Balarinji wins President’s Award at Designers Australia Awards

Indigenous design trailblazers, Ros Moriarty and Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, founders and directors of Balarinji, have been honoured with the prestigious President’s Award at the Designers Australia Awards, held on 3 August 2022.

Balarinji was also honoured with an Award of Merit for its work on the Nation Brand Mark for Austrade.

Balarinji team accepting Designers Australia Awards. L-R Rachel Attwater, Raquel Kerdel, John Moriarty, Ros Moriarty

Awarded by the President of the Design Institute of Australia, Gavin Campbell, the President’s Award recognised Ros and John’s contribution to the design profession, their approach to inclusivity and collaboration, respectful design process and an enduring commitment to design excellence.

The Designers Australia Awards jury noted, “We see things from a fresh perspective through Ros and John Moriarty’s contributions. This shift in thinking, driven by diversity and inclusivity, is essential moving forward for all designers.”

Balarinji celebrates 40 years in 2023 of celebrating Australia’s Indigenous narrative through design excellence. From the Balarinji-Qantas Flying Art Aircraft collection spanning three decades to Connecting with Country projects on major infrastructure projects nationally, Balarinji has honoured culture, community and Country with its award-winning design products, projects and campaigns.

Balarinji Co-Founder, Cultural Director and Chair, John Moriarty AM, said, “It’s phenomenal from when we started in 1983 to now how through our work we’ve been able to share and celebrate Aboriginal art and culture and our foundational narrative with all Australians and internationally.”

“We are a young nation that has struggled with our ancient origins, but now with changes in truth telling and how as Australians we want to move forward with our national narrative, design can be significant in that conversation in a very positive way,” John added.

Balarinji Co-Founder and Managing Director, Ros Moriarty, said, “The thing I’m proudest of is the opportunities Balarinji creates, with our partners and clients, to give voice to Australia’s rich Aboriginal narrative to challenge us all about Australian design. Whether our brilliant team is illuminating the work of a globally significant Aboriginal artist on the latest Qantas airliner, deeply embedding local Aboriginal story in major public infrastructure, or inspiring the dreams of young creative professionals who work with us in the city, the country or the bush.”

“We still have significant disparity in opportunity so I hope that in the next 20 years design has a part to play in bringing visibility to the beauty and richness of the Aboriginal narrative. While social justice is an outcome that we’d all like to see, there’s also the outcome of Australians being able to more richly celebrate who we are uniquely in the world,” Ros added.

Balarinji and its design projects have been awarded many honours. In 2021, Balarinji founders were awarded the Australian Design Prize from Good Design Australian as well as a UNESCO Achievement Award.

Balarinji was awarded a 2022 iF Design Award, a 2022 Iron A' Design Award and a 2020 Good Design Award for the Aboriginal artwork project for Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre, a Silver in the 2020 Sydney Design Awards for an Aboriginal art installation in Redfern, a Gold in the 2019 Sydney Design Awards for the Balarinji-Qantas Emily Kame Kngwarreye Dreamliner.

John Moriarty and Ros Moriarty are also dual inductees of the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame and the Australian Graphic Design Association Hall of Fame.

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