Colourful NAIDOC shirts that connect us as one 

Nat and family edited and croppedMy Mum Kathy Arbon, my niece’s Lylah Quall and Meleeka Quall and myself, Natalie Quall


The story behind the design 

Larrakia/Arabana artist, Natalie Quall has designed this year’s NAIDOC shirts and they are a colourful expression of connecting as one.

Natalie has designed the shirts to represent the difference and similarity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through weaving patterns. Weavings are used for gatherings, coming together and sitting down and connecting with friends and family.

The shirts feature an Aboriginal weaving print on the front and a Torres Strait Islander weaving print on the back, demonstrating that we are two cultures.

Natalie explains that, “making big mats is women’s business, we sit down together and do our arts and crafts”.


Natalie, a creative at heart 

Being creative has always been a part of Natalie’s life, “I love designing patterns of the land or the sea using contemporary styles and great bright colours that represent what I feel”.

Natalie’s dad, Phillip Quall is Larrakia man and her mum, Kathy Arbon, who is also an artist, is from the Arabana country near Lake Eyre in South Australia.


NAIDOC in 2020 

The theme for NAIDOC this year is Always Was, Always Will Be, recognising that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

Natalie was a little nervous about showing her artwork publicly, but is so proud to have it out there and excited to see people wearing her shirts, especially for the NAIDOC march in November.


The shirts are real deadly – how you can get one 

This year’s NAIDOC shirts are so popular that 300 have already been sold to Larakia Nation staff and their families.

Don’t stress!  There are plenty more for the public and they are easy to buy. Each shirt sells for $40 and they come in all sizes.

Order over the phone by ringing Larrakia Nation on 8948 3733, or by visiting the Gallery in the Smith Street Mall or our offices in Coconut Grove.


Creating a platform for local artists 

Larrakia Nation has a growing number of locally registered artists, like Natalie, who sell their artwork through the organisation through the gallery in the Smith Street Mall in Darwin.

The gallery in the is filled with traditional and contemporary works and is providing more exposure for Larrakia artists. Tourists and locals can meet with artists and hear all about the stories behind their beautiful creations.

The original paintings that Natalie created for this year’s NAIDOC shirts are also on display in the gallery.

Don’t forget to get your shirt before they all go!