A woman has claimed that an ‘Aussie nightclub refused her entry over her cultural face tattoos’.
Moale James, 23, visited the Brisbane venue, Hey Chica!, to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday when she was apparently told her Reva Reva meant she couldn’t go inside.
In an interview with ABC, the woman recalled the alleged incident of ‘discrimination’.
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She told the news outlet: “[The security guard at Hey Chica!] looks at my licence, then he looks at me and he says, ‘I can’t let you in because of your face’.
“I’ve received discrimination before for my marks, but not to the extent of being refused entry.”
After James complained about the alleged incident on social media, Hey! Chica apparently reached out and defended its policy.
Their message to James reportedly stated: “We are sorry to hear of your experience.
“While we appreciate that our rule has caused you unintended distress, we do enforce a blanket policy that prohibits head and face tattoos at Hey Chica! along with other conditions of entry.”
The venue went on to acknowledge that the policy is ‘strict,’ but follows the Queensland’s Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Act. Introduced in 2016, this policy enforces what colours, clothes, or insignias people can wear inside licensed establishments.
Reportedly, the legislation came to fruition to target bikie gangs. The act doesn’t apply to facial tattoos such as James’.
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The 23-year-old apparently got the facial inking to celebrate graduating from university.
James explained: “All of my marks signify a different moment in my life. I wear the marks of my ancestors on my body… they identify who I am.”
A representative of Queensland’s Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) told ABC that it doesn’t regulate dress codes in licensed establishments. However, this doesn’t apply to prohibited items that could be associated with identified criminal organisations.
They explained: “Licensees may also refuse entry to a person for any other reason provided doing so is not in contravention of discrimination laws.
“A patron has an ability to take a matter to the Queensland Human Rights Commission if they feel they have been personally affected by discrimination.”
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