THE ORIGINAL INDIGENOUS
The story – so far…
Darkies Design is an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business that was established in 2010 by Dion Devow. The word “Darkies” has been used deliberately to negate the historically inappropriate use of the word and to reclaim the name.
Dion is a Canberra-based man who was born and raised in Darwin. He is of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent with Aboriginal heritage that stems from Palm Island in northern Queensland and Darnley Island in the Torres Strait. On Dion’s father’s side, he is Manbarra and he and his family are traditional owners of the Palm Island group. Dion is also a traditional owner for the area in and around Ingham, north Queensland, and descends from the Bada-Bada Warragamy people and is also a descendant of the South Sea Islander people of Tanna Island, Vanuatu, who were brought to Australia during the 1800’S as a result of the black birding slave trade of that time. Dion’s mother is from Erub or Darnley which is one of the eastern islands of the Torres Strait and has a strong connection to Murray Island people.
Dion’s Australian Indigenous heritage is strong and very influential with respect to the style and design concepts of Darkies Designs by using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, language, themes, and humour as a feature within Darkies Design products. Darkies Designs produces a range of creative designs for all types of apparel and has branched out into designing and sourcing promotional materials for all types of organisations and departments for events such as NAIDOC, Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day, Mabo Day and more. Furthermore, Darkies is also now providing the production of printed products and is working with marketing and procurement areas in all sectors to produce magazines, books, brochures, reports, stationery, posters and more by working with a very reputable Canberra-based print agency.
Dion hopes to continue to develop the Darkies Designs business into one that is multi-faceted and hopes to encourage and be an example to other Indigenous people who have aspirations of entering into business to go for it.
Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.