Applications are now open for the 2020 Natalie Miller Fellowship. The $20,000 grant is the only one of it’s kind in Australia, giving you the chance to be your best professional by supporting you to expand your skills and leadership qualities.
Read how previous Natalie Miller Fellowship recipient Miriam Katsambis (Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs at APAC, Film & TV Distribution at Entertainment One) applied, won and benefited greatly both professionally and personally from her fellowship experience.
From Miriam Katsambis:
When I was in my twenties, I had what I call a ‘first believer’; an older male mentor who explained to me ‘People are uncomfortable with difference, whether consciously or unconsciously, and so the bar is set higher for women, and even higher for ethnic women. You will have to work harder to break down these biases and stereotypes for your voice to be heard, but that’s worth working hard for, and I will always listen to you’. At the time, their support felt overwhelming: on the one hand it was coming from a statesman of the industry and I felt incredibly fortunate to have them as a mentor, but on the other, being typecast as the Greek-Australian woman who would always have to work a bit harder in order to be accepted, didn’t sit comfortably with me.
The pre-work for the NMF application was a powerful process in and of itself as it gave me time to reflect and be candid about the skills I might need in the future to stay authentic to my values and my way of doing things. It made me think about the best next move for me, rather than the natural career progression for a lawyer with my years of experience. My best takeaway was from having an honest conversation with my manager about my interests and ambitions, what held me back, and how I could gather the right experiences in a variety of areas to overcome those barriers. I also focused on my strengths, and how I could use the differences of my cultural and linguistic background as an advantage.
Being awarded the 2018 NMF has been a transformational experience, offering an opportunity to combine my strengths, passions, and values. In undertaking the Asialink Business Leaders program, I have developed a deep understanding of Asia’s contemporary economic, political and social landscapes to effectively position myself and work with Australian screen industry for greater engagement and success in Asia; a region I’m particularly interested in. It also forced me to confront my own cultural profile, how I may be perceived by others, and the connection with my approach to leadership. Learning how to identify cultural differences and how to adapt my behaviour to improve communication and effectiveness in different cross-cultural settings, so that the differences do not become barriers, may very well be one the most important and unique leadership attributes I developed.
Learning how to identify cultural differences and how to adapt my behaviour to improve communication and effectiveness in different cross-cultural settings, so that the differences do not become barriers, may very well be one the most important and unique leadership attributes I developed.
In the past, I had excluded myself from these types of opportunities in the typical way: ‘I’m too young; I haven’t done anything like that before; I only hit seven and half of the ten criteria’. As time goes on, I’m not so young, and my advice to anyone considering applying for the NMF would be:
- Have courage, think big, go after the things you really want to go after and don’t be deterred;
- Take some risks, apply for something that is out of the ordinary but could be hugely beneficial for you, your organisation and the broader industry; and
- Stay connected to yourself and think of this as the footprint you want to leave.
The Fellowship is proudly supported by co-sponsors Village Roadshow and independent sports and entertainment studio, KOJO, with each providing $50,000 over five years to support the Fellowship.
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