Emerging in VAMFF

The 2016 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) in a new emerging-designer showcase event – the VAMFF Discovery Runway was a success where 8 emerging Victorian talented designers wowed the audience with their creativities in the Royal Exhibition Building. More than 250 major buyers and people of influence were in Victoria taking opportunity to connect in this global fashion industry in Melbourne and across regional Victoria. The Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis was delighted to see that the Victoria Invitation Program helped to bring the world to understand better the very best of Victoria fashion industry with the purpose to ensure global connection and partnership opportunities that would eventually develop the business and create more jobs in the future.

Image(s) courtesy of Tourism Victoria

Largess than Life 生命的非凡赏识

Susan Alberti, AC

Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation (SAMRF),  Founder & Chairman

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The epitome of compassion served in cash and kind, Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation (SAMRF) creator is Australia’s beacon of benevolence. Deborah Joy Peter digs deep to unmask the silhouette behind the story.

慈悲又实际的象征,身为Susan Alberti 医学研究基金会
(SAMRF)的创始者-Susan Alberti是澳大利亚医学领域一盏明亮温暖的灯塔。

Although bred into humble beginnings, Bairnsdale welcomed a heroine 68 years ago when Dr. Susan Alberti was born in May of 1947 to a serenading policeman and homemaking draftswoman. The Victoria native was raised in scarcity, yet what she lacked in riches growing up, she has since made up for in humanity. During an era where females were typically deprived of a tertiary education, she made no excuses over securing success.

SELF WITH SACRIFICE
Today one of the country’s greatest altruistic forces, the Western Bulldogs Football Club vice president and highly-acclaimed philanthropist is known for the tens of millions she has helped raise in support of medical research surrounding juvenile diabetes through the ‘Walk for the Cure’ annual fundraiser she founded in 1994. Originating in Melbourne and Sydney, the movement has since expanded to other regions nationwide.

Meanwhile, a far-reaching entrepreneur who established the Dansu Group with her late husband about four decades prior, her no-nonsense administrative style and penchant for business made her one of the first women state-wide to foray into construction back in the day. The determined duo dedicated an entire marriage to cultivating an industrial and commercial development venture from the ground up.

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“We didn’t have a lot. We just had enough to put on the table. I didn’t have anything extra like most kids had. I always had a part-time job. I was working around school, before school, weekends, and holidays.”

East meets west
Presently stationed at a physical office which once served as the family nest, she seeks solace in the memories that envelope her atmosphere as she labours on with love. The age-old tale begins with her meeting blue-eyed Italian stud, Angelo Alberti, at a Hawthorn Town Hall dance in 1963. The teenage trailsman had arrived in the land down under three years earlier with zero dollars in his pocket and no English tucked under his belt.

Still cupid struck and four years into their courtship, the pair sealed their union in matrimony, only to return to the grind shortly after, where 16-hour workdays followed. From a piggery to pool installations to manufacturing to building, the tenacious twosome was unstoppable in their quest to solidify their household with the promise of good returns and prosperous order. Yet, circumstance found a way to flip marital bliss on its toes.

Sticks on stones
Horror hit when a rod went through the builder’s left eye while boxing up some concrete, forcing him into a series of 12 surgeries to save the organ, which he ended up losing anyhow sometime later. The tragic turn of events led to a career change; the silver lining-Dansu Group came into existence. Then in 1969, came Danielle, the couple’s bundle of joy and only offspring. “She was an absolute delight; my best friend,” the reminiscent mother notes.

Life was content, at least until the kid was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 12. Major hurdles surfaced but the trio coped. Alberti juggled between the many hats she wore-wife, mother, businesswoman, and employer to 250 workers. Yet, fate remained harsh. Her husband passed following a 1996 hit-and-run. Half a decade later, her ailing daughter died in her arms while the two were on a medical emergency led plane ride from Los Angeles to Australia.

Sweat and tears
As the blanket-clad 32-year-old rested in peace beside her guardian, Alberti looked at her child and swore that her personal fight for a cure would never end. Instead of a kidney, the cause has since become the living embodiment of the bereaving woman’s unwavering passion for her loved one. The loss has solidified her over 30-year involvement with notable medical research institutes like St Vincent’s, Baker IDI, and Walter + Eliza Hall.

Additionally, former Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and current Victoria University Foundation chair has dedicated plenty of her personal time and resources to aiding the community with scholarships for migrant children. “My heart’s in the west of Melbourne. With a high incidence of diabetes and lack of education, resources, and infrastructure, there are many struggling families out there,” she tells Essenze.

TURNING THE PAGE
A diabetic patient herself-a frightening fact which she discovered during her recent cancer treatment-the football and gardening fiend has weathered many storms across a lifetime. The more she lost, the more she gave. Despite the winding road that has been her epic journey, today she is happily married to fellow philanthropist, engineer, and husband of 10 years, Colin North. “It doesn’t matter what, just do something,” Alberti urges.

