Katherine fashion designers designers Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan have been named ‘Regional Online Heroes’.
They have won an annual competition run by the Regional Australia Institute and Google Australia.
The Regional Online Heroes competition recognises small to medium sized businesses who have successfully expanded beyond traditional bricks and mortar, using the internet to grow nationally and in some cases internationally.
Started by welfare rights lawyer Maggie McGowan in Katherine, Magpie Goose took the crown for its innovative use of the internet to promote and sell its clothing – while providing new economic opportunities for remote Indigenous communities in Northern Australia.
Magpie Goose joined the top ten finalists in Sydney on Friday at Google headquarters for an exclusive masterclass in business development.
RAI CEO Jack Archer commends the initiative Magpie Goose has shown in its development.
“Through its bright and bold statement clothing, created with fabric designed and screen printed by hand in remote Aboriginal communities, Magpie Goose showcases and celebrates Indigenous people, place and culture,” Mr Jack Archer said.
“Magpie Goose is a fantastic example of how technology can create new job opportunities and foster economic growth in even the most remote communities in regional Australia. Location really is no barrier to success, and this label is a testament to that,” Mr Archer said.
The Regional Online Heroes competition is designed to recognise outstanding regional innovators, and to encourage small and medium sized businesses around the country to realise the potential of mobile and online technologies for growth.
Competition judge, Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, says one of the highlights of being involved with Regional Online Heroes is hearing the diverse range of business success stories.
“This year’s entries show how small businesses in regional and rural Australia are embracing technology to take advantage of new and emerging markets with great success,” Mr Michael McCormack said.
In its third year, the Regional Online Heroes competition attracted around 100 applicants. Judges included Channel 7’s David Koch; Birdsnest Founder Jane Cay; Queensland University of Technology’s Dr Sandra R. Phillips; RAI CEO Jack Archer; and Google Australia’s John Ball.