Australian furniture designs brought carefully to life
Designs from Melbourne. Talent from the Milingimbi community.
Manapan is a unique Australian furniture company. It was set up to develop skills and employment and what we have created is a place where exquisite furniture is produced.
Started by Mark White, founding director of Melbourne interior fitout company Ramvek, Manapan collaborates with some of our leading Australian furniture designers and creatives.
“In my mind was a vision of beautiful, handmade Australian furniture which could sit comfortably in the foyer of a corporate office or in the sitting room of a luxury apartment. I also wanted the furniture to incorporate indigenous Australian art and showcase the local skills and beautiful materials found in Arnhem Land.”
ALPA, a not for profit Aboriginal corporation, is the guiding force behind the scenes. The biggest employer of Aboriginal people in Australia, it gives us the support we need to develop a sustainable business.
A sustainable future
Manapan is a self-sufficient, self-funding business. Our dream is to see the children and grandchildren of the team working here now, working here in the future.
We have great support from the local school with work experience programs, and also from ALPA/CDP who are training locals in the skills required to join our team.
Built by tradition
Rob Crisfield is our master craftsman. For many years Rob had his own furniture manufacturing business in Melbourne before he headed up north. Rob is also a patient teacher who has immersed himself in the local community and gained their respect.
Rob has been with Manapan from the beginning of our journey, initially using traditional techniques with minimal machinery and the tools he had gathered. Now, with modern machinery, Rob has the ability to create our premium furniture pieces with his tightly-knit local Milingimbi crew.
Yolngu – the people of Eastern Arnhem Land
Manapan is a business owned and operated by Yolngu, the indigenous people who have lived in Arnhem Land for over 50,000 years.
Yolngu have a rich and industrious history, having traded with the Macassan and Chinese for over 500 years before the European settlement of Australia. Manapan continues this strong tradition.