We're pleased to release our fourth limited edition capsule collaboration with Zachary Bennett-Brook, our good mate and the artist behind Saltwater Dreamtime.
Zachary is a contemporary Indigenous artist born and raised in Wollongong (Dharawal Country) with a love for the ocean and creating artworks which represent his cultural heritage and passions.
On the Saltwater Dreamtime Vol 4 collection, Zach said “For this design I drew inspiration from our natural environment, in particular leaves and water flowing, moving. I decided to add a few different artwork style in each of the little sections which play off those natural themes, with the more circular designs reflecting water and ripples on the water and the sharper harder lined sections reflecting the earth and dry land.”
This year we wanted to kick 12 Days of Good Vibes off on the right foot and put our money where our mouth is, so riding off Zach's notability we decided we wanted to give someone else a voice and platform they wouldn't usually get: enter the local Indigenous artist group and employment pathway, Toys Change Lives.
Entirely staffed by Indigenous youth who have been released from Juvenile Justice Detention Centers or who have had a brush with the Justice System and are believed to be 'At Risk', we wanted to support Toys Change Lives anyway we can after seeing the amazing work they do, so this year we're releasing a limited run of toys online and in-store to help get the word out by giving them a platform as well as giving 100% of sales back to the epic team to help fund art supplies and help them continue their epic work.
View the video below to check our Zach talking about the Saltwater Dreamtime Vol 4 collaboration, and scroll down to find out more about Toys Change Lives.
A toy workshop with a difference, Toys Change Lives is a workshop staffed by Indigenous youth who have been released from Juvenile Justice Detention Centers, or who have had a brush with the Justice System and are believed to be ‘At Risk’.
TCL is an employment pathway run by the Keeping Our Freedom Youth Indigenous Corporation, a Not-For-Profit that was founded by Peter Boughey of Casino in 2014. ‘Pastor’ Pete has been a Chaplain at Grafton’s Juvenile Detention Centre (ACMENA) for over 14 years, and in that time saw the same youth come back through the Centre time-and-again. In 2014 Pete took it upon himself to offer these youths a project when they got out of ACMENA – building wooden toys in his garage.
From this humble beginning, wherein the youths took these basic toys and decorated them with beautiful Indigenous decorations, TCL has evolved into a proper little workshop and gallery located in 112 Walker Street, Casino. Our little shop now boasts beautiful handmade boomerangs, didgeridoos, Indigenous artworks, wooden jewellery, educational maps and of course our signature item…TOYS!
Employing two full-time mentors and a number of youths, fully waged, TCL has created a culturally meaningful employment pathway that is successfully reducing recidivism. Re-offending is a massive problem in our community. With around 75% of youth released from regional juvenile justice centers re-offending at least once in their future. The current solutions don’t seem to be working. That's where TCL comes in; we're here providing practical, proven, grass-roots solutions to give Indigenous youth a fresh track to take. A life put on the right track means one less youth in detention, one more youth being a healthy role-model to his peers, one more youth contributing their craft back to their culture and community."