Entrepreneur and community leader
ACTState RecipientAustralian of the Year2018
When he chose a controversial name for his business, Dion Devow wanted to reclaim a derogatory term and express pride in his Aboriginal culture and heritage. Darkies Design, which Dion started in 2010, produces contemporary Aboriginal-themed apparel and print media for mainstream, sports and promotional use. One of Dion’s first concepts was a t-shirt with a simple logo: 100% Pure Australian. Darkies Design collaborates with Indigenous artists and designers to produce his designs, and has also supplied ceremonial uniforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the teams participating in Australia’s First World War Centenary Commemorations on the Western Front. Quiet yet outspoken, Dion now champions other Indigenous people to build businesses and achieve economic independence. In 2014, Dion created the Canberra Business Yarning Circle, an Indigenous business owners network. An ambassador for Indigenous Community Volunteers, Dion also sits on the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and is working hard to help other Indigenous business owners achieve their dreams.