The Australia Council for the Arts has announced the first recipients of its new Flourish fund for First Nations fashion and textile design.

The 21 recipients include First Nations designers, and First Nations owned and run Businesses and community arts organisations from across Australia.

The investment will support production and design, as well as professional development and increased digital visibility for the First Nations Textile design and fashion sector.

Among the recipients, founder of House of Darwin, Shauny Edwards said: “House of Darwin are so humbled and proud to be a recipient of the Flourish grant. The flourish grant allows us to reach for the stars and try to take on the big brands around Australia and the world as this investment gives us the opportunity to bring in a world-class mind to grow and expand beyond the borders of the Northern Territory.”

Designer and founder of First Nations swimwear brand Liandra Swim, Liandra Gayamangu said: “The Flourish Fund will support opportunities for growth within the international landscape which will support the growth Liandra Swim’s impact. The fund will also nurture my professional development as I access new relationships and expand my networks, both within the domestic and global markets.”

Founder of Gammin Threads, Tahnee Edwards, said: “This grant will allow me to develop an accessories range to strengthen and diversify Gammin threads product offering. It will help me to broaden my skills and processes in product design and development as well as supporting Gammin threads revenue growth by offering additional pieces and price-points, engaging more diverse audiences, and ensuring everyone can have access to First Nations design.”

Australia Council Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture Franchesca Cubillo said:

“This investment supports the continued strength, flourishing and visibility of First Nations textile design and fashion – and its important contribution to cultural expression.”

The announcement comes during an important milestone year for First Nations arts and culture, with Purrumpa – a national gathering and celebration of First Nations arts and culture to be held in October.