ABout Us Mob: how a moment of racism inspired a t-shirt company

Deborah Clancy, Uershia Nelson, Yvette Terpstra, Ann Bonney, Simone Collard, Destiny Cameron & Randall Inall
Deborah Clancy, Uershia Nelson, Yvette Terpstra, Ann Bonney, Simone Collard, Destiny Cameron & Randall Inall

‘WE stand together’, ‘strength through storytelling’ and ‘Aboriginal and proud’ are just some of the positive messages finding their way onto t-shirts through a new small business created by local Indigenous students.

After a student experienced an incident of racism while on a break from class, his classmates in the Armadale Centacare Employment and Training Kadadjiny Bidi program decided they wanted to turn the negative experience into a positive one.

From that they launched ABout Us Mob, a small business that promotes and shares positive messages about Aboriginal people and culture.

Student spokeswoman Ann Bonney said they had been keen to move past their anger surrounding racism, so they came up with ABout Us Mob to help others understand how Indigenous people were treated.

“Sometimes there are negative things said about Aboriginal people; instead we want to focus on sharing our culture and our identity in a positive way,” she said.

“It’s very important for us to share a positive message with the community about who we are and what our culture is about.

“It enables us to be active in sharing our culture and gives us a voice.

“We hope that ABout Us Mob encourages respect and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the community.”

Centacare chief executive officer Lee-Anne Phillips said the students had found a good way to share their positive messages.

“It’s so important for the students to be involved in something positive like this,” she said.

“Not only does it help them learn new skills but it also allows them to build their self-esteem, foster healthy friendships and grow as individuals.

“We’ve seen incredible changes in the students’ attitudes and they’ve all really come out of their shells in a very positive way since they started the program.”

ABout Us Mob t-shirts are $15 each and come in children and adult sizes.

Buyers can pick what they want written on the shirt, including custom messages.

Visit www.centacarewa.com.au or www.facebook.com/aboutusmob for more information.

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