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AUSTRALIAN NAIDOC WEEK, 2020: ALWAYS WAS ALWAYS WILL BE BLOG POST

“We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.”

We’re celebrating NAIDOC Week at Quay, and honouring  Australia’s Aboriginal + Torres Strait Islander Peoples with our COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS series with a short Q/A featuring Sky Thomas, a Gunnai/Kurnai, Yorta yorta, and Wiradjuri Woman.

The belief that COMMUNITY IS QUAY and that all people—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed—deserve respect, opportunity, and love is central to everything that we do at Quay. We are nothing without the unique, diverse group of individuals internally + externally who have allowed us success over the years.

Q/A ft @SOJU_GANG

Q: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

A: I’m Soju Gang—I’m a proud Gunnai/Kurnai, Yorta Yorta, and Wiradjuri woman, and I’m known for being a DJ, designer, and all-around creative here in Melbourne [Australia].

 

Q: WHAT DOES NAIDOC WEEK MEAN TO YOU?

A: What NAIDOC means to me is our community coming together to not only reflect on the journey our people have been on but also to celebrate who we are and where we’ve come from as well. 


We’ve faced so much adversity since colonisation, so much injustice and pain and oppression and genocide—some of which we still face today. But to have time to reflect on our determination, our strength, our love, our talent, and our achievements is so important.

Q: WHAT DOES THIS YEAR’S THEME ‘ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE’ CONJURE FOR YOU?

A: We have a history [in Australia]. This country has tried to erase us, both from the history books and from the face of the Earth. So, for us to say ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ is saying that we’re still here and we’re not going anywhere.

Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT OTHERS TO KNOW ABOUT NAIDOC WEEK?

A: What I want people to know about NAIDOC Week is to understand where it comes from and the history it holds within it. It came from our people marching for their rights on Day of Mourning, which is what others consider Australia Day, and it was about this country acknowledging the history that is here but to also ask for our rights as human beings. So, from a time of pain that we’ve come from, to find the time and create that space for our people to celebrate ourselves is important and should be something that everyone in this country takes part in.

DONATE

  • Change the Record

https://changetherecord.org.au/

Change the Record is Australia’s only national Aboriginal led justice coalition of Aboriginal peak bodies and non-Indigenous allies. They work to end the incarceration of, and family violence against, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Aboriginal Literacy Foundation

http://www.aboriginalliteracyfoundation.org/

The priority of Australia’s Aboriginal Literacy Foundation is to provide ongoing literacy programs and opportunities for Indigenous young people through education and community-based initiatives.
  • Koorie Youth Council

https://koorieyouthcouncil.org.au/

The Koorie Youth Council (KYC) advocates for the advancing of rights and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to Australian government and communities.
  • The Healing Foundation

https://healingfoundation.org.au/

The Healing Foundation is an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation  that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families.
  • Common Ground

https://www.commonground.org.au/

Common Ground is an Aboriginal-led organisation that works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia to capture and share stories, and create learning material for wider Australia.
  • ANTaR

https://antar.org.au/

ANTaR is an Australian advocacy organisation dedicated specifically to the rights—and overcoming the disadvantage of— Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people primarily through lobbying, public campaigns, and advocacy.

SUPPORT

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featured q/a

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at QUAY. Get to know our squad with mini Q/As that highlight some of our Latinx employees—COMMUNITY IS QUAY.

 



MARIBEL 

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Mexican and Honduran.

What department do you work in?

Retail - Shops

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?

I think one of the biggest...is that all we eat is tacos and burritos. Mexican cuisine has so many different amazing foods! 😍

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
One thing I would like to share would be Mexican culture is the fusion of European, African, and Indigenous culture...This mixing, known as mestizaje, produced a unique cultural identity that makes up the basis for modern-day Mexico, and can be seen in every aspect of Mexican life, including food, clothing, art, music, and even language.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
One thing I could not live without would be music. I love music, it helps me get through the day and gets me energized and motivated with whatever I am doing. 

 


MARIA 

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Nicaraguan.

