15 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Brands, Artists & Creatives To Know
The Green Hub
There are dozens of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and businesses working in a variety of industries including fashion, art, jewellery, tattooing, food, literature, and more.
I love seeing the creativity of our community and I am excited to be sharing some of my favourite creatives with you.
These are only a handful from our community. I hope from this list, and from your own exploration, you find some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative small businesses that resonate with you that you wish to support.
1. AKWEKE STORIES
Akweke meaning ‘small; little bit’ shares the stories of Arrernte and Luritja sis, Michelle Kerrin.
From great challenges came the beauty of Akweke Stories. Michelle shares that when faced with difficult times she began painting to cope. Through painting her Country, the colours of the land and the icons of her culture, she began to find belonging and purpose.
Akweke Stories is deeply personal with each piece telling and sharing a story of a place, a person, a connection, a thought, or an experience.
I am proud to call Michelle one of my dearest sistas and I hope you love her artwork as much as I do.
Although I don’t have a bub myself yet, I still adore Wiradjuri brand, Peached. Peached sell beautiful organic cotton baby swaddles with artwork by Wiradjuri artists, Derick and Tyrone Peachey.
Peached endeavour to share the beauty of Aboriginal culture with the rest of the world and therefore their swaddles are to be enjoyed by Indigenous and non-indigenous families alike.
Peached swaddles are versatile; they are good for wrapping up bubs, covering prams, and keeping sand off bums at the beach.
I really love that family and culture are so clearly at the heart of Peached. Bubs are so special and being able to wrap them up in a piece of the culture of this land is the beauty of Peached! So, if you’ve got a bub coming into your life, or the life of someone you love, be sure to check this mob out.
3. BIMBI LOVE
Owned and operated by two sisters of the Kungalu and Birri Gubba peoples of Central Queensland, Bimbi Love sells gorgeous earrings, brooches, necklaces, and more.
Bimbi Love’s pieces are beautifully minimalistic, drawing on motifs of native flora and fauna such as tree snakes and gum nuts.
4. AMBER’S FOOD WRAPS
Amber’s Food Wraps brings the concept of caring for country into modern practice. Founded by Ngunnawal woman, Eve Langford, Amber’s Food Wraps sells organic wax wraps with designs from Aboriginal artists of the Northern Territory.
These wraps come in a variety of designs, packs, and sizes. I have at least half a dozen of them and use them for wrapping sandwiches and covering leftovers! They are also a great talking piece; people often ask where I got them from, and it encourages a conversation about being conscious consumers. Caring for country is the responsibility of all people and eliminating your use of single-use plastic wrap is a great place to start.
5. BOBBI LOCKYER
I adore the photography and art of Ngarluma, Karriyarra (Pilbara) Yawuru, Nyulnyul (Kimberley) sis, Bobbi Lockyer.
Bobbi’s photography business was self-taught and is now celebrated nationally and internationally. Bobbi offers event and commercial photography in Port Hedland, Aboriginal art and fine art paintings, family and baby photography as well as illustration and graphic design. She also facilitates photography and art workshops for children and adults.
Bobbi draws on the strength of her grassroots Aboriginal community, and you can see this strength reflected in her work. Bobbi has a skill for capturing beauty, love, culture, and strength. Be sure to check out Bobbi’s work on her Instagram, I can guarantee you’ll spot a few bubs that will having you going “nawww!”.
6. INDIGI EARTH
Founded by Ngemba Weilwan woman, Sharon Winsor, Indigiearth brings the flavours and scents of the bush to our plates and homes.
Indigiearth ethically sources sustainable native Australian foods from Aboriginal communities to create premium bush foods and products. Sharon empowers our mob as she has helped Aboriginal communities to develop wild harvesting business enterprises which draw on traditional land management practices, and then purchases produce back from these communities.
Sharon’s story is one of resilience, strength, and passion which she channeled into her love for connecting people with Aboriginal culture through native foods. Indigiearth has over two hundred products including native foods, candles, diffusers, and skincare. If you haven’t tried a product with bush ingredients before, here’s your chance!
7. HAUS OF DIZZY
If you are an earring lover and haven’t heard of Haus of Dizzy, welcome out from under your rock!
Wiradjuri woman, Kristy Dickinson, is the artist behind Haus of Dizzy and the self-professed “Queen of Bling”.
Kristy specialises in moulded plastics and much of her work celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and pride. I am going to warn you now, it’s very hard to stop with one pair of Haus of Dizzy earrings… I personally have three; the Deadly Hearts, Indigenous Pride Glitter Hearts and some custom Wiradjuri Yinaa Heart Hoops.
The Haus of Dizzy catalogue is huge! As well as pieces which give us mob an opportunity to represent our culture, there are lots of pieces appropriate for non-indigenous people to wear. Whatever your interest, whether it’s dinosaurs, being a Mum, Queer pride or protesting violence against women, Haus of Dizzy has got you covered. Haven’t got your ears pierced? No stress! There is plenty of clip on earrings as well as bracelets and necklaces available too.
More than a jewellery brand, Kristy also hosts jewellery workshops at youth detention centres and domestic violence support centres.
You can find Haus of Dizzy online, in gift shops like the Melbourne Museum, at The Iconic and on market stalls at Aboriginal events.
8. SALTY ONE HERE
Nyul Nyul and Bardi brother, Lowy, is an artist whose creative work continues to leave me in awe.
Lowy brings together photography, connection to country and culture with his beautiful sand art. Whilst the sand art is transient, the photographs captured on drones are to be enjoyed for a long time.
A picture really does say a thousand words, do your Instagram feed a favour and check out Lowy’s profile.
9. KAKADU TINY TOTS
Kakadu Tiny Tots creates organic and eco-friendly soaps, candles, bush foods, and clothing for bubs. Founded by Murrumburr woman, Kylie-Lee Bradford, the designs on Kakadu Tiny Tots clothing come from artists of the Ngombur and Murrumburr tribes in Kakadu National Park.
Again, given I do not have a bub I can only admire how cute their baby range is, like this Crocodile Dreaming onesie (awww!). However, having tried the Kakadu Tucker range I can highly recommend it!
The Native Sea Celery Mustard Pickle and Native Quandong and Mango Chutney are delicious on sandwiches and burgers, and the Native Davidson’s Plum Jam is great on fresh toast. You can try one of these or pick up all three for a cheaper price in a gift set – oh and it’s free shipping on orders over $25, win!
Bundjalung and Yugambeh brother, Shal, is doing deadly things in the tattoo industry.
Shal works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to create pieces that celebrate culture, pride, and identity. Shal’s artistry also extends to non-indigenous clients and motifs.
Given that there are over 250 Aboriginal nations each with their own culture, history, and languages, it is not possible for one person to hold knowledge on all of these. That is why being able to share your story and knowledge in a culturally safe space is invaluable- and this is what Shal does. Through respect, listening and learning Shal fosters relationships with clients to work collaboratively to create pieces together.
Shal is available at Westside Tattoo Brisbane and Westside Tattoo Mermaid Beach. For enquiries please get in contact here.
10. BUSH MAGIC METAL
Founded by Mununjali and Butchulla sis, Lydia Baker, Bush Magic Metal is a space I have loved and admired for many years now.
Using recycled sterling silver metal, Lydia handmakes beautiful jewellery inspired by culture, ancestors, and the bush.
I was amazed to learn that Lydia’s silversmithing skills are self-taught! It was Lydia’s wandering and creative spirit that led her to silversmithing and one which continues to guide and inform her work.
Stories and storytelling are important in our culture and I love the way Lydia’s work reflects this. Each of Lydia’s pieces are a story created from many stories woven together: the story of Lydia, the story of our culture, the story of the bush, the story of the recycled silver, the story of the stamps and hammers collected from her Dad’s shed and flea markets, the story of the opals, and the story of the wearer.
I love the way that Bush Magic Metal provides a unique way to celebrate, wear and connect to culture and country.
11. MABU MABU
Mabu Mabu, a saying meaning “help yourself” in the Torres Strait, is a Torres Strait Islander owned and run business founded by sis Nornie Bero (Mer Island).
Nornie creates with flavour and generosity. Mabu Mabu uses fresh, seasonal and native ingredients and has a focus on making Indigenous herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits part of everyone’s pantry.
You can eat in at Mabu Mabu’s cafe in Narrm (Melbourne), have them cater your event or order some goodies online.
12. SPIRIT BIRD CREATIONS
Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri and Ngarrindjeri brother, Arron Nicholls, is the founder and creator of Spirit Bird Creations.
Arron works closely with country and is keeping culture strong through his creation of beautiful handmade boomerangs, clapsticks and coolamons.
Arron also shares culture with young mob through youth empowerment programs and camps.
13. LAKKARI ART
Lakkari Art comes from Gamilaroi Yuwaalaraay sis, Lakkari Pitt.
Lakkari’s art is a contemporary, personal representation of the knowledge that her Elders and ancestors have passed down between generations. Lakkari creates originals, prints, digital designs as well as commission pieces.
14. BUSH MEDIJINA
Bush Medijina is the product of Warningakalina Elders passion to address the need to build a sustainable, independent enterprise that supports Warningakalina women, culture, community and future.
Bush Medijina uses Traditional knowledge passed down through Warningakalina women to hand-make skin care products such as balms, soaps, body butters, hair oils, scrubs and more. These products are created from locally harvest bush produce as well as natural, sustainable ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers in Australia.
It was a pleasure to meet some of the Bush Medijina team at Garma Festival in 2019 and I have enjoyed seeing them continue to grow. Purchasing from Bush Medijina is an opportunity for everyone to support Aboriginal women as they develop a business which empowers the next generation of Aboriginal women.
15. KOORIE CIRCLE
Founded by Gunditjmara woman, Laura Thompson, The Koorie Circle creates beautiful handmade earrings that celebrate the culture, history, and identity of Aboriginal people.
Earrings from The Koorie Circle earrings come in a range of styles, colours, and sizes. For those looking for something subtle, you might opt for a small pair of studs whereas as those with louder taste might like the look of these big beautiful shiny Bunjil earrings; I can’t lie, I have these Bunjils in two colours!
The Koorie Circle goes above and beyond by providing an explanation of the significance and meaning of each piece so that you can be confident in the knowledge you are hanging off your ears.
Laura is someone who has had a really positive impact on my life and who many of us look up to as a strong, Koorie woman. In addition to Koorie Circle, Laura goes above and beyond for our community through her activism in the Free the Flag Campaign which seeks to free the Aboriginal flag from its current licensing agreements.