Bombora Clothing Co. merging First Nations and surf culture

Rhys and Kurt Daley, owners of Bombora Clothing Co. Photo supplied.

If you were to spot a Bombora Clothing Co. t-shirt on the beach, you might notice the vibrant colours and effortlessly cool logo design. But Brisbane-based brothers and co-designers Rhys and Kurt Daley are making sure their threads are more than just a cool accessory.

Through their small collection, the brothers have combined their Indigenous background with their love of surf.

“Our mob are from the Cape York Peninsula, but we’ve spent our life in Brisbane. We have a really strong connection to the beach and the surf,” said Rhys Daley.

“We really wanted to connect our cultural background to our love for the beach, with the shirts you might notice the bright colours or the logo, and go onto reading the word Bombora, a lot of people won’t know what that means.

“We’re hoping that can be an opportunity to start a dialogue that educates people.”

“The word Bombora is a Dharug term for an area of large waves breaking over a shallow area, such as submerged rocks, reefs or sandbanks that are located away from the shoreline.”

Daley said the brothers wanted to see more of the First Nations community involved in surfing and surf-lifesaving clubs.

“My brother and I were brainstorming and noticed that we didn’t know of many First Nations people that were involved in surf culture in our area,” he said.

“We wanted to bring more of an Indigenous representation to our passion, and to also weed out a lot of ignorance and arrogance that surrounds Australian culture.”

Daley added that the brother duo would like to get back to Country to feel closer to their culture.

“We’d love to learn more about our home and mob, growing up off Country I’ve had opportunities to travel and learn about communities, but I’d love to learn more about my home,” he said

“Starting the clothing label is an expression of our culture and an opportunity to connect with our heritage, we can represent our story as we learn.”

He said the team is learning as they go when it comes to the business.

“We’ve been talking about this clothing line for a few years, but decided to go ahead with it at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March,” he said.

“Our business is running entirely online at the moment, so we haven’t been impacted by COVID-19 in the way other businesses may have been. As we grow our collection [we] look toward hopefully rolling out pieces to stores but for now, we’re just learning.”

The team at Bombora Clothing Co. are looking to incorporate Kurt Daley’s artwork into some upcoming pieces.

“My brother is currently working on some canvas pieces so we can print them onto board shorts, that’s our next move,” he said.

“We want to create apparel for all kinds of people while sparking conversation between the worlds that we live in.”

Find out more about Bombora Clothing Co. here.

By Darby Ingram

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware this site contains references to people who have died.