Qantas Airways & Jumbana Group

The Member: Qantas Airways

Qantas Airways was founded in the Queensland outback in 1920 and today is considered a national icon.  Since its inception, the organisation has grown to be Australia's largest domestic and international airline, employing over 30,000 people. 93 per cent of them are based within Australia. Qantas Airways is committed to ensuring its business operations reflect the organisation’s key values; inclusion and diversity. As part of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), Qantas undertakes a range of initiatives to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Qantas is dedicated to achieving reconciliation and building relationships for change between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Qantas Airways is a founding member of Supply Nation.

The Certified Supplier: Jumbana Group

Established in 1983 by John and Ros Moriarty, the Jumbana Group encompasses contemporary design studio, Balarinji, as well as Indigenous communications and facilitation practice, Jumbana Consulting. Since its launch, the family run business has worked on large projects throughout Australia and internationally. From concept to implementation, the studio provides a full service; specialising in graphic design, public art and communications. Balarinji’s core competency is creating original, effective corporate identity and public art with marketing edge and brand building appeal.

The Opportunities and Outcomes:

In 2013, Qantas unveiled ‘Mendoowoorji,’ a brand new Boeing 737- 800 aircraft featuring an Indigenous art livery created in partnership with the Jumbana Group’s Balarinji Design Studio. ‘Mendoowoorji’ is the fourth aircraft in the Qantas flying art series, all of which were designed by Balarinji. ‘Mendoowoorji’ was created over an 18 month period which included extensive consultation and planning between Laura Berry, Head of Community, Qantas and John and Ros Moriarty, Co-Founders of the Jumbana Group. “I wanted to bring Jumbana in from the outset,” Laura explained.  Balarinji's livery design is inspired by the work of late West Australia Aboriginal painter, Paddy Bedford and is an interpretation of his 2005 painting “Medicine Pocket.” Paddy Bedford’s mother’s country is in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, leading to the plane being named ‘Mendoowoorji.’ Mr Bedford’s family and Gija elders from the Warmun community travelled to Seattle to witness the delivery of the specially painted aircraft to Qantas. Ros describes having Paddy’s family present at the official launch as ‘a really poignant moment.’ For the joint project, Qantas and Balarinji collaborated with the Paddy Bedford Estate and the National Gallery of Australia to ensure design of the fuselage stayed true to the original painting. The original piece of art, “Medicine Pocket” has been gifted to the collection of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra by the Paddy Bedford Estate.

How Supply Nation was able to help:

Supply Nation helped to further develop the already flourishing partnership between Qantas and Jumbana Group by hosting regular networking events for Members and Certified Suppliers across Australia. As a Founding Member of Supply Nation, Laura believes Qantas’ involvement with Supply Nation has allowed them to lead the way for other corporate and government Members. “This project has not only furthered the relationship that existed with Jumbana Group even before the Supply Nation Membership,” she said. “It also provided a great opportunity to talk about supplier diversity as a concept and growing movement in Australia.” John advises other aspiring Indigenous businesses to follow in their footsteps by getting involved with Supply Nation and making the most of the opportunities afforded as a result. “I think Australia has come a long way,” he said. “Attitudes today are very different. Supply Nation can assist others to come into that space. It’s created a lot of opportunities for us since we joined.” Ros echoes this sentiment, urging fellow business owners to avail themselves of an entity like Supply Nation to ‘get a foot in the door.’