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Production   /  Felis Black/Upstride Agency


Remote Indigenous fashionistas crowdfund their way to Paris in Fashion Week, exhibit their fabrics, build business.


Impact areas






  • DIRECTOR Matt Holcomb

  • PRODUCER Jane Metlikovec



For the past 30 years, the Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Arnhem Land has been a place where Indigenous women from across the remote region converge, work and thrive.

In 1989, a group of Bábbarra artists grasped an unlikely enterprising opportunity, procuring a post-war screen printing press and setting about creating their own label. Today, Bábbarra Designs specialises in producing fabric that tells the ancestral stories of each artist’s local country and culture.

Decades of quiet success followed, and the female designers often became the breadwinners of their families - bucking the Indigenous unemployment trend continuing to grip remote Australia today.

Despite momentum building with a growing number of Australian business partnerships, nobody could have predicted that by late 2019, Bábbarra would be crowdfunding its way to Paris for its own exhibition during Fashion Week, a photoshoot with Vogue and meetings with major players in world art and fashion.

Support this project

3.13% funded
  • $15,000.00

  • $470.00

  • September 2020

  • 5

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Ellen Keillar $20.00
Jordan Metlokovec $100.00
Colette Naufal $50.00
Steph Sanders $100.00
Janita Ryan $200.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Australia is in the midst of an indigenous employment crisis. In early 2020, the Federal Government admitted for the 13th year running that it had again failed to ‘close the gap’ – with just 35% of indigenous people in very remote areas employed (compared to 70% of non-Indigenous Australians).

In fact, the number of Indigenous Australians with jobs hasn’t increased at all, and female Indigenous employment rates Australia-wide continue to hover around 44%.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include the right to decent work, gender equality and ending poverty in all its forms by 2030. On our current trajectory, Australia won’t even come close.

Many of Australia’s remote Indigenous people have deep cultural commitments, a desire to remain on country and to practice meaningful cultural work – presenting key employment challenges, particularly in very remote areas.

But these aren’t insurmountable odds, and in Arnhem Land, a group of women is bucking the trend in a creative way.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Jarracharra aims to highlight the importance of providing accessible and culturally meaningful work to Australia’s remote Indigenous women by demonstrating the global successes that can be achieved when doing so.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We hope to inspire a much-needed new wave of culturally accessible and meaningful employment opportunities for Indigenous women in very remote areas across Australia.

Furthermore, we aim to stimulate further business opportunities for Bábbarra Designs in introducing a broader – potentially worldwide - audience to its work.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Securing broadcast deals in Australia and around the world will greatly raise the profile of the fabric being produced by the women - providing access to very broad new audiences in the fashion industry right around the world. Broadcast deals will also help us reach young Indigenous and non-Indigenous girls. We see our film as being played in primary and secondary schools right across Australia.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have built a strong relationship with the Bábbarra Women’s Centre and its owner, the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, to ensure that our documentary is culturally appropriate and inspirational.

We are now beginning to build a network of project supporters, impact producers and partners across Australia to further develop our film.

Together we will amplify our message to generate support for a much-needed new wave of culturally accessible and meaningful employment opportunities for Indigenous women in very remote areas across Australia.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope that all viewers are inspired to stand up for greater employment opportunities for Indigenous women in remote Australia.

Specifically, we have set the following audience-specific targets:

For policymakers:
Explore creative new ways to begin to actually achieve ‘Closing the Gap’ Indigenous employment targets, across Australia with a renewed focus on very remote areas.

For design, fashion and art industries:
Connect with Bábbarra Designs to explore potential business opportunities.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will see the Indigenous employment rate for women in Arnhem Land steadily grow over coming years, with ‘Close the Gap’ employment targets achieved in this region by 2030.

We will also see Bábbarra Designs grow its business over coming years to 2030, providing even more jobs for Arnhem Land’s Indigenous women – who are able to stay and work in meaningful employment, on country.