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AFC 2020 AGM and Fashion Roundtable

Earlier this month the AFC Board, Members and our broader industry network came together online for the 2020 AFC AGM and final AFC Fashion Roundtable for the year…

by The AFC

26 November 2020



Earlier this month the AFC Board, Members and our broader industry network came together online for the 2020 AFC AGM and final AFC Fashion Roundtable for the year.

The sessions featured an overview of AFC activities in 2020 from Co-Chair Justin Cudmore and a look at the AFC’s 2021 strategy with CEO Leila Naja Hibri. Also announced were the AFC Board Directors for 2021, with the new addition of Yatu Widders-Hunt, Senior Consultant at Cox Inall Ridgeway.

This was followed by a fascinating conversation on Marrying Commerciality, Sustainability and Creativity with Australian fashion designers Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender, facilitated by Melissa Singer.

See below for a recap on both sessions.

AFC Curated 2020 Campaign by Kat Parker

AFC Curated 2020 Campaign by Kat Parker



Presented by Justin Cudmore, AFC Co-Chair

“Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the AFC’s Board members, CEO and the team at both the AFC and our subsidiary, TFIA Business Services; in working so hard this year in order to ensure that the AFC stays afloat and that it continues to deliver on its Vision and Purpose.

As a member-governed not for profit entity, the AFC exists only to serve the interests of members. An important part of the AGM is the appointment of directors, who will provide oversight of the AFC’s activities for the next 12 months.

This year, one of those nominated for the role of director is Yatu Widders Hunt, who is a communications and media consultant with Cox Inall Ridgeway and has many years of experience working in federal government. She is also a director of the First Nations Fashion Council and creator of the Australian Indigenous Fashion Instagram account. When considering nominations for the board, the directors look to nominate people who can further the strategic objectives of the AFC. One of our renewed focus areas is advocacy on behalf of the industry with all levels of government to produce a sustainable and thriving future. Yatu is particularly well experienced to assist with this.

Our focus on advocacy came from an intensive member engagement program we undertook over the last 6 months. From this we obtained valuable feedback on how the AFC can serve its members better. As the AGM approaches, I think it is an opportune moment to reflect on some of the matters we have been advocating for on behalf of members this year:

  • Ongoing discussions with representatives of Federal and State government regarding industry future planning, education and skills mapping (an ongoing issue for our industry), and the textile and clothing waste management and product stewardship scheme.

  • Workshops with the Departments of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) and Industry, Science, Energy & Resources (DISER) regarding the European Union Free Trade Agreement, and the upcoming (post Brexit) UK free trade agreement.

  • Working with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Local Jobs First Commissioner to explore the challenges and opportunities in growing jobs within the industry.

  • Engaging with IP Australia for over a year, advocating for improvements to design registration laws to better protect the intellectual property of fashion designers. We’re pleased to report that a bill will be shortly considered by Parliament which gives designers protection over unregistered designs for up to 12 months from the date of release. Previously, registrations had to occur prior to releasing designs to anyone in order to be effective. This grace period allows designers 12 months to determine which designers will be strong sellers before investing in registration. This is a big win for the industry, and puts us more in line with the protection afforded to designers in the EU.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank key AFC team members who will be ending their journey with the AFC this year.

Most of you would know Ellie Meyer, who started working as an intern with the TFIA in 2015 and has since taking over the mammoth job of heading up and activating the Media and Communications activities for the AFC, is making a career detour into an area she is deeply passionate about and will be joining the team at DAAF in 2021.

Most of you would also know Kirri-Mae Sampson who is also moving on to new adventures around Australia and possibly New Zealand. Kirri-Mae also started with the TFIA in 2015 and ever since, amongst many other things, has led a range of projects focused on supporting the Australian Fashion and Textile industries into a sustainable future.

Lisa Kjerulf will also been ending her journey with the AFC at the end of the year. Lisa joined the AFC in 2017 as Content Manager for the Sustainability Portal and has since taken the lead on Emerging Business Initiatives – most notably AFC Curated and AFC Flagship and most recently AFC Virtual on Ordre.

Please join me in thanking Ellie, Kirri-Mae and Lisa for their hard work and dedication during their time with the AFC and wishing them the best of luck in their new endeavours.”

AFC Curated 2020 Campaign by Kat Parker

AFC Curated 2020 Campaign by Kat Parker



For the final AFC Fashion Roundtable of 2020, CEO Leila Naja Hibri presented an overview of the AFC’s strategy for 2021.

This was followed by a conversation on Marrying Commerciality, Sustainability & Creativity. Melissa Singer, National Fashion Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, explored the topic with Australian fashion designers Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender to understand their design processes and how they incorporate the three challenging aspects into their business practices.

It was a really engaging discussion and we encourage anyone who missed it to watch via the link below.



Keep in touch for announcements on our 2021 activities and opportunities…

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