Where work integrated learning meets reconciliation

Where work integrated learning meets reconciliation

To celebrate NAIDOC week, students from the Diploma of Visual Merchandising teamed up with Library Services and Indigenous fashion brand, Clothing the Gaps, to create eye-catching displays across campus and gained important hands-on experience in the process.

Work-integrated learning opportunities are an important way for students to take their theoretical knowledge and demonstrate application in real-world settings. For RMIT’s visual merchandising students, NAIDOC Week presented a great opportunity to showcase their skills while contributing to an important week of celebration and recognition of Indigenous history and culture on campus.

A woman is sitting on the ground behind a window sticking red, green and beige decals to the pane of glass. The project gave students an opportunity to put their visual merchandising skills into practice.

Justin Compton, an educator from Interior Design and Visual Merchandising, asked students to create multiple displays for RMIT’s Brunswick and Carlton campuses in line with NAIDOC’s theme for 2022 Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

The NAIDOC display showcased clothing from Indigenous fashion label Clothing the Gaps using pieces from their Honouring Country collection. Clothing the Gaps is a Victorian, Aboriginal-led and controlled, and majority Aboriginal-owned social enterprise.  

Three mannequins being dressed by a student. One of the manniquins is holding a protest sign that reads 'This is Wurundjeri Country. We honour and respect the traditional custodians'. RMIT's Diploma of Visual Merchandising students collaborated with fashion label Clothing the Gaps as part of the displays.

Student also partnered with RMIT’s Library Services to use First Nation resources as part of the displays.

The project not only gave students hands-on experience in working as a team to plan for the display, create collateral and install the final piece but created an opportunity to strengthen industry partnerships with a local organisation.

The final NAIDOC week displays. Display 1 - two 2022 NAIDOC posters reading Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! behind a pane of glass with the words Wominjeka! and yellow dots. Display 2 - books from the library and the 2022 NAIDOC  poster behind a pane of glass that has the words wominjeka, get up! stand up! show up! The student displays are up now until mid-August on the Carlton and Brunswick campuses.

Watch the NAIDOC Week display come together in the video below:  

RMIT x Clothing the Gaps collaboration for NAIDOC Week 2022
07 July 2022


The displays will be available to view at RMIT’s Brunswick and Carlton campuses until mid-August. 

Story by: Kelsie Kruse

NAIDOC week is an annual national celebration to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Held annually on the first week of July, NAIDOC week is also an opportunity for all Australian to lean about First Nations cultures and participate in celebrations. 

07 July 2022


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.