Nominated for Australia’s National Reconciliation Award in 2014 – the Indigenous Runway Project established in Melbourne Australia, 2012 to support emerging Aboriginal Indigenous fashion talent and designers break into the fashion industry.
Its Founder Tina Waru comes from a strong lineage of pioneers such as her late grandfather Sonny Waru notable Actor, Orator & NZ Cultural Consultant, Uncle Selwyn Muru Maori Painter, Sculptor, Writer and Film Maker, and the late Hanna Jackson (Aunty), Evan Eriwata (Aunty), and Uncle’s Steve & Pat Heremaia who established Aotearoa’s first Maori fashion show and committee in the late 70’s. Tina first worked in the fashion industry as a makeup artist and had focused on a career in performing arts. She later went on to complete postgraduate qualifications in Psychology and Maori Health and spent over 15 years working in the field of health and education.The Indigenous Runway Project originally known by other names such as Indigenous Talent Unearthed, Indigenous Fashion Unearthed had emerged from a makeup workshop for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There was a growing need to empower Indigenous young people with confidence, motivation and pride so that they are able to embrace their hidden beauty and talent and explore career pathways in various areas of fashion, modelling, fashion design, performing arts, production, hair and makeup and styling. From a small group of volunteers to a large team of Aboriginal and fashion experts; the Indigenous Runway Project continues to provide a mentoring model that responds to community needs and develops leadership capacity providing structured support to help Indigenous young people to define their own careers in the fashion industry. To date, Indigenous Runway Project has reached other global Indigenous communities such as New Zealand, Arizona, Canada and Africa. Since 2012 we have received over 1500 expressions of interest, inspiring hundreds of established and emerging Indigenous fashion talent and designers. In 2014, the world’s first Global Indigenous Management (GIM) arose from the project providing a sustainable solution for its unfunded Project and a platform for Indigenous young people across the globe to help showcase their fashion, talent, beauty, creative and artistic skills to the world.