Swinburne’s Annual Research Impact Award - Marngo Designing Futures

Monday 14 May 2018

Marngo Designing Futures student landscape image

Student working on her design for NAIDOC week

In summary

  • Marngo Designing Futures working with Korin Gamadji Institute and Richmond Football Club
  • Korin Gamadji Institute and Marngo to facilitate three-day design intensive at Swinburne

Swinburne’s Annual Research Impact Award - Faculty of Health, Arts and Design was won by Dr Sam Edwards-Vandenhoek. Awarded for her project, Marngo Designing Futures, Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek continues her work with young Indigenous Australians.

Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek is a researcher based in the Centre for Design Innovation. The Marngo Designing Futures program operates under the Architecture and Habitat program.

Samantha Vandenhoek profile imageDr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek. Credit: Eamon Gallagher

Marngo Designing Futures is a place-based design education and cultural leadership program. It’s specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students.

The program connects young Indigenous Australians to university through the world of design. It reinforces the importance of Indigenous-led design and innovation. It works to enrich community life, foster youth entrepreneurship and grow local economies in the long term.

“Demonstrated impacts to date, include positive long-term outlook, increased cultural connectedness, improved school attendance, pride and self-confidence. These impacts have the capacity to improve longer term educational outcomes,” says Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek.

Over 100 Indigenous secondary school students have participated in the program.

Students come from Melbourne, North Eastern Victoria, the East Kimberley region, Western Australia and North-East Arnhem Land.

Two Marngo Designing Futures students showing their work 

The Marngo program is now working with the Korin Gamadji Institute or KGI.  Supported by the Richmond Football Club, the KGI is an educational and training facility. It encourages leadership and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek is also working with the KGI Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) program. KGI REAL works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to help develop their cultural connections. It supports leadership skills, physical and mental well-being, and career aspirations.

“This ties into Swinburne’s broader strategy and three-year partnership goals with the football club,” explains Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek.

Through the Richmond Football Club and Swinburne partnership, secondary students enrolled in the KGI REAL Program have the opportunity to participate in Marngo Designing Futures.

KGI students participated in a design workshop program facilitated by Wagiman artist and designer Nathan Patterson and Marngo earlier this year. Swinburne undergraduate design students provided mentoring and support.

Nathan Patterson working with Marngo Designing Futures students Designer Nathan Patterson working with students.

KGI and Marngo are now working with the 2018 NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, we can!’. They are facilitating a three-day design intensive at Swinburne, later this year. The event is for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the KGI REAL program.

Read more news on design at Swinburne.