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Country Education Foundation of Australia 2023 Young Achiever, Chloe Wilson.

Chloe has come a very long way from farm life in her home town of Grenfell, NSW. She took a big gamble when she decided to leave her life on the land to pursue a career in fashion. Having completed a Bachelor of Fashion Design in Sydney, she is now working for global fashion house Camilla, and aspires to one day start her own fashion label. Here is our 2023 Young Achiever, Chloe Wilson.

Local foundation:
Country Education Foundation of Grenfell

University of Technology, Sydney

Bachelor of Fashion Design

Congratulations on your CEF Alumni Award. How does it feel to be recognised as a CEF Alumni Award winner?
Winning an award like the CEF Alumni Award feels incredibly validating and rewarding. It’s a recognition of hard work and dedication and has boosted my self-confidence. It’s an immensely proud moment to be acknowledged as a young achiever. I’m also thrilled about the chance to have Chris Mercer as my mentor—it’s an exciting opportunity!”

Can you tell us a little about your life growing up? Your family, what your parents did for a living?
I was fortunate to grow up in a close-knit family on a farm alongside my 3 brothers. My Dad is a farmer, and My Mum is a nurse. Their dedication to the careers instilled in me a strong work ethic and appreciation to the country and the local community.

My childhood was filled with various activities such as a variety of different sports, dance lessons, and horse-riding on our farm. Our family’s bonding moments often revolved around water skiing in the summer, camping and helping on the farm which taught me valuable lessons. My eldest brother has studied and is now working at the John Deere head office, and my younger brothers also have the hopes of studying.

What have been some of your greatest/proudest achievements to date?
Some of my proudest moments to date include the creation of my graduation collection during my final year at university. Seeing my designs come to life on the runway was an incredibly fulfilling experience. Additionally, being recognized as the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ at my graduation, graduating with Distinction, and earning the opportunity to travel to India for work earlier this year were my proudest achievements. Receiving the CEF Young Achiever award is also big testament to my dedication and hard work.

What do you remember most about receiving your grants from CEF? What did it mean to you? How did it help you?
Receiving the grant from CEF was a game-changer, when I received the email, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because creating a collection entails significant expenses—covering everything from trims, fabrics, photography, accessories.  The grant specifically supported purchasing digitally printed fabrics crucial for my collection.

I will always be grateful for the grant as it allowed me to pursue my creative vision without financial stress.

– CEF 2023 Young Achiever Chloe Wilson

Country Education Foundation of Australia 2023 Young Achiever Chloe Wilson with her own designed fashion.

What do you like to do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?
In my spare time, I find joy in a mix of activities that energise and relax me. I have found a passion for challenging myself in doing a mix of fitness classes, particularly Barre, Pilates, and Boxing. My spare time involves relaxing at the beach, spending time in nature going for long walks and going thrift shopping. Additionally, spending quality time with my boyfriend and cherished friends is a priority and spending time with my family when they come up to visit or I travel back to the country.

How important is the work that CEF does in your opinion?
The work done by CEF holds immense importance to me. Not only did their grant support my endeavours, but the ongoing encouragement and assistance from the Grenfell foundation members was invaluable. Their consistent support, checking in on me and providing guidance, meant a lot.

Moreover, the opportunity they offered me to showcase my collection to the local community was incredibly meaningful. It reinforced a sense of belonging and appreciation within my hometown, making me truly grateful for CEF’s impact beyond financial aid.

Country vEducation Foundation of Australia 2023 Young Achiever Chloe Wilson at her graduation.

Do you live in a regional area now? Do you still feel a connection to country Australia? How important is it to give back to your local community?
Although I live in the city, my roots in the country remain strong. I make it a point to return home whenever possible to spend time with my family and reconnect with the community.

My bond with country Australia runs deep and will always be a part of who I am. As I’ve matured, I’ve come to realise the significance of giving back to my local community. It’s a growing passion of mine and being a part of initiatives like CEF is a goal that holds great importance for me.

What advice would you give to young students in the rural and regional areas who are unsure or worried about study after school?
My advice to young students in rural areas is simple: pursue your passion, keep learning, and embrace every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t forget to hold onto the things that bring you joy as you navigate through life.

Country Education Foundation of Australia 2023 Young Achiever, Chloe Wilson.

What benefits do you think staying connected or reconnecting with the CEF Alumni Network can provide?
Remaining connected or reconnecting with the CEF Alumni Network presents a chance for continual personal growth and skill development. It provides a platform to forge new connections, exchange experiences and inspire young individuals. CEF serves as a valuable support system, offering guidance and opportunities that are invaluable.

What is next for you?
My next step involves venturing into entrepreneurship. I’m passionate about establishing a label that specialises in crafting high-quality, timeless garments for women. Sustainability is a key focus, aiming to create pieces that will be cherished for generations, all while prioritizing ethical and sustainable practices in fashion production.

Favourite musician, singer or band? I have so many of all different genres but at the moment I am loving country musician Zach Bryan.

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.

Favourite hobby or past time? Skiing on the water and snow!

Last book you read? Good Vibes, Good Life – Vex King.

Five people (alive or not) for a study group? Coco Chanel, Cathy Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Edward Enninful, Andrew Huberman.

How would you spend your last $10? Roast pork Bahn Mi!

We’re thrilled to announce the continuation of our partnership with Audi Foundation for another two years. They remain committed to supporting rural and regional students pursuing STEM related fields with scholarships. We’re very excited that they have also increased their sponsorship of our Alumni Awards which recognise the achievements of our regional and rural youth.

Joshua Matic

Author Joshua Matic

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