What does a famous koala do after being beamed into the homes of 1.5 billion sport fans around the world? He stays cool, has a wardrobe change and becomes a teacher of Indigenous languages and culture.
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said Borobi’s official new role was to help the Gold Coast’s Yugambeh Museum teach primary school students in southeast Queensland about Indigenous languages.
“This year, Borobi will retrain as a teacher and will share his extensive knowledge of Indigenous languages and culture with local primary school children,” Ms Jones said.
So home he came to our studio here at Auscoz for a home-cooked meal and a new wardrobe for his new role. The first point of business was to create an outfit for Borobi that honoured the local Indigenous culture. We worked with with the Yugambeh Museum and Indigenous artist Preston Campbell to create Borobi’s new look and colours. Original artwork created by Preston was used and transferred onto fabric via a process known as dye-sublimation printing. Although this sounds easy, changing a one-dimensional image into a three-dimensional shirt came with its own set of challenges and needed more than five hours of computer time – just on this one detail.
When creating mascots such as Borobi, attention to each detail is vital in every seed that is sown. These small details, such as the 500 pieces that make up Borobi’s ears, or the transferring of original Indigenous artwork onto a shirt that appears seamless from every angle, is what sets Auscoz apart from other mascot designers.
It has been an honour for us to help Borobi become the Games mascot and now to help relaunch his career.
To add to his list of fame, Borobi is also the first ever Commonwealth Games mascot to be given a new job after the Games. This was thanks to the Yugambeh Museum, who saw the potential for Borobi as an ambassador for Indigenous languages.
“The potential for Borobi as a language ambassador is yet to be imagined,” said Yugambeh Museum Chief Executive Officer Rory O’Connor. “He may help to introduce and promote Indigenous language words in everyday situations, sharing stories and language to help make us all more aware of local language and stories.”