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Our Story

The National Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA) is a unique organisation established in 2012 – born out of the need to develop and champion a sustainable and authentic Aboriginal design industry in Australia.

A Connection With Artists

The impetus to create NADA came after Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance’s many relationships with artists living on the Mid North Coast were documented in the popular Saltwater Freshwater Art Book in 2010. What began as a project to compile works from artists we knew in the region into a coffee-table-book-style portfolio, grew into us reaching a wide network of artists spanning Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Dubbo and Alice Springs.

Original funding to create NADA came from the Department Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and was soon followed in late 2012 by generous support from the Westpac Foundation.

We worked closely with intellectual property lawyer Terri Janke to create licensing templates that would protect both our buyers and our artists.

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Building Partnerships

The relationship with Westpac Foundation gave us the opportunity to pitch to the Westpac Group for Aboriginal designs to be incorporated in their new offices at Barangaroo in Darling Harbour – our first major project.

Since then NADA has drawn attention from many high-profile businesses and government organisations.

NADA is based on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia, and remains a leading champion in the field of Aboriginal art, design and best practice licensing services. NADA works with many and varied artists on its fast-growing nationwide portfolio and has facilitated major public works both for government and corporate organisations.

social enterprise

We are a social enterprise and the commercial arm of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance (SWFW), an Aboriginal corporation governed by ten Local Aboriginal Land Councils, from Karuah to Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid North Coast. Our clients include retailers, architects, designers, galleries/museums, large corporations, Aboriginal business, not-for profits, and government organisations or businesses interested in meaningful Aboriginal design.

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Saltwater Freshwater

Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance aims to position culture as the foundation for the development of the region’s Aboriginal communities through skills development, cultural programs and the creation of culturally-based employment opportunities. Find out more about the local significance and positive impact of SWFW’s work here.