What department do you work in? 
Finance

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?
That we are lazy people, which is completely wrong. I have traveled to Nicaragua more than 20 times and everyone I’ve met there is extremely hard working and friendly.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
Every year, around Christmas, families come together to celebrate La Purisima. It is both a religious and cultural event to celebrate the Virgin Mary. Everyone sings and passes party favors, which always include typical Nicaraguan food and drinks. It’s a remembrance of our culture and an opportunity for us to enjoy our nation’s treats. 

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
Family.

 


BRENDA 

What is your Hispanic heritage?
I am Mexican and Spanish.

What department do you work in? 
Retail - Shops

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?
Biggest misconception of Mexican women is that we’re limited to be housewives/stay-at-home moms, and marry “macho men.” That’s quite false. My mother is a psychologist, and I was taught to be very independent. She really enforced to break that glass ceiling and use my bilingualism to advance in my career.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
Not all Mexicans eat spicy foods. Although, the use of chili is quite common, not all of us like the spicy-ness.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
I cannot live without coffee! Especially “cafe con leche,” which is delicious! And Salsa dancing! 
 


NYDIA 

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Puerto Rican and Mexican.

What department do you work in? 
Inventory Control

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?
Not all Latinx are Catholic, I was raised Pentecostal.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens but aren’t allowed to vote for president.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
My Grandma Nydia’s Puerto Rican cooking (I was named after my grandma).
 


ROB

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Puerto Rican.

What department do you work in? 
IT

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?
That we’re all “Spanish.”  Puerto Rico is actually part of Latin America and the indigenous people are actually called Taíno and are thought to have come from the Amazon Basin. If you look at the DNA of anyone from Puerto, it’s a mix of many cultures including Spain and Africa that made Puerto Rico as amazing as it is.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
I have DNA from Europe, Africa, Asia and Native Americans! It’s quite amazing to look at all the sources of what makes me, me.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
Photos of my family! I thought at first about a piece of technology like my phone, but photos and memories are irreplicable.

 


MIGUEL

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Mexican.

What department do you work in? 
Retail Operations

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have on your culture?
That people in Mexico all wear sombreros.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
People in Tepatitlan have a traditional festival every year in April called Tepabril, in honor of the Lord of Mercy, and the festivities go on for 2 to 3 weeks. A sanctuary was created for the Lord of Mercy in Tepatitlan, Jalisco, and his story is displayed on the walls of the sanctuary describing how he was founded and his significance for the town. 

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
Tamales!


RAQUEL

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Mexican.

What department do you work in? 
Global Brand

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have on your culture?
That Mexico is a very dangerous place to visit.

Help drop some knowledge: what is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
In Mexico, we greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek, even people you just met. 😘

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
Limes!


BRIANNA

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Mexican.

What department do you work in? 
Global Brand

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have on your culture?
That any successful business or family is associated with the cartel. It's sad, but it was a thing my family/friends heard growing up.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
Mexico has 68 official languages that are officially recognized, but there are even more spoken by smaller communities around the country.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
Family, they are a crazy bunch, but man, do I love them!

 


TESS

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Honduran and Nicaraguan.

What department do you work in? 
Global Brand

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have on your culture?
For me, it's upsetting when others aren't understanding or get frustrated to non-English speaking individuals. Growing up my Mom barely knew any English, so she relied on my brother, dad, and myself  to translate. It's also upsetting when non-Spanish speaking people make fun of any latin culture because they find it “weird.” It truly does take a toll on a child growing up because you end up being embarrassed about who you are, when it should never be like that.

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
We don't all have the same food! I grew with native food from Honduras and Nicaragua. For example, although we have tamales, they aren't the same as a mexican tamale everyone learns and eats.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
My film cameras. They're my form of therapy, and I enjoy seeing life through a viewfinder. 



CESAR

What is your Hispanic heritage? 
I am Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Mexican.

What department do you work in? 
Retail-Shops

What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your culture?
It’s silly, but I always hear, “Oh, you’re from Colombia...What do you guys eat?” 
Puerto Rico and Colombia are both so rich in culture and have amazing cuisine that doesn’t revolve around beans and tacos. If you’re ever in Puerto Rico or at a decent PR restaurant, try Mofongo (staple), Tostones, and always order the Arroz Con Gandules. 🤤

Help drop some knowledge: What is one thing you would like to share about your heritage? 
Being Puerto Rican means that I am not only Puerto Rican, but I am also a beautiful mix of indigenous Taínos, African, and Spanish ancestry.

