The 2019 Steve Ashton Scholarship was awarded to Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects. Emilio is studying a Graduate Certificate of Business Administration (Executive) at RMIT in 2020 – 2022.

Emilio is the Director of Nest Architects, a practice that reflects his personal beliefs in collaboration, environmental sustainability and inclusive design.


“Since its beginnings in 2006, Nest Architects has grown and shrunk, and vice versa, experiencing the ‘growing pains’ that many similar practices face. Being a sole director, facing these challenges alone can be daunting. As with most architectural practices, you tend to learn on the run and although this can be exciting, it is also important to take some time to reflect on what you have learned. The responsibilities that come with hiring staff, the massive challenge of balancing work and family life and the relentless challenge of meeting all your financial obligations are ever present.

The coursework undertaken in the Graduate Certificate of Business Administration at RMIT has helped me to understand what lies behind these responsibilities and challenges. It has given me a foundation of knowledge, skills and language that can be utilised as opposed to simply ‘going with my gut’. At the same time, I’ve been surprised how much I have enjoyed being back at university, doing coursework and grappling with new ideas. I’m indebted to the Ashton-Nixon family for the scholarship and hope that other architects take up the opportunity.” – Emilio Fuscaldo

Previous Scholarships:

The first Steve Ashton scholarship was awarded to Amelia Borg of Sibling Nation in 2017 who has undertaken an MBA at the University of Melbourne.

The Ashton Nixon Bequest Advisory Committee decided to award Amelia with the Steve Ashton Scholarship again in 2018 for the second year of her course.

Amelia Borg 2

“This unique and generous program has provided me the opportunity to gain invaluable insights into the complex and multi-tiered nature of running a modern architecture business. Through my study I have gained a strong foundation of knowledge across all facets of business and the economy at large, and I have grown very much as a person.

I have been pleased to apply this knowledge directly to our growing architecture practice in real time. The Melbourne Business School MBA has enhanced my understanding of the contexts and aspirations of many of our clients who work in highly competitive and challenging business conditions.

The intensity and pressure of this study has forced me to develop my skills of analysis and acumen, it has challenged my comfort zone, and delivered new challenges to be met on a weekly basis.” – Amelia Borg