这名已经迈入68岁的巾帼英雄,出生于1947年5月,双亲是警察与主妇的家庭组合,她在自食其力、勉强饱足的情况下长大成人。在那样的一个时代,女性普遍被剥夺接受高等教育-上大学的机会,但这一切没成为她的借口,仅是为以后成功事迹锦上添花。

自我与牺牲
今天,她成为这个国家伟大的无私力量。除了是“西部牛头犬橄榄球俱乐部”副会长与备受赞誉的慈善家,她透过成立于1994年的医学研究年度筹款晚会,至今筹获数以百万基金协助青少年糖尿病患者透过步行治愈。而在墨尔本和悉尼之外,这项运动已扩展到全国地区。

同时,这名慎密深远的企业家与已故丈夫在40年前建立了Dansu集团,硬朗直率的管理风格和业务喜好使她成为早期涉足建筑业的出色女性管理者之一,而与经营婚姻一样,他们也致力于开发工商业领域。

东与西邂逅
驻扎在那个也曾是温馨小窝的办公室,她沉浸在工作与爱情甜美记忆的氛围中。古老的故事始于1963年在霍索恩市政厅的舞会,她邂逅了蓝眼睛的意大利青年Angelo Alberti。这名青年当时身上毫无分文,甚至连英语沟通能力也欠缺。

在丘比特之箭撮合下,他们在爱情慢跑4年后终步入婚姻。从猪舍、池子安装、制造到建筑工人,两名顽强的青年男女寻求家庭平稳和良好的回报。然而,黑色暗影却朝着他们的婚姻生活席卷而至。

生活的重击
事故发生得毫无征兆,当在钢骨水泥中工作时,一只杆子穿过建筑工丈夫的左眼,而他为了挽救器官进行12次的手术。这悲剧的事件导致职业变化,也催生Dansu集团。1969年, 女儿Danielle诞生,这是Susan所有幸福喜悦的泉源。“她是一个绝对的快乐,我最好的朋友。”

生活重击再度袭来,女儿12岁时被诊断为1型糖尿病患者,成为这三口之家的梦魇。那时,她拥有多层身份:妻子、母亲,女性企业家和250名工人的雇主。然而,命运依旧百般作弄,她的丈夫在1996年一场肇事逃逸事故中去世。数年后,重病的女儿死在她的臂弯里,当她们从洛杉矶乘飞机到澳大利亚欲进行急救时刻。
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“我们不富裕,吃喝也刚好足够。我不像大多数孩子们有额外的物质,我总是有兼职的工作,在上学前后,还有周末和节假日。”

汗水与眼泪
32岁的她在身边守护并凝视女儿的脸孔:发誓个人的医疗治愈抗争永远不会结束。她的坚定与热情意志也体现在对她所爱的人,逾30年参与贡献著名的医学研究机构像St Vincent’s, Baker IDI与Walter + Eliza Hall等。

此外,作为前青少年糖尿病研究基金会和目前维多利亚大学基金会主席,她奉献心力和资源协助筹募社区外来务工人员子女的奖学金。“我的心牵挂墨尔本西部,那里有许多贫困家庭,而糖尿病的高发病率与缺乏教育、资源和基础设施息息相关。”她告诉Essenze。

翻过这一页
除了糖尿病,她最近因身患癌症而展开另一轮治疗抗争,这些可怕的事实经历印证了她布满荆棘的人生,但她失去得越多,却奉献更多。尽管走在蜿蜒曲折的道路,今天她却拥有了10年的幸福婚姻-慈善家兼工程师的丈夫Colin North。“无论是什么,能做多少就去做。”

From Architect to a Builder of Foreign Relations 从建筑跨入外交建设

Westmoreland Palon
Consulate General of Malaysia in Melbourne, Australia

By Karina Foo 

The name, Westmoreland is a rather unusual one for Sarawakian born Westmoreland Palon, the consulate general of Malaysia in Melbourne.

But it was his father who named him after the formidable commanding officer of the US Army during the Vietnam war, William Charles Westmoreland.

Palon chuckles whenever someone jokingly asks him if Charles Westmoreland was his own father or grandfather. “I was born in 1969 in the height of the Vietnam war and my dad was in the public sector so I guess the name resonates well with him,” said Palon who is a Bidayuh, a descendent of one of the many indigenous races from Kuching.

Palon took on his current role in Melbourne just three months ago, after his last post as the director for the ASEAN Political-Security Community (Malaysia National Secretariat) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before that, he had come from a distinguished diplomatic career spanning almost 20 years including stints in Chile, Singapore and the United Nations.

“I came to Melbourne only recently and I love this place because it’s a very beautiful city and there are so many Malaysians here too,” he said, noting that this is his fourth posting.

But working for the government was not what he had in mind when he graduated as a young architect. Palon worked in an architectural firm for the first two years of his career.

“At that time, the buildings and construction industry in Malaysia wasn’t doing well and someone suggested that I join the government service where I could put my knowledge of buildings and infrastructure to good use.”

