Boorloo Justice is a youth collective. The crew started out as a Black Lives Matter protest group but now focus on creating events that are safe spaces for First Nations, bla(c)k, brown and queer folks in Perth.
We spoke to Tanesha and some of the the Boorloo Justice members about what their organisation is all about and what inspired their new monthly event, Baalay! In Boorloo.
Please tell me about the team? Who’s behind Boorloo Justice and what are your roles in the team?
Boorloo Justice is made up of 6 core crew members, and we’ve just started taking on permanent vollies to help with the workload.
Tanesha, she/they, 20.
I’m a proud Bibulmun Noongar yorga, born and raised on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja.
I’ve been involved in community and activism from a young age, from local junior councils to youth advisory groups, and most currently working with the youth collective of Boorloo Justice. Within Boorloo justice I see myself as a “coordinator” I help with the logistics, delegation of tasks, event planning/management, liasing with venues, managing our DM’s, helping Jamie out with social media content etc. I’m mostly just all around and down to help out wherever I can within the team.
Toby he/him, 29.
During the day I’m a teacher. Four times a week I train as I play netball in the WA netball league in the men’s league. I’m a Boorloo Justice Core crew member. I take on more of a secretary role, taking notes during meetings etc. I love the community engagement too and have done a few of the workshop panels where different organisations have reached out to collaborate learn and listen to stories.
Linda, she/her, 23.
I am a Rwandan people weaver, creative producer and artist currently living on Bibbulmun Nation. My work includes digital and physical art and community projects. These works coexist in conversations with each other and the conversation is always around community work, collective learning and creative growths. As part of Boorloo Justice, I love to contribute wherever I can from sharing community engagement ideas and volunteering on the day of events.
Jamie she/they, 23.
I am a graphic designer and queer social activist working and living in Boorloo. I coordinate the graphic design, social media and marketing for Boorloo Justice. My initial involvement in the group was the first time I realised my professional skillset could be more than a 9-5 career; rather, a tool I utilise in my activism. As a result, I have found a new passion in creating spaces (digitally and in-person) that fight for, celebrate, and provide a platform for Bla(c)k, POC and queer people in Boorloo. I love that the work we do is thoughtful with intent and kindness; intersectional and inclusive; and driven by community.
Brianne she/her, 23.
Bree Yarran is a proud Whadjuk, Balladong, Wagyl Kaip woman from the South West of Western Australia. She is currently studying a Juris Doctor of Law at the University of Western Australia and works as a 'Follow the Dream' tutor and mentor.
Within Boorloo Justice Bree offers a lot of invaluable cultural insight, she helps facilitate our events and contributes a lot with administrative tasks.
Anesu he/they, 23.
Anesu (they/them/he/him) is a non binary musician and social activist in Boorloo. They manage the social media, event promotion & artists lineups for Boorloo Justice. With years of experience in social media engagement and event promotion. Anesu is a talented brand specialist with demonstrated record of success in marketing management and campaign development, rooted in community activism.
Tell me about Boorloo Justice - what do you stand for and was the spark of inspiration that made it happen?
Boorloo Justice is a youth collective. We originally focussed specifically on the BLM movements holding three protests last year. Boorloo Justice is now focusing on events that create safe spaces for First Nations, bla(c)k, brown and queer folks in Perth. This includes events to highlight First Nations/bla(c)k performers/artists in Boorloo, LGBTQIA+ events focussed on decolonising the idea of queerness, as well as holistic healing workshops/events that focus on community and what that means to the bla(c)k & brown communities in Boorloo.
After I (Tanesha) and Steph (previous member of Boorloo Justice) held the first BLM protest on the 1st of June 2020 we then held a community meeting with other local grassroots First Nations and bla(c)k community members. At this meeting we were split up into smaller groups to work on different parts and all of the members of Boorloo Justice were in one of the smaller groups, and then that’s how we came to be.
The spark was the BLM movement, and the frustration of being a blak person in Australia and hearing white Australians talk about how “it’s so great we don’t have that happen over here”, once again stories of my peoples struggle being erased.
Can you tell us about a moment during your previous event that made you feel really great?
At the last Baalay! In Boorloo I think the best moment for me (aside from the amazing performers obviously), was walking up to the rooftop and seeing community. Seeing my people, First Nations, bla(c)k, brown and queer folks just existing authentically. The faint laughter and chatter you hear just over the music, the reflects of the sequins that catch your eye, moving from group to group always seeing a friendly face. It was beautiful, and safe and so very special.
Baalay! in Boorloo is coming soon and then monthly onwards - what’s the event all about?
BAALAY! In Boorloo is an event series that will celebrate and promote young Bla(c)k creatives in Boorloo. It will feature a lineup of local DJs and market stalls for First Nations/Bla(c)k businesses. Its priority is to create a platform for First Nations/Bla(c)k creatives and businesses, and an inclusive space.
This is your second Baalay! in Boorloo, how will the event be different from the first? What inspired you to do more?
The team at The Rechabite actually reached out to us after our first Baalay! In Boorloo event asking if we’d be interested in doing on going events with them. This is obviously an amazing opportunity and any chance we get to hype up our community and utilise our platform, you best bet we’re gonna be there!
There isn’t too much of a difference from our first event, this is just a more low-key, simplified version of our first event.
What other LGBTQI+ Events in Perth that we should look out for?
We’re wanting to do a second Decolonise Pride event similar to the one we did last year, but also check out our friends This n That South-side Queers monthly catch up! A great group of people, and a variety of catch ups from bar hops to, pottery classes! They also donate to a bunch of different First Nations orgs and are constantly doing the work!
Are you involved in any other LGBTQI+ organisations or events in Perth? Tell us about them…
Our Anesu also works on the Bad Habits events.
Bad Habits is a new Hiphop/R&B event, led by Bla(c)k trans folk in Perth and was first hosted over a series of events during Pride in 2020.
At the time trans & queer folk from the Bla(c)k community were fed up of walking into so called safe spaces that actually weren't for our community. Noticing that there was a gap within the Perth Hiphop, R&B and Queer scene.
Prioristing Bla(c)K & Brown liberation for our queer/trans siblings. A space that feels more like home than just another random event. Hosting events like these are important as Black trans folks are the most marginalised.
What do you think is great about the LGBTQ+ Community in Perth?
I think we have one of the most creative communities. Our community is comprised of amazing creatives from photographers, to DJ’s, to poets, to artist, graphic designers, and I love seeing more folks leaning on each other and utilising each other.
…and what improvements would you like to see for the community here?
We need to show up more! I feel like there’s so many cool events happening and it’s easy to be supportive online however showing up, showing face even just stopping in means so much to your friends and other community members hosting these events.
What would you recommend for anyone new to Perth that they must see or do here?
Our fav Mossy Jade Johnson currently has an exhibition at Cool Change, called “Girl Next Door”.
“Girl Next Door” is a painting, sculptural and text based exhibition that explores the memoirs of a trans girl in love and intimacy. Her exhibition runs till the 28th of August so please go check it out and support!
We also love This n that monthly catch ups, Bad Habits events, Soul Alphabet events, and Netwerxx events.
Tanesha says: “Seeing my people, First Nations, bla(c)k, brown and queer folks just existing authentically.
The faint laughter and chatter you hear just over the music, the reflects of the sequins that catch your eye, moving from group to group always seeing a friendly face.
It was beautiful, and safe and so very special.”