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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

COMMUNITY IS QUAY, 2020

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 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 + cause programs, amplifying + nurturing the self-expression, confidence, and wellbeing of our global community.

See all the ways YOU helped us give back in 2020:

IN THE FIGHT TO END HUNGER

With more people than ever feeling the extraordinary strain of food insecurity, this year we partnered with Feeding America®, the largest domestic hunger-relief organisation in the US + Foodbank Victoria, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia—donating over $145,000 USD. $1 USD helps to provide at least ten meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.

IN THE FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • We still are, and will always be, in action in the fight for racial justice. This year—on 26 January 2021—we’re using our voices + committing our dollars with a $15,000 AUD donation to The Healing Foundation—an Australia-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by the impact of colonisation and actions like the forced removal of children from their families.
  • ACKNOWLEDGING THAT REPRESENTATION MATTERS
    Voter education matters. Voter access matters. Representation matters.To coincide with the second QUAY X LIZZO collection launch, we teamed up with The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) + The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to lift barriers to voting in the US. Committing $100,000 USD to help fund the LDF’s Prepared to Vote initiative to protect voting rights and support Black political engagement + The Lawyers' Committee's Election Protection program anchored by the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline—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.
  • PROMOTING LBGTQ MENTAL HEALTH
    To coincide with the launch of our Pride Collection, Quay donated over $63,000 USD to The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organisation for LGBTQ young people + Minus18, which aims to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia through life-affirming events, education, and empowerment.
  • CREATING VISIBILITY INTO THE BLACK EXPERIENCE + ENDING RACIAL INJUSTICE
    We stand in solidarity with the fight against the systematic oppression of the black community. This year we donated $37,500 USD divided among organisations that support the fight for racial justice in America: The Equal Justice InitiativeThe Loveland FoundationThe NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. 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 + have honest discussions with our community about how we can amplify black excellence.

IN COVID RELIEF EFFORTS

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 certified, medical-grade PPE + blue light glasses for healthcare + frontline workers with a Buy One, Get One, Give One campaign that donated one pair of eyewear for each purchase, totalling about $123,000 USD.

IN AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE RELIEF EFFORTS

Our hearts ached as we watched devastating bushfires tear across communities in Australia. In January of 2020, we committed to donating 100% of the proceeds from our Australian website and, with your support, raised over $39,000 USD for WIRES Wildlife Rescue + Vinnies.

 

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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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BUY ONE. GET ONE. GIVE ONE.
featured news

BUY ONE. GET ONE. GIVE ONE.

First + foremost—THANK YOU. Over the past few weeks, we have shifted a portion of our manufacturing efforts to producing certified medical-grade protective goggles + safety glasses for front line healthcare workers. PPE is in short supply globally, and eyewear is what we know best—so this felt like the clear way for us to contribute to the global cause during these unprecedented times.

Community is always Quay for us—so it was important to include + empower you. To distribute as many pairs as possible, we offered a BUY ONE, GET ONE, GIVE ONE program on all of our global Quay sites from April 10th-13th, with each purchase representing an additional eyewear donation. As a result, we are proud to announce a donation of over 30,000 pairs of eyewear to be distributed to front line healthcare workers across the globe, from the US to Australia to Europe. We’re overwhelmed and filled with gratitude by your emphatic support of our effort, and are so grateful for the opportunity to distribute thousands of pairs of goggles + glasses to institutions like:

 

Mount Sinai Health System, New York, NY

NYU Langone Hospital, New York, NY

UCLA Health, Los Angeles, CA

Jefferson Health, Philadelphia, PA

Methodist Hospital, Omaha, NE

Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange, CA

Swedish Medical Center, Englewood, CO,

Mercy Medical Center, Merced, CA

Royal Melbourne Hospital ED, Victoria, Australia

Frankston Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Cabrini Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Box Hill Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Monash Medical Centre, Victoria, Australia

Brisbane Royal Hospital, Queensland, Australia

+ more 

 

 Bec (ICU doc) Jess and Vlad (ICU nurses) Cally (ICU doc)

Jess(ICU nurse) and Cally (ICU doctor)

Louise, Nurse

 

 

Once again, louder for the people in the back—thank you. Together, we are making a difference.

 

Xx, 

Quay

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