Pictured here we have Ben Abbatangelo, AIME Deputy CEO
Tell us a bit about yourself. Ben Abbatangelo, left mainstream school at 15, landed on the MCG at age 19 playing elite cricket for the Melbourne Stars before landing in the board room as the Deputy CEO of AIME at the age of 24.
What is your history / story / connection with AIME? I feel like AIME is my story. My mum is an Aboriginal woman and I left school at a young age because I didn't feel as though that education was for me. I started volunteering at AIME in 2015 before applying for two full time positions, in which I was unsuccessful in my attempts. I got given a job on my third attempt and over the last four years have graduated a number of different roles, including the Co-CEO gig in 2017, a role specifically designed to fast track young Indigenous leaders, between the age of 18-25, to an executive level. For the last two years i've acted as the Deputy CEO, working alongside our Founder & CEO, Jack Manning Bancroft.
What does it mean to you to put on and wear AIME apparel? How do you feel? Honestly, it's completely liberating. I think they're the best threads in the world. I called our CEO after trying on the new hoodie and just said: "cuz, these threads are legit the best threads i've ever worn".
What does it mean to you when you see someone else wearing AIME apparel? It's the best. I make the commitment to stop, say hello and learn about the persons story who's rocking the steeze. The overwhelming commonality is that people love the designs and really believe in the principles and vision of AIME as an organisation.