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speaker

Taku
Scrutton

Cultural ambassador and founder, Ribbon of Africa.

Profile

Zimbabwe-born celebrated cultural ambassador Taku Scrutton is the founder of Ribbon of Africa, an award-winning business celebrating all facets of African culture in Australia through fashion, music and the arts. An Environmental Design graduate of the University of Western Australia, in 2012 Taku was selected as a WA State Finalist for Australia's Ethnic Business Awards and in 2008 named one of '12 Inspiring Women in Small Business in Western Australia' by the Small Business Development Corporation.

Previous experience

TV: In August 2013 Taku was chosen to be part of the 'Your Chair' competition on Network Ten's The Project, taking her place as a panelist alongside hosts Carrie Bickmore, Charlie Pickering and Peter Helliar in a discussion of Australian multiculturalism and the migrant experience. Chosen from hundreds of entries, Taku and the panel also interviewed former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and tennis legend Pat Cash in the program's trademark humorous style.

Speaking: A resident of Australia for 11 years, Taku's mother and two youngest siblings live in Zimbabwe, where life remains a struggle as the country continues to rebuild its economy. Taku uses her public speaking skills to help her family, whilst inspiring her audiences to celebrate their uniqueness regardless of where they are from. Taku is especially concerned with inspiring the youth of Australia to find their voice.

Taku has been a guest speaker and trainer for local government authorities, not-for-profit organisations, charities and schools throughout the country. Her key speech themes include community celebration and inclusion, overcoming adversity to pursue goals, entrepreneurship, innovation, dreaming boldly and giving life a go.

Awards: Taku was named the 2007 Business Migrant of the Year and a 2007 Business Woman of the Year Finalist at the Belmont Busniess Enterprise Centre Awards, and in 2008 Ribbon of Africa was the recipient of Home Based Business of the Year. In 2013 Taku was nominated at the Celebration of African Australian National Awards.

Features:> In 2010 Taku featured in a South African Broadcasting Corporation documentary on the African migrant experience in Australia, and in 2012 in 100 Dolls, Countless Hearts, a book featuring Australian, indigenous and migrant doll makers in Australia, published by the Uthando Project. She has been heavily involved with international visits from irenowned African celebrities and performers including Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Umoja, Malaika, and Trevor Noah.

Expertise
Talking Points

Celebrate, Share, Maximise

An inspirational talk designed to encourage audiences to celebrate themselves, their culture and heritage; share their differences, stories, and talents with others; and maximise their differences for personal and career success.

African Girl Sings John Farnham to get onto Australian TV

How a one-minute audition video singing John Farnham's 'You're the Voice' gave Taku the chance to interview Australia's Prime Minister on national television.

Rags to Almost-Riches

The story of Taku's journey to Australia from Zimbabwe, her founding Ribbon of Africa, and how she left Richard Branson lost for words.

Yearn to Learn

Taku speaks inspiringly about her education in the classroom, the workplace and life.
Topics

Business

  • Culture
  • Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurs

Innovation

  • Creativity

Motivational

  • Inspiring Stories
  • Entrepreneurship
Feedback
Ms Scrutton spoke of her determination to complete her studies and build a strong future for herself and her family in a most inspirational way, and students, staff, industry partners and parents attending the graduation were most impressed by her determination and courage in the face of adversity. Liz Harris, CEO, Challenger Institute of Technology, and Telstra Business Women's Award Winner 2009
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