AGDA & The Design Industry

We exist to support the Australian Design Industry, in all shapes and forms. At our core, we’re a community organisation. We’re not-for profit, and here to support our members and the industry.

Over the past few days our role in the industry and approach to diversity has been questioned in the community. This is fair and important. As a national body we must always strive to do better.

It is important that we address some of the concerns raised:

Student Accessibility

In 2018 we made all entries free for student members and reduced the price for student non-members which continued through to the 2019 awards. This year was to be free for all student entries in light of the COVID-19 impact on our industry.

In addition to this, we provide a student discount to many of our events and workshops, regardless of membership along with events aimed exclusively at students and recent graduates to guide them with their entry into the industry.

Diversity & Inclusion

In 2018, AGDA launched the Shine The Light guiding principle that aims to underpin all of our activities across the organisation. A summary can be seen here:

Changes that have been made under this guiding principle include:

  • the adjustment to the Hall of Fame’s induction criteria to cater for past societal restrictions placed on working women,
  • undertaking of research to find potential inductees from history, with the express aim of redressing the imbalance of our Hall of Fame,
  • the establishment of a Diversity & Inclusion committee to guide us on our activities and source speakers and designers to give a platform to,
  • a formal policy on the curation of our awards jury to maintain a diverse viewpoint, and
  • a restructure of our board to include three additional board members, appointed outside regional representation processes.

We see this as an ongoing commitment to making our organisation and industry better in this regard.

There will always be more for AGDA to do. More opportunities to change and improve.

These conversations help make us better. And we want to do better.

Let’s keep talking.


Adele Tarnawski
[email protected]