19 Sep Council Receives First Locally Made Furniture Order
East Arnhem Regional Council recently took receipt of the first deliveries of furniture from Manapan Furniture, a local indigenous furniture business based in Yurrwi (Milingimbi).
The order which included bed side tables, bed frames, & entertainment units, was received in Yurrwi, Ramingining & Galiwin’ku, fulfilling the replacement needs of furniture in Council’s staff housing in the three communities.
Manapan Furniture designs and constructs the items in their East Arnhem Land Yurrwi workshop before freighting items around the country to their final destination.
The relationship spawned from a feasibility study initially conducted at the end of 2016 between EARC and Manapan Furniture through a $5 000 grant received through a Developing East Arnhem Limited Project Facilitation Agreement. During this phase, furniture was constructed and tested to ensure it met the needs of EARC’s housing requirements, and importantly, could be made in quantities and within timeframes necessary to support Council’s needs.
“This is a fantastic example of Council working with local organisations to fulfil our responsibilities whilst supporting the employment and training opportunities of community members across East Arnhem Land” said EARC President Wunungmurra.
Council’s initial order was valued at over $23 000 and will see Manapan Furniture supplied to approximately 15 staff houses. It is envisaged that Council will engage with Manapan for future furniture orders as the replacement period approaches across the region.
“The pieces of furniture coming out of Manapan are exceptional and in some cases exceed the quality of items we were purchasing in the past from mainland providers. I hope to see this relationship continue to grow and I’m excited to watch as the Manapan range starts to make its mark around Australia” said President Wunungmurra.
Manapan Furniture was established in 2016 the East Arnhem Land community of Yurrwi as a subsidiary of the Arnhem Land Progress Association where it has trained and employed 12 local Indigenous men in furniture making and engages with leading furniture designers based in Melbourne who provide the designs. The crafted handmade furniture, using Darwin Stringybark and other Australian timbers, is aimed at the top-end of the market for both the domestic, commercial and institutional interiors, and provides the opportunity for employment and trade qualifications of local community members.
For more information on Manapan Furniture please contact Mark White on 0417 949 342 or visit their website.