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Household and clothing
Balarinji designs
printed fabrics using Aboriginal designs

Balarinji Australia is one of the product names used by Jumbana Designs, an Adelaide-based graphic design company established in 1983 by John and Ros Moriarty. They've been part of the wave of Aboriginal textile designs and artworks that has been rolling round the world since the early 1980s.

The rich cultural traditions of John's people inspired him to set up a company adapting Aboriginal designs for use in contemporary textiles and graphics. There were two aims: to create a graphic identity that the rest of the world would recognise as Australian; and to raise consciousness of Aboriginal culture around the world. In 2000 John received the Order of Australia for service to business and to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through political advocacy and the promotion of indigenous culture.

The company produces the designs and then licenses others to manufacture and market the products. It has a network of manufacturers and agents in Australia as well as licensing agreements in Japan and France. Balarinji's versatile graphic designs are used on leisure wear, corporate uniforms, mugs, tea-towels, ties, umbrellas and traditional Japanese kimonos.

In a bold move, Qantas commissioned Balarinji to design the livery (outside paintwork), interior finishes, food service equipment and exclusive merchandise for two 747 aircraft. As a result, some travellers now request not just Qantas, but the Balarinji 'Nalanji Dreaming' or ?Wunala Dreaming? aircraft for their flights. This gives the airline an unusual advantage in an industry where there is very little difference between aircraft.

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
Jumbana Design Pty Ltd : design, manufacture
Key People
Ros Moriarty : founder, designer
Dr. John Moriarty AM : founder, designer

Further Reading
'Jumbana achieves success by design'
Bill Guy
Business Review Weekly, 23 March 1990, p 50.

Talent for Tourism
Qantas articles
Radio National Interview with John Moriarty
Australian National Training Authority. Interview with John Moriarty

Powerhouse Museum Objects
'Wunula Dreaming' aircraft model

Rainbow snake dreaming design printed on a scarf. Courtesy Balarinji Jumbana Pty Ltd
Designs are prepared for a range of items. Courtesy Balarinji Jumbana Pty Ltd
ATSE Powerhouse Museum