Italian Fellowship brings families together

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Fellow, Michael Capuzza has shown that a Fellowship can bring about many opportunities, so much so that as a 2020 Italian Australian Foundation Fellow, Michael is currently in the process of completing his second Fellowship.


Michael was originally inspired to undergo a Fellowship through his co-worker, Ricky Milnes,  who is also a previous Fellow. Michael was amazed by what Ricky achieved in the Netherlands and after seeing his report, utilised his experience to help him with his own Fellowship journey.

His research topic was ‘Plumbing/Energy optimisation in wastewater treatment’, which saw him attended a 5-day conference in Verona and visit treatment facilities in Porto Marghera, on the fringe of Venice.

“At the conference I met a lot of people studying, researching and teaching the content which really opened my eyes to a wide range of opportunities and contacts in my field,” Michael said.
“The IAF and ISSI Fellowship opportunity provided me with a massive insight into looking at plumbing systems in a broader picture and how Italy deals with Plumbing systems.”

Through his Italian descent, the Fellowship experience inspired Michael to delve deeper into his own family history.

“My Fellowship and visit to Italy inspired me to take my family to Italy to meet our families. In 2017, we hired a van at Rome airport and drove from Rome to Abruzzo, Alberobello, Venice and down to Sicily. We immersed ourselves in the Italian culture for 6 weeks,” he said.

“In 2019 I returned to Italy with my wife and we further investigated Abruzzo and Sicily in a finer detail. All of this came from the Fellowship opportunity awarded to me back in 2014.”


Michael says the first thing to consider when apply for a Fellowship is to think about what you would like to achieve and what you are passionate about. What inspires you to bring back new skills to assist Australians or students?


“It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes in your report, IAF and ISSI will be there to assist you,” he said.


“My Fellowship opened my world up to new opportunities in life. Once travel recommences, I will be back on the plane“.

So, what about the 2021 IAF Fellowship?

The 2021 Italian Australian Foundation Fellowship provides an opportunity for Australian residents of Italian descent to acquire higher-level skills and drive leading practice and innovation in Australia. It is intended that the Fellowship will demonstrate potential benefits for, and application in, Australia.

This year, IAF and ISSI will be offering 3 Fellowships valued at $10,000 each.

Not sure if you qualify for this Fellowship? Here’s the criteria:

  • Australian residents over the age of 18 years.
  • Australian resident of Italian descent.
  • Applicants can be located anywhere in Australia.


And once you’ve hand-picked your topic area, you’re all ready to begin the application process. You’ll need:

  • 1 letter of support – this can come from your employer, peak industry body, industry/sector partner, government agencies, professional association or key partner.
  • An Employer Endorsement Letter – this shows that you have discussed your Fellowship application with your employer (e.g. CEO, director or senior manager).

Search our website or contact us for any further enquiries!