Regional Aboriginal businesses help TfNSW work safe

The Rainbow Serpent features on a new range of Transport for NSW high visibility safety vests produced by local Indigenous suppliers from Dubbo and Tamworth.

Whatsinaname Indigenous from Dubbo and Alpha Apparel, based in Tamworth, have manufactured 1,000 new safety vests, inspired by the Aboriginal story of the Rainbow Serpent.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the vests were on display when ‘Mindyarra’ was announced as the name for the new Regional Rail Maintenance Facility last week.

“The NSW Government worked very closely with a local Aboriginal working group to come up with the name for the facility, and it was great to have the new vests being worn by everyone in attendance at the naming and concrete pour event,” he said.

“Incorporating the serpent motif into the safety vests is just one of the ways Transport for NSW is demonstrating its commitment to working in partnership with Aboriginal suppliers, people and communities.”

The two regional Indigenous suppliers will continue to work with Transport for NSW on how Aboriginal designs can be incorporated in new ranges of apparel.

Whatsinaname Indigenous in Dubbo are passionate about giving Aboriginal people the opportunity to dream big and achieve their goals, supporting children from as young as 10 who are at risk of disengaging from school, right through to the long term unemployed who may have external pressures effecting their employment.

Robert Riley, director of Whatsinaname Indigenous, said the opportunity to work on the design project was a true collaboration of ideas between Transport for NSW and local suppliers.

“The design is both a fitting and respectful acknowledgment of our Aboriginal history and culture,” Mr Riley said.

Find out more about Transport for NSW’s Reconciliation Action Plan at

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