“It really is the best of both worlds,” Colley said.
He said he designed the Acting EL1 T-shirt as a cheeky tribute to his home town and as a Christmas gift option for hard-to-buy-for public servant friends.
“I grew up in Canberra and I love all its quirks and how we all speak in acronyms and public service language,” he said.
“I did a short stint at the ATO before launching Foundry and was fascinated by the public service culture.
“I wanted to design a shirt that was a bit of an in-joke – something that only Canberrans would get.”
Colley, a graphic designer whose client list includes several federal government departments, has been designing and printing T-shirts as a hobby for more than a decade.
While the initial print-run of Acting EL1 shirts is small, Colley has a printing press in his Fyshwick office and is ready to print more quickly if the shirts prove popular.
“It’s designed as a conversation starter – my dream is to see all the Acting EL1s out there in their shirts having a pint in a beer garden over summer,” he said.
In other public service news, we understand Canberrans are now using “EL2” as a verb in situations outside of work – as in, “she EL2ed me”.
The verb apparently means to approach a problem in an unnecessarily complicated way, ensuring that a consensus is reached for every tiny step along the way.
Read the story of a Canberra mum being “EL2ed” in a school playground here.
Foundry’s T-shirt collection can be found online at http://foundryco.com.au/store/