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Property consortium helps put spotlight on First Nations designers

By Zarah Torrazo
21 February 2023 | 4 minute read
street smith agency vamff reb bjasqj

A Melbourne event that aims to showcase First Nations designers and their works has received support from a property consortium for the second year in a row. 

Architectural firm Architectus, engineering and sustainability consultancy ADP Consulting and construction-related service providers MPA, and Slattery have joined forces to sponsor the Urban Oasis Runway, a highlight event during the Paypal Melbourne Fashion Festival, which will run from 3 to 11 March. 

The runway show, scheduled on 9 March at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building,  is set to feature a combination of new and upcycled pieces from both leading and emerging First Nations designers, alongside pieces from non-Indigenous designers, that explores several themes, including identity, social enterprise, and politics.

Notably, this marks the second time the property consortium has supported the festival and its wider advocacy. 

In 2022, Brookfield Properties, Architectus, MPA and Slattery also formed a property consortium that sponsored the festival’s First Nations Program featuring the First Nations Runway and the KIN Fashion Exhibition. 

Architectus principal for Clients + Communications, Ruth Wilson, lauded the event as an instrument that showcases “the breadth and depth of First Nations design talent in Australia”. 

“As a practice, we deeply acknowledge the role we play in meaningfully advancing reconciliation for First Nations People.

“Events like Urban Oasis are a wonderful platform for celebrating diversity and highlighting the impressive talents of our First Nations designers. We can’t wait to see the creations on show at this year’s festival,” she said. 

Laurent Deleu, the founder and director of ADP Consulting said they are “incredibly excited” for their first-time involvement in the “world-class event”. 

“Urban Oasis provides a strong platform for First Nations and sustainable designers to showcase their creativity and talent to a local and international audience. 

“As one of the largest privately owned Australian multi-services engineering and sustainability consultancies, we are proud to celebrate Indigenous design by supporting events that cultivate a more diverse and inclusive path toward a sustainable future.” 

MPA client relations director, Sarah Hogan, highlighted that their continued support of the event is a testament to the property consortium’s commitment to their respective Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) by focusing on creating “a measurable impact that makes a difference”. 

To highlight their longstanding commitment to their plans, the firms reported that Architectus and Slattery both renewed their RAPs; ADP Consulting endorsed their first RAP this year; and MPA is finalising their Reflect RAP. 

Slattery managing director Sarah Slattery also lauded the festival’s continued “efforts in shining a light on the design talent in Australia”. 

“The inclusion of First Nations designers alongside leading, established, and emerging Australian designers replicates our efforts as a practice to highlight the diversity of artists in Australia and help create meaningful change and engagement with First Nations communities,” she stated. 

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