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Stylecraft and TAFE NSW launch First Nations design scholarship

Stylecraft, with its demonstrated commitment to social justice, and TAFE NSW have announced a new First Nations Interior Design Scholarship.

Stylecraft and TAFE NSW launch First Nations design scholarship

As part of the National Agreement on the Closing the Gap initiative, the Federal Government is committed to increasing the proportion of Indigenous Australians (aged between 25 and 34) who have completed a tertiary qualification to 70 per cent by 2031.

Considering that in 2016 (the initiative’s baseline year) the figure for this metric was just 42 per cent, achieving this target will be an important milestone.

It will require genuine effort from all parties involved and a range of initiatives and programs – like the recently announced collaboration between TAFE NSW and Stylecraft to offer a new First Nations Interior Design Scholarship.

Set to begin this year and continue until 2024, the scholarship will cover the full fees for the Bachelor of Interior Design at TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore. It will ensure that successful applicants receive relevant educational support through the course of their studies.

Announcing the scholarship, Stylecraft managing director, Anthony Collins, said it presented an exciting opportunity for aspiring Indigenous designers to get a head start in interior design, an industry that is looking forward to significant growth over the next five years.

“Stylecraft has committed to the scholarship program for three years. By 2024, three students will be in the interior design stream completing the scholarship program,” he said.

“We will also work with TAFE NSW to identify any internship or mentoring opportunities for scholarship recipients within Stylecraft or industry partners and client.”

With a student population that currently includes over 30,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, TAFE NSW has taken several steps to address the marginalisation of ethnic communities.

Apart from this most recent scholarship, it also provides financial assistance to Indigenous students. Furthermore, it customises courses and services to better meet the needs of these students, and has instituted several Specialist Aboriginal study centres across the state.

According to TAFE NSW Creative and Design Ideation Head of Skills Team, Richard Cass, the process of awarding the scholarships will involve evaluating the study and career potential – including career goals, motivation and creative portfolio – of applicants.

“The Bachelor of Interior Design allows students to develop practical design skills and learn the theory needed to equip them with a sound understanding of design best practice, both in Australia and internationally,” Cross said.

“TAFE NSW will ensure that scholarship recipients receive academic support through progressive review and solutions with head teachers, teachers and the Aboriginal Education and Engagement Team.

“TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore is a purpose-built design studio where students are able to immerse themselves in design. It’s the perfect place to build design skills and get a head start in the booming interior design industry.”

For Stylecraft, the scholarship represents further evidence of its commitment to principles that may, at first glance, appear to sit beyond its core business concerns.

However, those familiar with the furniture designer’s track record on issues ranging from modern slavery and sustainability to human rights, OHS, and women’s rights will recognise this latest move as consistent with its history of broader social commitment.

“The ultimate aim of the program is to encourage participation by Indigenous Australians in the Interior Design profession, and we look forward to contributing to the students’ design journey,” said Collins.


TAFE NSW, Design Centre Enmore

Courtesy of TAFE NSW

We think you might be interested in this story about the Yarpa Indigenous Business and Employment Hub by BVN featuring flooring by Milliken.

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