Refinery29 Australia launches with Getty Images partnership

Nine-owned Pedestrian Group, Australia’s largest youth-focused publisher, today launched Refinery29, a global media and entertainment destination focused on women and underrepresented voices, in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

The launch coincides with the announcement of an ongoing partnership between Refinery29 Australia and Getty Images, a stock photo library.

Available for use by any outlet or business with a Getty Images licence, the ‘We Are Many’ image gallery will spotlight multiple communities over the next 12 months, starting with a library of 100 images capturing First Nations peoples across five key categories identified by Refinery29 Australia and Getty Images as lacking in its representation of indigenous Australians, work, relationships, wellness, lifestyle and technology.

The following two image galleries, which will roll out over the next six months, will focus on the plus-size and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Refinery29 Australia launches with a team of five: Campbell-Avenell – who reports directly to Pedestrian group publisher Vanessa Lawrence – is joined by Kate McGregor as managing editor (formerly managing editor of PopSugar Australia), Alicia Vrajlal as culture editor (formerly editor of HuffPost Australia), Pema Bakshi as style and living editor (formerly digital content editor at Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia) and Maggie Zhou as writer and producer (formerly editorial assistant at Fashion Journal).

Due to COVID-19, the launch party for Refinery29 Australia has been pushed back to November, with more details to be shared in the coming weeks. Confirmed commercial launch partners include Uber, Adidas, Peters Ice Cream and Stan.

In the past 12 months, searches on for ‘Indigenous Australian’ has increased by 57%, ‘Australian Aboriginal’ by 139% and ‘Aboriginal’ by 64%. Searches for ‘people with disabilities’ have increased by 131% and ‘plus size women’ by 130%, while traditionally taboo topics such as ‘menstruation’ continue to be a strong search term.

“Our partnership with Getty Images is the perfect introduction to what Refinery29 is all about – showcasing and celebrating diversity,” said Refinery29 Australia’s head of editorial, Zahra Campbell-Avenell.

“The representation of Australian women and gender-diverse people – in the media and by brands – still has a long way to go, and Indigenous Australians are often depicted in outdated or stereotypical ways. Our hope is that these visuals help change that.”

Port Hedland-based photographer and proud Ngarluma, Karriyarra (Pilbara) Yawuru, Nyulnyul (Kimberley) woman Bobbi Lockyer collaborated with Refinery29 Australia to capture the First Nations image gallery.

“I was so excited to be asked by Refinery29 Australia to capture the imagery for this amazing project,” said Lockyer of her involvement.

“This collection is an important step in addressing that problem by encouraging media and brands to use more First Nations imagery that’s free from tired stereotypes.”

The LGBTQIA+ and plus-size image galleries will be shot by Sydney-based queer photographer and stylist Lexi Laphor and Melbourne-based photographer and plus-size model Laura Du Vé.

“Getty Images has always understood the power of imagery to incite change, and we are passionate about elevating the ways in which women are portrayed by the Australian media,” said Kate Rourke, head of creative insights APAC at Getty Images and iStock.

“We’re excited to partner with Refinery29 Australia, and create local stock image galleries that enables women and underrepresented groups to be more accurately and unapologetically represented in the editorial space.”


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