SYDNEY (December 19, 2018) – Last night the annual AUSFF Scholarship Awards presented by QIC Global Real Estate (QICGRE) and the American Australian Association (AAA) was held at The Paramount Recreation Club, Surry Hills. 

 AUSFF Co-Founder Malcolm Carfrae, who had flown in from New York and Influencer Mimi Elashiry, an avid supporter of AUSFF, announced the scholarships. 

Fashion graduates Helena Dong and Amanda Nichols were chosen out of the ten finalists representing Australia’s finest design schools – Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Queensland University of Technology and University of Technology Sydney. Helena and Amanda were each awarded a financial grant of $20,000 USD and a six-month internship at a global fashion house in Europe or the USA, to guide them in pursuing their talent on an international scale.

Support of the Scholarship comes from a wide cross section of the fashion industry. Attending guests included fashion designers, Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, Camilla Freeman-TopperBianca Spender, Kit Willow-Podgornik, and influencers Tanja Gacic and Mimi Elashiry together with Dinosaur Designs founder, Louise Olsen.

“A extraordinary pool of individuals all of who are very talented across many disciplines required to be a success in the fashion industry of the future,” said David Bush, consultant to QICGRE.

Nicky Zimmerman said, “For me it is enjoyable to meet and see the creative future of the Australian and international fashion industry.”

Australian universities are producing world-class fashion talent but there simply aren’t enough opportunities in Australia. So, with the support of QICGRE and AAA, we help these young people obtain world-class experience at top global brands and the best mentors,” said Malcolm Carfrae. 

AUSFF Scholarship placements have led to exciting career opportunities including 2016 winner Hannah Tan, now at Chanel; 2015 winner Panayota Theodore is a junior designer at Bianca Spender; 2015 winner Vlad Kanevsky is an associate designer at Thom Browne; 2014 winner Alexander Oscar Kelvy is a men’s footwear designer for Louis Vuitton; while 2013 recipient Amie Jones is a senior designer at RUSSH Magazine – just a few examples of the emerging Australian talent whose career trajectories have been propelled forward after the win. 

The Judging panel for the 2018 award included the Australian Fashion Laureate’s Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann and Consultant Nancy Pilcher, Harper’s Bazaar Australia’s Editor-in-Chief Eugenie Kelly, Zimmermann Creative Director Nicky Zimmermann, legendary fashion stylist Brana Wolf, Consultant David Bush for QICGRE, AUSFF Co-Founder & Founder of Carfrae Consulting Malcolm Carfrae, and Communications Consultant Kara Hurry

2018 presenting partner QICGRE understands the benefit of international exposure for young talent: “QICGRE is proudly partnering with AUSFF for 2018, presenting its Scholarship Awards in Sydney – dedicated to nurturing young Australian creative talent through international experience with the aim of supporting professional development and strengthening our fashion community. Congratulations to founder Malcolm Carfrae on a remarkable decade of AUSFF Awards success and his ongoing commitment to championing Australia globally.  We're excited to celebrate this milestone together,” said Skye Fisher, General Manager, Strategy & Product Development, QICGRE.

“Fashion has always been on the cutting edge of artistic expression. While I was Ambassador in Australia, I witnessed the amazing creativity of Australian artists in the important fashion industry. The AAA is honored to partner with the AUSFF Scholarship Awards to help new artists during those critical, early steps of their careers,” said Ambassador John Berry (Ret’d.), President, American Australian Association. 

Artist Louise Olsen, Co-Founder of Dinosaur Designs, created and generously donated the bespoke 2018 award trophies to mark the decade. 

Photography by Myles Kalus (@stylemyles).

Special thank you to our beverage partners, Bird in Hand & Young Henrys.



On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, guests gathered to celebrate the Australian Fashion Foundation’s Annual Summer Party at Make Believe, SIXTY LES. Each year, AUSFF awards two $20,000 scholarships and provides internships with top fashion houses in New York City and Europe to the next generation of Australian designers. All proceeds from ticket and raffle sales benefit AUSFF. The 2018 Annual Summer Party was presented by QIC | GRE and the American Australian Association.

The Australian Fashion Foundation thanks its co-title sponsors, QIC | GRE & the American Australian Association (AAA), for their generous support of AUSFF’s 2018 Summer Party & Scholarship Awards.

