YU MOB APPAREL was born out of the Wanta Youth Space in 2021. Wanta, who provide youth with engagement, alternative education, training and employment opportunities in Yuendumu saw a gap in the contemporary transitional education and employment pathways between adolescence and adulthood in remote Indigenous communities, and chose to provide a solution.
In Yuendumu, the average mainstream school attendance rate is below 40%. Wanta Aboriginal Corporation, a 100% Yuendumu Indigenous employee organisation, with over 70% of staff of youth age, understand the unique challenges of engaging young Indigenous youth in community, in both education and sustainable, community based employment.
Considering this gap, Wanta established Yuendumu’s first youth drop in space; providing sports, arts, music, mental health, digital skills, cultural and alternative education, cooking and nutrition programs for youth in community. On average the space sees over 6,000 visits by youth per year. The space is run and managed entirely by Indigenous Yuendumu youth – providing positive role models to the next generation of young people.
YU MOB APPAREL began to provide youth with an alternative opportunity. A social enterprise with all proceeds going directly back to Yuendumu youth – the program aims to engage, train and employ young people in the youth, arts and business sectors. The project provides opportunities for youth artists, models, screen printers, marketers and retail assistants to gain hands on practical training and employment in the contemporary world of social enterprise and ecommerce.
In November of 2021, YU MOB collaborated with Swamp Street Press, a Darwin based screen printer to run a number of screen-printing workshops at Wanta’s Youth Space in Yuendumu with children, youth and Wanta staff. The week long initiative invited Yuendumu, youth based artists to provide cultural designs for printing onto tees, totes and hoodies. The process encompassed the whole project management cycle from design, to printing, marketing and sales.
The collaboration saw YU MOB and SWAMP STREET PRESS travel on a 1,200 kilometre journey across the Central Desert providing free screen printing workshops to kids in Yuendumu, Papunya, Ntaria and Utopia. Enabling youth to connect to their language and culture, express themselves through art and print their own clothing with their own designs.
The culmination of the project was the successful launch of YU MOB APPAREL in collaboration with Wanta’s Utopia social enterprise, Sandover Scents at the Alice Springs Christmas Night Markets in December 2021 and the launch of its online store.
YUMOB, changing the game for Indigenous youth in remote communities!
Written by Tenille Rickard, Regional Manager