But there was a twist in his aspirations as he was instead, appointed to the foreign department where he had to learn about global relationships from the ground up.

“I like to think about it as building linkages and relationships between people. But it was a steep learning curve as I had no background, yet I managed to rise to the challenge. I had a lot of good bosses, senior colleagues who were my mentors,”
he reminisced.

His first posting in Singapore in 2000 was particularly the most challenging because he recalled that the relationship between Singapore and Malaysia was tense making the job hectic, stressful but nevertheless, exciting.

“I had to learn about different culture systems and ways of doing things in every country I was working in. So every role was different and gave me many opportunities to learn. ”

“Managing relationships, values and ideas with conflicting interests is probably one of the hardest jobs. But at the same time, it opens your eyes to value these differences of opinions as it teaches you how to communicate, negotiate and help people to understand each other.”

After such experiences, Melbourne poses a different challenge, but something that Palon is more than ready to take on.

“There are a lot of Malaysians and businesses here who are starting a new life and new ventures.

My job is to build more linkages between Australia and Malaysia, although we’re already quite well known in Australia especially with our food!

“We are constantly looking at what’s on offer in Melbourne and to show Melbournians what we have in Malaysia in hopes to boost the tourism industry back home.”

Likewise, he hopes to engage more with Malaysians visitors, new students and migrants.

He noted that Malaysian businesses including big companies are already involved in major developments here (established corporations like MRCB and SP Setia).

“Meanwhile there are smaller companies who are looking into investing their interest in other parts of the world, including Melbourne. We want to engage with them to make this possible.”

With a highly demanding job, this father of five believes that one should just be happy in life. “When it comes to people, I always assume the best and positive in them. My family brings out the positive side in me as I have become selfless. I live for my kids and try to make the best for them.”

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Westmoreland听起来相当不寻常的名字,这位马来西亚驻墨尔本总领事-砂拉越出生的Westmoreland Palon,他的父亲是基于崇敬越战期间美国军队的强大指挥官 William Charles Westmoreland,而以此为之命名。

他笑着说,常有人开玩笑地问,WilliamCharles Westmoreland如果为其父亲或祖父。“我生于1969年,那是越南战争最激烈时刻,父亲是公务员,所以我想这个名字是他的共鸣点。” Westmoreland Palon是比达友族,砂拉越古晋众土著种族之一的后裔。

他担任墨尔本总领事职务仅3个月,前职是外交部属下的东盟政治安全共同体(马来西亚国家秘书处)总监。在此之前,跨越近20年,他拥有一个杰出的外交成绩单,包括曾派驻前往智利、新加坡和联合国。

“我最近才来到墨尔本,非常喜欢这个地方,一个相当美丽的城市,也有许多马来西亚人在这里。”这也是他第4次受委派。

可是,作为政府公务人员不是他的首选,当他毕业时是作为一个年轻建筑师,并曾在一家建筑公司展开两年职业生涯。

“当时,建筑行业在马来西亚的景气萎靡,有人建议我进入政府公务部门,更有效发挥我的建筑与基础设施知识。”但事与愿违,因为受任为外交部门,逼迫他必须从基础底层了解全球关系。”

“处理人际关系,价值观和理念与利益冲突发生的可能性是最困难的工作之一。但同时,它会让你大开眼界,教会你如何沟通与洽谈,协助人们理解另一方的差异。”

“我喜欢把它视为与人之间建立联系桥梁。这是一个陡峭的学习曲线,我没具备相关背景,但我尽力迎接挑战,我遇上很多好上司,资深同事,他们都是我的导师。”

他在2000年被派驻到新加坡是最具挑战性的,他回忆说,那时因为新加坡与马来西亚之间的关系紧张而导致工作繁忙,尽管如此,却令人振奋。

“我必须了解不同的文化体系,适应每个国家的工作与处理方式。所以角色的迥异,给了我很多学习的机会。”

在积淀经验后,面临墨尔本不一样的挑战,但他已经做好更全面的准备。

“有很多马来西亚人和这里的企业都在开展新生活与商业合资。我的工作是推动和维系澳大利亚与马来西亚之间的关系,而我们的美食目前在澳大利亚也相当闻名。”

他说,目前试图接触墨尔本并向墨尔本人民展示家乡马来西亚,以提振国内的旅游业。”同样,他希望吸引更多游客、学生和新移民到马来西亚。

他指出,马来西亚有积极驻扎澳大利亚的企业,包括已参与当地重大发展工程的大型公司(如MRCB与SP Setia)。

“同时也有规模较小的公司在世界其他地区找寻投资伙伴,其中也有墨尔本,我们希望与他们接触以促成事实。”

纵然在工作领域拥有高度要求,这名育有5名孩子的父亲认为,快乐的生活才是重点。

“待人时,我总是呈现最佳与正面的态度。我的家庭激发我积极的一面,我变得更无私,我为孩子们活得更好,并尝试给予他们最好的一切。”