Preorder - Always Tee
Dispatch 2-3 weeks
“Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land” is an important statement within First Nations communities as it reasserts that the very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples, and that their sovereignty of this Country has never been ceded. It is a clear declaration that First Nations people are still here and are never leaving. A statement of resilience, survival, deep connection and celebration.
The phrase originated during the 1980s Aboriginal land rights movement in far-western New South Wales. Barkandji people were fighting for legal recognition and rights as sovereign owners of their homelands.
The late Uncle William Bates was an Barkandji land and legal rights activist. Along with other community members, Uncle William led the campaign that saw the first national park in NSW returned to Traditional Owners, amongst many other achievements for his people. In 1974 he became the first Aboriginal Legal Service field officer employed in Far West NSW (leading the breakaway along with Tombo Winters, Steve Gordon, and Uncle Alfie Bates in 1977, which resulted in the establishment of the Western Aboriginal Legal Services) and rallied together communities and land councils to pool funds and start buying back their traditional lands. ”Always Was, Always Will Be”, the now ubiquitous catchcry, was born during this time.
“Always Was, Always Will Be” is now often chanted at different gatherings, protests and rallies as a reminder that First Nations people have and will continue to fight for their lands and their rights. It continues to respond to the lack of recognition of First Nations sovereignty that is at the core of much of this nation’s structural inequalities and marginalisation.
Mid weight, 180 GSM, 28-singles
100% combed cotton (marles 15% viscose)
Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
Screen Printed on Wurundjeri Country