Movers + Shakers, People of LoganMarch 22, 2024 / 3 minute read

The art of uniforms

A Meadowbrook business is using Indigenous artwork to bridge the gap between corporation and Country, one uniform at a time.

The appealing Indigenous-designed uniforms and personal protective equipment by GaWun Supplies have become part of a broader movement to spark conversation and collaboration.

For GaWun Supplies co-founders Michael Grundon and Kane Thompson, the name says it all.

‘Ga wun means “caring for” in Gabi Gabi and it goes both ways – we care for Indigenous communities and for workers that are committed to our vision,’ Michael says.

He works closely with companies and up-and-coming Indigenous artists to produce meaningful designs that represent the stories of a specific area or the company itself.

There’s more to the business than just quality personal protective equipment, however.

‘We develop partnerships with every company we supply and it’s so cool seeing them involved in the community work we do as well,’ Michael says.

‘They’re not just throwing money at things; they’re flying employees to tour Cherbourg and visit the Ration Shed Museum, to experience what life was like for Indigenous people.

‘Education is key – it’s knowing what has happened, acknowledging that it has and moving forward to celebrate Indigenous people today.’

Michael, a descendant of the Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka and Koa Tribes, has a deep reverence for those who have come before him and is passionate about continuing their work in rewriting narratives.

‘As my mother is Aboriginal and my father is non-Aboriginal, I really struggled with identity and racism growing up. It was my daughter who pushed me to learn more and now I proudly identify as an Indigenous man,’ he says.

‘Our Elders have gone through really tough times for us to be here and it’s time for us younger ones to pick up the baton.’

GaWun Supplies, which was celebrated as the Aboriginal Enterprises in Mining, Energy and Exploration 2023 Indigenous Business of the Year, has reached yet another milestone recently in collaboration with Challenge DV, a domestic and family violence charity, and artist Sharaya Summers.

‘We’ve just completed our first collaboration with a non-profit organisation and have designed a purple high-vis work shirt to raise awareness and funding for Challenge DV,’ Michael says.

‘We’re doing things in a different way, combining Indigenous business with mainstream charities and partnering with some big multinationals – all working towards one cause, with $10 from each shirt going to Challenge DV.

‘The most rewarding part of it all is seeing our name next to big names like Multiplex and being able to help the Indigenous community – there’s still a long way to go but we’re moving in the right direction.’

Learn more about GaWun Supplies.

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