When we photographed Priyanka Chopra Jonas in London during a break in her filming schedule, we intended to feature her on our cover to celebrate her hardearned career and the fact she is leading a host of Hollywood productions, creating her own scripts and has recently penned a memoir. But that was before
Covid took hold in India with such tragic consequences.
Today, it seems timely to spotlight one of India’s most famous women, one who is so passionate about her homeland where there is ongoing suffering at a terrible scale. Her advocacy has shone a light on how we, as a global community, might help. We’ve learnt how truly influential Priyanka’s voice is as she has highlighted the unfolding situation in India, calling for donations, alongside her famous husband Nick Jonas, through her Priyanka Chopra Jonas Foundation’s ‘Every Breath Matters’ campaign with GiveIndia.
The campaign highlights the long-term needs of children who have lost one or both parents to Covid, requiring financial support to keep them in the education system when their economic needs might necessitate them giving up. While there is an immediate crisis that demands our compassion and generosity, the impact of Covid ravaging through India now will last lifetimes. “India is my home,” she says, “and India bleeds … unless everyone is safe, no one is safe.”
Priyanka has a special love for Australia, just as Australia has a special connection with India. In another life she would have moved to Melbourne to study aeronautical engineering. In her interview with Hannah-Rose Yee, we learn that her university scholarship application was made around the same time as her brother entered his sister in a local beauty pageant (in a bid to assume ownership of her bedroom, no less). After taking out the title, she progressed to a regional pageant, a national contest and then ultimately, Miss World, which launched her acting career. But at Vogue, we are equally inspired by her desire to study engineering as we are by her achievements in the film industry.
With Vogue Codes returning for the sixth year this month, thanks to presenting partner Optus and supporting partners Audi and Estée Lauder, we look forward to encouraging more young women to be empowered by technology and the possibilities a career in STEAM can offer. Our Vogue Codes Summit features a particularly impressive line-up of thought leaders, founders, tech experts and CEOs who will advise on career pivots, founding and funding a business and scaling an enterprise. Turn to page 58 to see a selection of remarkable women speaking both virtually and in person at this year’s event on June 18.
It seems apt that Vogue Codes coincides with Priyanka as our cover star, a woman who once aspired to attend an Australia university and pursue such a future herself.