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Winning edge for Cairns First Nations fashion brand

ADDING colour and culture to the wardrobes of stylish travellers worldwide, Far North Queensland’s own Mainie Australia is the inaugural winner of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards First Nations category.

The co-founders and directors of Mainie Australia, Charmaine Saunders and Denis Keeffe, were honoured to accept the award recognising outstanding success as a First Nations owned and led enterprise.

Since launching in Cairns in 2015, Mainie Australia has developed a global market for its designer brand, honouring the world’s oldest continuous living culture by bringing authentic Indigenous Australian art designs to life on stunning and luxurious giftware, garments, and accessories.

Mainie Australia’s collection includes handcrafted fashion scarves made with natural textiles, including silk, cashmere, and Australian-grown Merino wool, as well as silk kaftan tops, men’s silk ties and pocket squares, and vegan-friendly, plant-based modal scarves.

Mainie Australia is stocked by leading travel retail chains in international airports and tourist shopping precincts around Australia.

Mainie Australia’s co-founder and creative director, Charmaine Saunders, is a Gunggari Aboriginal woman from the Maranoa River region in western Queensland.

“Mainie Australia is proud to be the inaugural winner of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards First Nations category,” she said.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our amazing friends and loyal customers for their unwavering support.

“This support fuels our mission to promote the remarkable talent of Aboriginal women artists and to celebrate Australia’s rich and ancient Indigenous cultural heritage, spanning over 60,000 years.”

In 2021/2022, Mainie Australia made its first foray into overseas markets as the official provider of Indigenous fashion to the Australian Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo.

Mainie Australia exports to the North American market through its Amazon USA e-commerce platform.

With 43 companies competing across 15 categories, the gala awards dinner on Wednesday, 18 October, marked the conclusion of the annual Queensland Trade and Investment Program.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Enhanced accessibility and inclusivity for Cairns and Remediation works on Cairns Esplanade.

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