For Kuku Yalanji and Wakaman singer Jessica Mauboy, being a cheerleader for more Indigenous people in the arts is something she’s always felt compelled to do.

On the backdrop of the Indigenous Projects Runway on Tuesday, she did just that.

Performing her new song Automatic as part of her duties as ambassador for the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Mauboy closed the First Nations runway in an electric, choreographed performance while all models completed their final walk.

Samantha Hunt and Nathan McGuire lead models in their final walk in Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway at Australian Fashion Week. Photo: Getty Images

The Indigenous Projects Runway saw five First Nations designers leading the charge: Julie Shaw of MAARA Collective, Denni Francisco of Ngali, Natalie Cunningham of Native Swimwear Australia, Amanda Healy of Kirrikin and Liandra Gaykamangu of Liandra Swim.

The runway’s creative directory Shilo McNamee conceptualised the runway’s theme, Connection to Country: From River to Sea.

McNamee also brought the floor of the runway to life with a custom artwork titled River Sands.

Ms Gaykamangu of Liandra Swim said she hopes to take her brand internationally.

“In the next few years, I really hope to be able to be an iconic swimwear label in the international market,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to really growing our international customer base and being up there with some of the best known and well established swimwear or resort labels in the world.”

Ngali founder and designer Denni Francisco said her new collection titled Miya was born out of COVID-19 and togetherness.

“It came under the guise really of togetherness and it really came out of the the quiet space that we all found ourselves in during the last few years,” she said.

“Just having that space for creativity to emerge is where the inspiration came from and so the prints in the collection really evolved to that.

“And what made it incredibly special is that there were five First Nations designers on that runway and its always great that we get to do something together.”

Tuesday’s IFP Runway also saw Indigenous model Samantha Hunt and model and Mob in Fashion founder Nathan McGuire take the runway wearing Kirrikin, Ngali and MAARA Creative.

AAFW ends Friday, May 13 with the First Nations Fashion + Design show.