Raven Tattoo inks its last tattoos
after licence cancelled due to bikie links
Stacy Thomas, Liverpool Leader
IT’S the end of an era for
Raven Tattoo. After more than 20 years, the Liverpool tattoo
parlour has closed up shop after the Department of Fair
Trading cancelled its operating licence due to family links
to an outlaw motorcycle gang.
Violette Petro, 78, held the
licence until May, when she received a letter, stating they had
seven days left of trading.
Since then it’s been a mad
scramble. Its closure is still impacting the family run
A total of four operator and
eight tattooist licences have been cancelled across the state
since a 2013 law cracked down on the tattoo industry.
Ms Petro started the business
with her two daughters Suzanne Hardy and Angela Mogus, to bring
the family together and to have something to pass on to their
children in the future.
Mrs Mogus declared to NSW
Police when she applied for her tattoo licence two years ago
that her husband was part of a motorcycle gang.
She received a letter
cancelling her individual tattoo licence.
“At no point did they tell me
that was going to be an issue. Now I feel like I’ve wasted the
last couple of years and have nothing to show for it,” she said.
“I think it’s wrong we’re
being punished for being married to a member of a motorcycle
gang. He has nothing to do with Raven, that was something mum,
Suzanne and I had together.”
Ms Hardy said the hardest part
of the closure had been the impact on their elderly mother who
“Mum was receiving a wage from
the shop and has never received a pension,” she said.
“It’s really affected her
“We weren’t just a tattoo
studio. People came here to commemorate something that happened
in their life or honour surviving an illness.”
Ms Hardy said their Railway St
location was a place of healing for many people and they often
dug into their own pocket if people in the community needed a
hand with groceries or the family.
“It’s just what you do when
you’re part of a community,” Ms Hardy said.
“Closing the shop feels like I’ve lost
a child. I’ve put everything into it.”
A Fair Trading spokeswoman said they
check the background of every licence applicant, as well as
their close associates.
Fair Trading is the licensing authority
for the tattooing industry and NSW Police check the background
of every licence applicant, as well as their close associates.
“I didn’t think it would ever come to
this,” Ms Hardy said.