'This woman is going to take a chance on me’: Meet the duo making a statement through fashion - evokeAG.

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'This woman is going to take a chance on me’: Meet the duo making a statement through fashion

When Buffie Punch, a Noongar woman from Perth Western Australia, met Amanda Healy, proud Wonnarua woman from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and founder of fashion brand Kirrikin, she knew things were about to change.

Model showcases Kirrikin dress. Buffie's designs are part of the Kirrikin Evening Wear Dress Collection. Image | Kirrikin

Amanda: As soon I met Buffie, I just loved her and the art she was doing. In those days, about six years ago, she was just starting to develop her work and we took up two of her artworks. We met at a market in Perth officially, but we’ve always known each other through our community.  

Buffie has this rich, vibrant personality and there’s so much joy and fun around her. I’m always attracted to that. I love people who are fun and positive, who are keen to make a difference and an impact on the world. She’s a firecracker.  

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Kirrikin is 10 years old this year, it’s awesome. Buffie’s scarves have sold all over the world and this year we put her artwork on a formal wear line. We took her to our runway show in London in 2023 and that was the best fun. Buffie met the Crown Princess of the Netherlands, we all did. That trip was the pinnacle of our working together because that’s the incredible part – when you start to see the growth and development in not just my business, but in Buffie’s as well. And she’s an internationally famous artist now, so I probably won’t be able to afford her much longer.

Kirrikin isn’t just a fashion business, it’s about changing the view of our culture, it’s about promoting our artists, it’s about trying to create sustainable incomes for our artists.

Buffie is very commercially sensitive, and I really value that. If I say, ‘we need this’, she’ll go and do her own interpretation of what we said. But she does it in such a way that it’s true to who our people are and who she is.  

I’ve got a little block of land down south that I don’t get to as much as I’d like to. But I went down there recently and as I’m heading down the driveway, I see a car with the back open like some blackfella had fallen asleep and moved in on the block. But there’s Buffie, laying on her mattress just camping and chilling under a tree. She loves the bush, she’s so comfortable there. It was a very special moment for me. I thought, ‘that’s Buffie.’ 

Buffie Punch and Amanda Healy. Image | supplied.

Buffie: The moment I first talked to Amanda I felt the respect. Here is an Aboriginal businesswoman leading the way. I was in awe. I wanted to be like that. I’m always chatting with her and yarning about different things. I knew I could learn so much from her.  

That trip to London was amazing for me. I sold an artwork to an Australian author living over there, and the whole experience has inspired me to want to do an exhibition back here in Perth. I’ve been chatting with Amanda about that, so watch this space. I’ve got so much respect for Amanda for giving me these opportunities.  

The next Kirrikin collection is centred around my artwork this year. The potential is so great, the international market that is building is so interesting. And the Western Australian government will be using my artworks at the opening event of a new trade desk that’s opening in Austin, Texas next month. Amanda and I are working on raising funds now to get me over there for that one. We’re taking over the world.

Kirrikin showcased contemporary Indigenous Australian art in London in 2023. Image | Kirrikin.

Fashion is such a beautiful way to connect with the rest of Australia. We really want everyone to be proud of us, not just our Indigenous Australians, everyone. But in doing that we really want to make a statement about who we are. Our culture is deep and beautiful and considered and responsible. And we really want to want people to understand that the stories that have been told about us for the last 200 years are not us. 

When Amanda first sent me the agreement contract for the artwork, I remember thinking ‘this woman is going to give me an opportunity. We’re going to work together’.

At that time, I’d been doing art for years and loved being creative, but to actually start my business and meet Amanda was amazing. This woman is going to take a chance on me, I knew it. It was pivotal.  

Evoke Collection unveiled at evokeAG. 2024

The Evoke Collection was showcased during a fashion show on Day 2 of the evokeAG. 2024 program and remained on display during the event. They will be available to purchase mid-year.

The collection is a tale of collaboration and cultural fusion, bringing together Amanda and Buffie’s talents, along with designer Keira Gentle.

It’s inspired by Nyoongar Nations’ traditions and the region’s colours, this collection celebrates Indigenous heritage with contemporary flair. Each piece reflects a shared vision, blending Indigenous artistry with modern design, honouring culture while showcasing the power of collaboration.

Each piece in the Evoke Collection has been crafted with Australian-produced fibres and textiles, demonstrating the convergence between First Nations culture and heritage, and contemporary western agricultural practices.

About the artists

Amanda founded Kirrikin Australia in 2014, addressing the Indigenous representation gap in fashion. Now a cherished Indigenous-owned brand, Kirrikin blends art and culture into vibrant pieces, celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage. It collaborates with artists, sharing profits to support Aboriginal communities and foster economic opportunities.

Keira Gentle is a Wadjuk and Balardong designer who shines in the Australian fashion scene, collaborating with Kirrikin Australia on the Evoke Collection. With an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Textiles Design from North Metropolitan TAFE, Keira infuses Kirrikin designs with tailored fits and strong lines, respecting Indigenous culture while innovating within the brand.

Buffie is celebrated for her unique jewellery blending traditional Indigenous designs with contemporary flair. Her creations, showcased at community and corporate events, promote Indigenous art and culture. Collaborating with Kirrikin Australia on the Evoke Collection, Buffie shares her artworks, aligning with Kirrikin’s commitment to cultural preservation.

The team at Kirrikin would like to extend their gratitude to R.M. Williams for their generous support. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and iconic Australian style perfectly complements the essence of this collaboration, enhancing each piece with a touch of authenticity and heritage.

Got your eye on a Kirrikin design? Head to Kirrikin.com 


Kirrikin Australia | Image Ryan Murphy Studio

Amanda shared personal and business experiences she’s seen firsthand with the convergence of cultural Intellectual Property and western innovation at evokeAG. 2024. She joined panel session ‘The convergence of cultural IP and western innovation’ alongside John Gibbs, Founding Partner and Head Brewer, Spinifex Brewing Co., Oral McGuire, Founding Director, Noongar Landholder Enterprises and Chair, Yaraguia Enterprises, and Darryl Lyons, Rainstick in a discussion facilitated by Dr Terri Janke, Solicitor Director, Terri Janke and Company.

Tap into more discussions here about the role of agrifood tech in driving sustainability across supply chains, news from agtech startups, and updates ahead of evokeAG. 2025 in Brisbane, Queensland.



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