Meet the Mentors

There are some very special people involved in this programme and this week I would like to introduce one of them.

Please meet our Fashion and Design Mentor Tracey van Ingen


Tracey grew up in Geelong, went to Sacred Heart College from prep to Year 12 and then moved to Melbourne where she studied at Melbourne University to become a high school teacher in the areas of Art, Graphics and Textiles. After teaching for 6 years she realised that her true passion was fashion and commenced further studies in this area. She went on to work in the fashion industry for 25 years as a senior designer for labels including The Clothing Company, Resort Report and Metalicus.


When her role at Metalicus was made redundant she became more aware of what she really wanted to do with her career.  Her family circumstances changed and she was no longer able to put in the long hours and travel that was required for similar roles. She also found herself becoming quite disillusioned with the corporate world of the fashion industry where she felt that skill set and experience were no longer valued. Tracey soon realised that if she wanted to continue working in fashion she had to create an opportunity for herself. Therefore Tracey decided to focus on contract design work as well some casual relief teaching. It gave her the flexible working arrangements she needed and allowed her  to focus on creating, Shortlist, her own line of clothing, accessories and jewellery.

In March of 2015 Tracey launched her own online store ( and in October 2015 she opened a retail shop in Geelong West.

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Tracey has a vast amount of experience and knowledge in the world of fashion and design and is an asset to the programme and our trainees. Its lovely having her onboard! Thank you Tracey for being a part of the ‘Ready to Fly’ project.


More news to follow shortly…

Heritage Hill – A Story to Tell

Well..what a great few weeks it’s been for the Ready To Fly project. The trainee’s are into their seventh session, sampling is well under way and progress is evident.

With plenty of direction, advice and laughter on hand to keep everyone going, there’s certainly a feeling of routine and community within the group and part of this is also due to the venue; it’s beginning to feel like a second home to some of us.

13389192_10153520390766176_1014720612_oTenzin and Saffron working with Bendigo Mill Yarns

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Knitted and crochet work

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Chaw’s steady hand with pattern cutting

We are extremely grateful to have the support of the Heritage Hill Museum and in particular their ever friendly and always helpful Community Programs Officer Bridget Flood. Dating back to 1869, it is a beautiful space to work in.

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Our beautiful workspace

With historic gardens, a vegetable plot, trees that are currently fruiting with juicy oranges and lemons and resident artists’ that are painting in the surrounds, its couldn’t be more perfect for us.

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The vegetable garden

I often think that when we’re there it’s as if we are stepping back in time. It’s our own serene place where we can escape from the hustle and bustle of the City of Dandenong, feel at ease with one another and comfortable to create.

As the programme develops I must take the time and opportunity to send thanks to the site team and to Bridget and her colleagues for allowing us to be a part of Heritage Hill’s story and use this secret gem in Centre Dandenong.


More updates to follow…watch this space!

For more information on Heritage Hill please click here: