The power of community resonates in their work

  • Auckland
  • Australia

Tina and her daughter Tai Waru love working with people, especially when they get the chance to inspire. Tina uses a stage to up lift her communities and Tai uses a screen, and both say they love the work they do.

Tina never would’ve thought she’d be running a massive runway production 10 years ago. Originally she pursued a career in the health sector but she felt she could do more and when she moved to Australia the idea of the Indigenous Runway Project was born.

“I wanted to provide a forum where Aboriginal, Māori and Indigenous communities around the world could celebrate who they are. For me it was about installing confidence, embracing identity, and breaking those runway and fashion stereotypes” says Tina Waru, Founder of the Indigenous Runway Project. 

From its humble beginnings the project has proceeded their expectations and Tina wants to continue to further develop it into a global market.

“I’ve taken another year off work to solely focus on the project. It’s worth it because it’s about empowerment and building the capacity of our people in the industry” says Mrs Waru.

Tina’s 24-year old daughter Tai Waru, also has the same passion and drive for community projects, and with her fellow students at Southseas Film and Television school, they’ve made a documentary about homeless living in West Auckland.

“I felt a real connection to these people, they genuinely had so much to offer and their love for each other was a beautiful thing to see” says emerging documentary director, Tai Waru.

The documentary titled, a place we called home, looks at how a creative hub provides inspiration and hope for the homeless in West Auckland.

Tai says “It was a real honour because they trusted me to share their story and my tutors have ask me to submit the film to the Wairoa Māori film festival next year.”

Both these talented ladies credit all their success to the support of their families and say they will continue to give back to the communities who’ve shared so much with them.