Tamara Saleh Finds Value in Altruism

Tamara Saleh is a 24 year old Masters of Marketing Communications student from Melbourne, Australia. She completed her undergraduate degree in Business (Law) from Monash University in Melbourne.

"It was probably one of the most significant moments of my life. It was both humbling and confronting."

Q: What gives you the biggest sense of pride?

A: My biggest sense of pride comes from my accomplishments (big and small) when I set a task and achieve it always manages to fulfil me. That and doing good for others. I think we are so self-driven and sometimes a little over indulgent when it comes to personal pursuits, it’s always nice to take a step back and give some time to someone who really needs it.

Q: What’s a place you travelled that changed your perspective?

A: I travelled to Lebanon last summer (where I am from) and visited area densely populated by recently migrated Syrian refugees. We met a refugee family we had been sponsoring and witnessed their living conditions. During our visit they were willing to give so much of what they had to make us feel welcomed, on the drive home I was moved to tears. It was probably one of the most significant moments of my life. It was both humbling and confronting, it showed me how lucky and privileged I am to live in Australia, and that I need to make the most of the opportunities I take for granted.

Q: You have a love for fashion, where does that come from?

A: Fashion has always been my thing, I don’t think I can really explain why or how I fell into it. I think it helped me connect with who I am creatively and develop a deeper self-understanding. I see it as art and I think you know you’re made for it when you see a garment and you get butterflies or your heart starts racing. I’m also intrigued by the industry itself and how illusive it is. And from a sustainability perspective I think it needs a lot of work. People will always need clothes, but the way they consume them needs to change, and that to me is fascinating. I want to be a part of that change and integrate my passion for sustainability as well as fashion into something meaningful that the wider community will be able to benefit from.

"Seeing my friends achieving their goals fills me with an overwhelming sense of pride"

Q: What advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?

A: Don’t compare yourself to others (I still need to remind myself of that today) it’s one of the hardest but the most valuable life lessons a young girl can learn.

Q: Who is a person you’ve met who recently inspired you?

A: I can’t really choose a particular individual, I’ve met a number of people this year who are persisting and working towards making their dreams a reality, whether that be in a creative field or an entrepreneurial pursuit. Seeing my friends achieving their goals fills me with an overwhelming sense of pride and inspires me to do the same.

Q: Tell us how your family has had an effect on your upbringing?

A: My family has had a huge impact on my upbringing. A lot of the values that I adopt in my daily life today have been imparted onto me by my family, so I owe a lot to them.

If you enjoy reading this profile on Tamara, we think you also might like reading our profile on Francesca Pujatti. Click here to read.

Q: What’s something people wouldn’t know about where you grew up?

A: There was a huge sewing community in the Block Arcade in the (Melbourne) CBD that no one really knew existed. Unfortunately, that legacy recently came to an end after our teacher retired. She was an expert in Italian sewing techniques, I’m talking old school. My mother was a part of the community when I was growing up, I remember waiting for her to finish class in the city every weekend, when I was older I actually went to the same classes as my mother with the same teacher, I was very lucky to have been a part of it. Melbourne is filled with so much talent.

Q: What do you want to get our of UniMelb experience?

A: Its funny because I’m close to graduating and I still don’t know what I came in expecting or what I want to leave with. There’s still a few weeks of semester left for me to think about that I guess.

Q: How do you think the international student population at MBS helps benefit the Australian students?

A: Having an international population at MBS sheds light on different cultures local students probably wouldn’t have the exposure to. It helps strengthen understanding and tolerance and I think it’s very beneficial, the world is becoming increasingly globalized, working with people from different cultures with different perspectives is the reality. I also admire how for many English is a second language yet the students are confident and so resilient. They work so hard to build their skills it’s inspirational.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Running an sustainable clothing label with a friend in Paris or Italy.

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