Mes­sage fits to a T

Comment News (Armadale) - - Front Page - Jes­sica Nico

WE stand to­gether, strength through sto­ry­telling and ‘Abo­rig­i­nal and proud’ are just some of the pos­i­tive mes­sages find­ing their way on to 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 came up with ABout Us Mob to help oth­ers un­der­stand how In­dige­nous peo­ple were treated.

“Some­times there are nega­tive things said about Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple; 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 nonA­bo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.”

Cen­tacare chief ex­ec­u­tive 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, avail­able in chil­dren and adult sizes.

Picture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d483261

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

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