One for fun: What is one thing you could not live without? 
I can never live without MUSIC. Puerto Rico is the birthplace of SALSA. 💃

 

The belief that COMMUNITY IS QUAY and that all people—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed—deserve respect, opportunity, and love is central to everything that we do at Quay. We are nothing without the unique, diverse group of individuals internally + externally who have allowed us success over the years.


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featured q/a

#QUAY X LIZZO | 2020 REPRESENT

Our latest campaign with multi-platinum, Grammy-winning singer, rapper, and truth-teller, Lizzo has us looking towards the future in a star-studded range of new glammed-out sunnies, blue light glasses, and accessories starting at $55 —including three extremely limited edition styles juiced up with genuine crystals, which are priced at $125.

While the product and Lizzo are headline-grabbing, the real star of this campaign is the power of the vote. To coincide with our launch, we're teaming up with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to lift barriers to voting in the US. We’re committing $100K to help fund the LDF's Prepared to Vote initiative to protect voting rights + support Black political engagement, and Lawyers' Committee's Election Protection program. Election Protection, anchored by the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, is the nation's premier voter protection program working year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Voter education matters. Voter access matters. Representation matters.

We caught up with Lizzo about our latest collab and the importance of representation in a mini Q/A.
Q/A has been a mark of the Quay Australia brand for years. And it’s more than just our initials—it’s what we stand for. For our Q/As we check in with some of the coolest people we know to walk a mile in their shades + get a fresh perspective on some of the topics we think are worth talking about.

Q: The new collection features everything from classic black frames to over-the-top accents like star studs + hot pink gradients. Which aspects of our new collection speak to you most?

A: I love how much fun this collection is. The spring collection was very superstar, sexy, glam...but this feels rock n roll!

 

Q: We love that you and your squad have been rocking styles from our first drop non-stop—what is your go-to pair with the new collection?

A: I know I've taken a lot of pics in the ICY, but I wear TRANSCEND every day. I got a pair in the purse and a pair by the pool.

 

Q: Your creative director + close friend, Quinn Wilson, both creative directed + shot this campaign. It nods heavily to the collection, Black excellence, and the power of the vote. What inspired you, and how do you work together to develop creative concepts?

A: This shoot felt like family. Quinn really took the lead with concepts, and I followed her leadership. I trust her, so it's easy to create together.

 

Q: Our campaign aims to lift barriers to voting in the US, particularly for communities of color. What did you think about the campaign's rallying cry—2020 REPRESENT?

A: Voting is a big way to contribute + to feel like we're making a change. But the power of voting in midterm and local elections wasn't something I was taught in school. I want to be part of informing future generations of our power.

 

Q: What does it mean to you to represent?

A: Representation is important to me. It helps people feel seen. It celebrates diversity. The American people deserve to feel seen, and we deserve a government that reflects our beautiful, diverse country and ideals.

 

Q: 2020 is a unique time to launch a campaign. We have centered both of our collaborations around giving back to both the customer and the community. What does our partnership + the ability to give back with it mean to you, especially at this time?

A: I've been waiting for the moment where I can give back. It's the reason why I do this. If I do anything, it should always be beneficial to the betterment of us.

SHOP THE COLLECTION

 

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featured

COMMUNITY IS QUAY

The belief that COMMUNITY IS QUAY and that all people—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed—deserve respect, opportunity, and love is central to everything that we do at Quay. We are nothing without the unique, diverse group of individuals internally + externally who have allowed us success over the years.
We believe in our inherent duty to spread the Quay vision far + wide through philanthropic and cause programs, and to support causes that amplify and nurture the self-expression, confidence, and wellbeing of our global community.

REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Voter education matters. Voter access matters. Representation matters. Together with Lizzo, we're empowering our communities to use their voices + make change this election year.

