alexander Foundation, the Rosewood Institute and the Department of Education; 2021 has seen more fellowships open up including the Hugh D.T. Williamson ‘Innovation in Ageing’ fellowship; which will provide funding for people already working in the aged care sector to up skill and learn in areas of policy making, infection control, and patient-tailored care.
ISS is also working with IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) to develop and fund an international Videogame Fellowship. Video games are the fastest-growing creative industry in the world while the Australian federal government has created the conditions for the local games industry to emerge as a serious global player. The ongoing lack of access to an experienced workforce means that the growth trajectory of Australia’s games industry has not been as positive as it could have been.
The ISS Institute continues to follow the achievements of their fellows and feels a sense when pride when a sense of positive change has been made. FermenTasmania recently touched base to thank us for the support for Tom Lewis’ 2016 Agrifoods fellowship:
“After undertaking this Fellowship Tom worked with key stakeholders to establish FermenTas which is a regional food cluster and business incubator with a focus on fermented food and beverages. FermenTas now employs 1.4 EFT staff and to date has assisted with the establishment of more than 15 local fermentation related businesses. Each of these businesses employs between 1 and 2 people. Additionally, these new businesses support job growth in the local manufacturing and transport industries. Tom’s Fellowship has directly supported the creation of more than 20 new jobs and this number will continue to grow as FermenTas develops. As a direct result of an ISS Institute international Fellowship FermenTasmania has been awarded $7.5 million of Australian Government funding to build a global first Fermentation Hub at Legana in Northern Tasmania.”
With a new round of fellows joining in 2021, we look forward to the year ahead where we can once again get people back overseas to learn globally, and bring their newly acquired skills back to Australia to report and influence their industry sector.