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Global financial crisis inspires Curtin’s Fulbright scholarship winner

Media release

Perth lawyer and Curtin University postgraduate student Amy Salapak has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to study at the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Ms Salapak, who is completing a Master by Philosophy (Law) in the Curtin Law School, was last night awarded the 2018 Fulbright Professional Coral Sea Scholarship (Business/Industry) at a special presentation at Parliament House in Canberra.

As a lawyer specialising in litigation, Ms Salapak has legal experience in both the private and public sector, and is currently an in-house lawyer with the WA Department of Health.

Her research will investigate both the American and Australian perspectives of what is required to foster ethics in business in the wake of the global financial crisis, and whether this requires a ‘carrot or stick’ approach.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Ms Salapak on being recognised with a scholarship by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, which supports and encourages academic excellence, innovation and creativity.

“I am delighted that Amy has been awarded this prestigious scholarship and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of her research into business ethics and what she learns from her time at the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership,” Professor Terry said.

“Postgraduate students like Amy who are working to research an identified problem with the aim of helping Australian industry or business embody everything we strive for at Curtin University, and I wish her every success in her studies.”

Ms Salapak said she was honoured to be awarded the Fulbright Professional Coral Sea Scholarship (Business/Industry), which enables one Australian each year to complete a short course of study or research at a US educational institution.

“It has been almost a decade since we witnessed the impact that ineffective regulation, excessive debt, and epic and ongoing failures in corporate ethics, accountability and leadership played in the global financial crisis,” Ms Salapak said.

“Through my research, which has been supported by the Fulbright scholarship, I will explore the role culture, leadership, organisational behaviour, legal and regulatory frameworks have in promoting ethical conduct in business.”

The Fulbright Professional Coral Sea Scholarship (Business/Industry) was originally established in 1992 by the Coral Sea Commemorative Council to recognise the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Ms Salapak, who graduated from Curtin with a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Information) in 2003 and has worked as a lawyer for the past decade, is undertaking her master degree under the supervision of Associate Professor Robert Cunningham, from Curtin Law School, and Associate Professor Kerry Pedigo, from Curtin’s School of Management.

The Fulbright program was established in Australia in 1949 through a binational treaty between the Australian and US Governments. Each year, approximately 25 Australians and 20 Americans are awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.