To coincide with the launch of our second QUAY X LIZZO collection, we're teaming up with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to lift barriers to voting in the US. We’re committing $100K USD to help fund the LDF's Prepared to Vote initiative to protect voting rights + support Black political engagement, and Lawyers' Committee's Election Protection program. Election Protection, anchored by the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, is the nation's premier voter protection program working year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count.

In Australia, with more people than ever are feeling the extraordinary strain of food insecurity we continue the work we started during our first QUAY X LIZZO launch, donating 50,000 meals to Foodbank Victoria**—an organization that helps provide meals to families doing it tough.

**$1 AUD helps provide two meals secured by Foodbank Victoria.

LBGTQ MENTAL HEALTH

To coincide with to the launch of The Pride Collection, featuring bestselling shapes with mirrored rainbow lenses, Quay is donating $50,000 USD to The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. Quay believes that Pride is a time for celebration, but also a time to reflect on and take action in the fight for social justice for all people.
The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

THE FIGHT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE

We stand in solidarity with the fight against the systematic oppression of the black community and are committed to creating visibility into the black experience + ending racial injustice. Quay donated $50,000 USD divided among organizations that support the fight for racial justice in June 2020—the Equal Justice Initiative, The Loveland Foundation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Change the Record. We're also committed to donating another $100,000 USD before the year ends.

We also believe in the power of representation and are committed to expanding diversity in everything that we do. We don’t know the answer to everything, but we are committed to continuing to learn and have honest discussions with our community about how we can amplify black excellence.

THE FIGHT TO END HUNGER

More people than ever are feeling the extraordinary strain of food insecurity. Food banks nationally are facing dissipating supply chain + volunteer support during the global pandemic. To coincide with the launch of our QUAY X LIZZO collection, we teamed up with Feeding America®, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, on a Buy One. Get One. Give 100 Meals. campaign. From May 20-25th 2020, together with Lizzo + our community, we donated over one million meals to people struggling with hunger.

*$1 helps to provide at least ten meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.

FRONTLINE HEALTHCARE WORKERS

We shifted a portion of our manufacturing efforts in April 2020 to produce certified medical-grade protective goggles + safety glasses for frontline healthcare workers supporting communities impacted by COVID-19. With the help of our squad, we donated 30,000+ pairs of eyewear with a Buy One, Get One, Give One campaign that donated one pair of eyewear for each purchase.

AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE RELIEF

Our hearts ached as we watched devastating bushfires tear across communities in Australia in January of 2020. We commited to donating 100% of the proceeds from our Australian website on January 4th and, with your support, raised over $60,000 AUD for bushfire relief. Donations went to WIRES Wildlife Rescue + Vinnies.

THE RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION

In August 2019, we launched our Education is Quay campaign. The scholarship program gave ten Quay Squad members the chance to win a $10,000 to pursue their education goals + fuel their dreams. We reviewed thousands of applications from across the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and in January, awarded each of our ten incredible winners $10,000 USD.

 

 

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THERE IS NO NEUTRAL POSITION ON RACISM

The only way to fight racism is to be actively anti-racist—educate yourself, speak up, donate, take action. There is no neutral position on racism.

 

We stand in solidarity with the fight against systematic oppression of the black community and are committed to creating visibility into the black experience + ending racial injustice. We believe the only way to fight racism is to be actively anti-racist—educate yourself, speak up, donate, take action.

 

We are starting with a donation of $50k to organizations that support the fight against racial injustice—and are committed to another $100k before the year ends. See below for a list of the local and international organisations we’re making the first donation to.

 

We believe in the power of representation and are committed to expanding diversity in everything that we do. We don’t know the answer to everything, but we are committed to continuing to learn and have honest discussions with our community about how we can amplify black excellence.

 

DONATE WITH US

 

EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE https://eji.org/

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

 

THE LOVELAND FOUNDATION https://thelovelandfoundation.org/

The Loveland Foundation works to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more. Ultimately, they hope to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities they serve.

 

NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND https://www.naacpldf.org/

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

 

CHANGE THE RECORD https://changetherecord.org.au/

Change the Record is Australia’s only national Aboriginal led justice coalition of Aboriginal peak bodies and non-Indigenous allies. They work to end the incarceration of, and family violence against, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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