We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, and their Elders past and present, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which Swinburne’s Australian campuses are located in Melbourne’s east and outer-east. ‘Wominjeka’ means ‘Welcome’ in the Woiwurung Language of the Wurundjeri people. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of lands across Australia where we conduct business, their Elders, Ancestors, cultures and heritage.


Marngo Designing Futures is a tertiary aspiration program that seeks to build cultural leadership capacity, stimulate interest and raise awareness of creative pathways and careers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students that promote and enable Indigenous design and innovation.

Working with Indigenous designers, artists and filmmakers, Elders, Indigenous bodies and school communities, Marngo Designing Futures provides fun, hands-on activities and tools for students to explore a creative future in visual communication, product design, filmmaking, architecture and digital media design framed from Indigenous perspectives, and to develop a folio. Moreover, Marngo Designing Futures can be delivered both on and off Swinburne’s campus, and in school settings. For more information visit http://www.cdiengage.com.au/projects/marngo-designing-futures




Do you see your future in Design? Find out what its like to work in a real life design studio while developing your problem solving, teamwork and design thinking skills. The Marngo Designing Futures studio workshop program covers foundational themes that underpin design, film and media practice, framed from Indigenous perspectives, such as;

  • Thinking and Doing;
  • Digital Storytelling and Image-Making;
  • Indigenous Design and Innovation;
  • Day in the Life of the Designer;
  • Social Design Enterprise;
  • Designing for Change.

This fun and hands-on program can be tailor made and delivered over 1-3 days, both on and off Swinburne’s campus, and in regional school settings.



The Marngo Design and Culture Camp Program enables students to explore the connections between culture, storytelling and design. It also provides opportunities for the sharing of Indigenous design knowledge, intergenerational collaboration and formation of peer-to-peer networks in an intensive and responsive workshop format, on Country at Mungo National Park.

Each year, students from schools across Victoria, staff, industry and community supporters and student design mentors travel to Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes Cultural Heritage Area for a week long design camp. Here, Elders and National Parks Discovery Rangers engaged students in the rich Aboriginal prehistory of the area, storytelling and cultural training. The accommodation is provided at ‘Leahgur’, which is operated by National Parks and Wildlife Services.

Working at the intersection of art, design and film, the Marngo video produced by Alison Page and Nik Zak captures the journey we went on together. Moreover, how Marngo Designing Futures harnesses the power of creativity to develop students teamwork, problem-solving, communication and lateral thinking skills, which can then be carried into university and industry, directly benefiting their own communities. For more information visit http://www.cdiengage.com.au/news/designing-futures-at-lake-marngo



Marngo Designing Futures is working with the Ngalangangpum School and Warmun Community in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia to develop and deliver a culturally responsive ‘two-way’ design and technology curriculum in the high school program.

There have been several positive benefits. The project has supported the ongoing mentorship of students which has led to increased participation, pride and attendance, coupled with improved literacy, team work and visual communication skills. In 2016, students travelled to Melbourne to participate in design workshops at Swinburne, meet Marngo students from schools across Victoria and host an exhibition of their designed project outcomes at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square.


What else!

All participating students will receive a take home educational pack, folio of works and a certificate of completion.


  • You are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent
  • Are curious about a creative career in design
  • Want to gain real insight into what options are available


There is no cost for participation. Meals, resources, transport and accommodation will be provided.
Marngo Designing Futures is funded through Swinburne University of Technology’s Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP).


Marngo Designing Futures proudly acknowledges our partners, suppliers and supporters:


Marngo Designing Futures also gratefully acknowledges Aunty Joy Murphy OA for her assistance with the use and translation of the ‘Marngo’ name and Bogong moth symbol as an appropriate acknowledgement of Country. Marngo meaning ‘over there’ and ‘in the future’, and the Bogong moth symbol which is the moiety of the Wiradjuri.

Marngo Designing Futures and Zakpage would also like to thank staff and students from Upper Yarra Secondary College, Gisborne Secondary College, Irymple Secondary College, St Josephs, Mildura and Chaffey Secondary College for participating in the making and production of the video. Without their energy, patience, creativity and enthusiasm this video would not have been possible!

The Marngo brand concept design was created by Marcus Lee Design, with dual meanings – the Bogong moth symbolises the transforming life cycle and journey from egg, larva, pupa to adult – which aligns with the learning and transitional career pathways of a future in design. Video by Zak Page, photography by Georgia Haynes and Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek.



Swinburne School of Design is a recognised leader in providing high quality, industry-relevant education and research. Our innovative courses are internationally recognised and our graduates are known for their creative leadership. Follow the links to learn more.



Melbourne Indigenous Transition School @ Swinburne for Marngo Design Workshop

Secondary students from Melbourne Indigenous Transition School have been given a glimpse into the world of university life through an Aboriginal art and design workshop hosted by Swinburne.

The Marngo Designing Futures (MDF) program was developed by Swinburne academic Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek to help demystify university life for Indigenous secondary students using art, design and media.

Funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation Program, the program enables young Indigenous students to explore life at university though the creation of their own artwork and to learn about career paths in design.

For more visit: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2017/10/connecting-indigenous-students-with-university-through-design-at-swinburne.php

Warmun art wows city!

Colourful crockery, tablecloths and coffee cups are drawing attention to the talents of students at a remote school. Warmun’s Ngalangangpum School has added a full-time design and technology program to its curriculum after a creative project last year. Two students, Mona and Davina Malgil, travelled to Melbourne in November to show off their designs to crowds at the Koorie Heritage Trust Federation Square.

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Indigenous design program creates educational aspirations

Twelve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Melbourne and regional Victoria recently immersed themselves in their Indigenous culture during a two-day design workshop at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus.

Working with Swinburne’s Centre for Design Innovation, the Marngo Designing Futures program aims to build leadership capacity, stimulate interest and raise awareness of vocational and higher education.

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Alison Page at Cultivator

In the lead up to to the 2015 Cultivator Design Conference  check out last years inspirational presentation by Indigenous Designer Alison Page. Cultivator is a dynamic annual event that brings together guest speakers, from varied backgrounds, to address the challenges of regional living and looks to creativity in design, enterprise and community, to find solutions.

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Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek
Academic Director, External Engagement (Design)
School of Design, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design
Swinburne University of Technology