How Ken Behrens spawned a new era of wearable Canberra pride | HerCanberra

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How Ken Behrens spawned a new era of wearable Canberra pride

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It may have started as an innocent captioning glitch, but Ken Behrens has spawned a new era of wearable Canberra pride.

It started with an auto-captioning glitch during an ACT Government presser, and it’s become the focus of a wave of Canberra pride, flooding social media and even making an appearance on special-edition Raiders’ jerseys.

A quick search of RedBubble shows scores of tees, caps, mugs, masks and more, all proudly emblazoned with the Ken Behrens name.

Local UX designer Zoë Rose was one of the first to see Ken’s merch potential, designing and selling tees on RedBubble within days of the phrase going viral, to raise money for OzHarvest. But she couldn’t have imagined the tidal wave of response.

“I thought my Dad might maybe buy a t-shirt—he’s very indulgent that way—but I didn’t expect to sell more than about five items,” she says.

“As of this exact minute, I have sold 2079 items for a total profit/donation of $5290.47.”

Zoë’s Ken Behren’s tees.

Zoë’s not the only philanthropic Canberran to take Ken Behrens and run with him.

The Ken Behrens Club website has just launched, partnering with local creatives to develop limited edition designs. Profits will go to Orange Sky Australia, which supports everyday Canberrans facing homelessness.

The Ken Behrens Club has launched a range of merch designed in collaboration with local creatives. Photo: supplied.

It’s an initiative of public servant Pat Rose (no relation to Zoë), and a bunch of his creative friends, who came together to support the Canberra community as well as provide an avenue for creatives to stay on their feet during the pandemic.

“The club is calling for local artists to collaborate with for future seasons and is actively exploring ways to also support the creatives who are donating their time and work to the cause, noting that the creative industries has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19,” says Pat.

So if you’ve ever wanted a Belco Owl phone cover, Canberra bus shelter mug, or a KBR tee—you’re in luck!

Ken Behrens Club’s Bussin’ Mug.

The Club hopes to build on the generous spirit of Canberrans and Canberra-lovers to encourage them to support their community by purchasing merchandise that celebrates our special part of the world.

After all, says Pat, “we are all Ken Behrens.”

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