The Australian Fashion Foundation would also like to extend a special thank you to Bird in Hand for its charitable product donation to the 2018 Summer Party, and the following sponsors for their generous donations to AUSFF’s annual Summer Party raffle:

Dr. Barbara Sturm
Firmdale Hotels
Rachael Ruddick
Lab Series
Dion Lee
Becca Cosmetics
Bird in Hand

Thank you to AUSFF’s Honorary Committee:

Camilla Freeman-Topper Designer, CAMILLA AND MARC
Marc Freman Designer, CAMILLA AND MARC
Dion Lee Designer, Dion Lee
Kym Ellery Designer, Ellery
Ryan Lobo Designer, TOME
Ramon Martin Designer, TOME
Malcolm Carfrae Co-Founder, AUSFF
Julie Anne Quay Co-Founder, AUSFF
Rob Newbould Board Member, AUSFF
Naomi Watts Actress
Nicky Zimmermann Co-Founder & Creative Director, Zimmermann
Simone Zimmermann Co-Founder & COO, Zimmermann

And special thank you to AUSFF’s Summer Party Notable Guests:

Ajak Deng Model
Akiima Model
Alexandra Agostan Model
Aleyna FitzGerald Model
Athena Calderone EyesSwoon
Atty Michell Model
Charlee Fraser Model
Claudia Li Designer, Claudia Li
Daniel Garofali Model
Eric Rutherford Model
Garrett Neff Model
Georgia Fowler Model
Georgia Lazzaro Design Director, Protagonist
Georgina Burke Model
Georgina Duckworth Director of Corp., Gov., Social & Cultural Programs, AAA
Igee Okafor Influencer
Jillian Davison Fashion Director
Jodie Boland Makeup Artist; Men’s Grooming, See Management
Julia Van Os Model
Laura Brown Editor in Chief, InStyle
Lincoln Pilcher Photographer
Logan Crosby Model
Martyn Thompson Photographer
Montana Cox Model
Pete Maiden Founder, Convicts
Sam Woolf Stylist
Skye Fisher General Manager, Strategy & Product Development, QIC | GRE
Susan Joy Stylist
Tim Watson Associate Designer, Thom Browne
Tom Bull Model
Victoria Lee Model
Zanita Whittington Influencer



Winners of the Australian Fashion Foundation Awards 2017/18 Announced


SYDNEY (December 19, 2017) – The Australian Fashion Foundation tonight announced the 2017/2018 winners of its annual internship program at Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel, Sydney. Fashion designers, Lucy Dickinson of RMIT & Mikala Tavener Hanks of UTS were each awarded a financial grant of $20,000 and a six-month internship at a global fashion house in the USA or Europe to help them pursue their talent on an international scale. 

Notable guests who showed their support at last night’s cocktail party included: fashion designers Nicky Zimmermann, Dion Lee; Bianca Spender, Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman along with Louise Van de Vorst and Lincoln Pilcher. 

“Both designers had a strong vision with collections feeling very innate and personal,” said, designer Dion Lee. Nicky Zimmerman said “Mikala’s collection was so refined and showed such restraint. You can see it on the floor in Barneys.” 

“The quality of entrants was incredibly high this year and determining a winner was very difficult. We hope that we can provide a life-changing springboard for these two talented Australians. My only wish is that we could award more grants in future years," said AUSFF co-founder, Malcolm Carfrae. 

The foundation’s commitment to opening doors to transform careers has been proven over the last nine years, with previous winners moving on to high profile positions across the globe. These include 2009 winner, Georgia Lazzaro who went on to become Design Director at Protagonist after a placement at Calvin Klein and Tim Watson (2012) who is currently Associate Designer at Thom Browne. Winners from 2014, Grace Butterworth and Alexander Oscar Kelvy have also formally joined the design teams for Giles Deacon (Grace) and Louis Vuitton (Alex), proving that internship placement truly opens global doors. 

Judges present at the award’s announcement included Alison Veness, (Editor, 10 Magazine); Kellie Hush (Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia); fashion designer Nicky Zimmermann; fashion designer Dion Lee; fashion consultant and former VOGUE editor Nancy Pilcher, Kara Hurry (AUSFF Board Member & Director of Entente Agency); and AUSFF Co-Founder Malcolm Carfrae (Founder, Carfrae Consulting). 

Founded by Malcolm Carfrae and Julie Anne Quay in 2008, the Australian Fashion Foundation is a New York-based global non-profit organization which supports emerging Australian fashion talent gain world-class fashion experience and mentorship. 

The AUSFF Scholarship Awards are open to designers, photographers, stylists, writers, and art directors - any fashion profession that meets the criteria of eligibility. To make a submission for the 2018/2019 AUSFF grants and for further information, visit 


Further information on the winners can be viewed on their websites: