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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2253

Mr ENTSCH (Leichhardt) (13:31): I rise today to speak about a Far North Queensland company that is kicking some major goals both domestically and overseas. Mainie Designer Fashion is an Australian owned company with a vision to be recognised internationally as a distinctively Australian fashion and gift brand. Mainie's founders and owners are Cairns based husband-and-wife team Denis Keeffe and Charmaine Saunders, who herself is a proud descendant of the Gunggari people from the Maranoa River region in south-western Queensland. They currently employ nine people, five of whom are local Aboriginal women.

Mainie is a unique melding of two ancient artisan cultures—one originating from Australia's 60,000-year-old Indigenous arts heritage and the other from the historic silk cities of China where silk making began some 4,700 years ago. In fact, I'm proudly wearing one of Mainie's fantastic ties and pocket handkerchiefs today. I also note that Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, is a huge fan. What makes this Cairns business such a success story is the fact that the artworks featured by Mainie's wearable art pieces are acquired through licensing arrangements with Aboriginal owned and controlled arts centres located on traditional homelands for the artists. Royalties from the sales of Mainie garments are paid quarterly and directly to the Aboriginal artists, including the very talented 2017 National NAIDOC Artist of the Year— (Time expired)