PayPal has partnered with Welcome to Country, Australia’s first Indigenous-led not-for-profit marketplace, which showcases businesses that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Welcome to Country launched in 2019, providing an online platform for Indigenous experience providers across tours, day treks, scenic flights, bush food, festivals, art and cultural experiences. When the pandemic hit, the associated travel restrictions devastated the income for these Indigenous experience providers and the communities those businesses support.
Welcome to Country CEO Jason Eades and his team rapidly reinvented their not-for-profit to include a digital marketplace for Indigenous products that could be purchased online.
“So many of the experiences we showcase give tourists the chance to buy Indigenous products to take home with them,” Eades said. “When it seemed like customers weren’t going to be able reach those businesses, we decided to help bring their products to the customers.”
What began as a crisis response has flourished, and the Welcome to Country store now offers more than a thousand products from hundreds of businesses across homewares, fashion, art, books, beauty, giftware and more, alongside their original tours and experiences.
“The success of the Welcome to Country shop exceeded our wildest expectations, and every purchase directly benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities,” Eades said. “We source items from artists, art centres and manufacturers that have licence agreements with artists and pay fair royalties.”
Now, PayPal Australia has partnered with Welcome to Country to help raise awareness, attract new customers and support Indigenous businesses and communities. “We’re excited to be working with PayPal, as they’ve been a significant part of our success so far,” Mr Eades said. “As soon as we added PayPal as a payment option, we saw a 23 per cent month-on-month increase in sales and today 46 per cent of all sales are from customers who choose to pay with PayPal.”
Welcome to Country will be featured on PayPal Australia’s website and in marketing materials that will be sent to millions of its Australian customers this month.
The Welcome to Country NAIDOC Week competition
Working with Welcome to Country, PayPal has launched the Welcome to Country social media competition to coincide with the lead up to NAIDOC Week. Entrants are asked to share a photo celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage and capturing what NAIDOC Week’s 2021 theme ‘Heal Country!’ means to them on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win $500.
‘Heal Country!’ calls for all Australians to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sacred sites and cultural heritage, from exploitation and destruction. Entries can include a great shot from a bushwalk, a native plant or flower, authentic Indigenous art or design, an item purchased from Welcome to Country marketplace or photos of your NAIDOC Week celebration. Entrants must follow and tag @WelcomeToCountryAU, @PayPalAU and #HealCountry with each entry.
Three winners will be announced each week for four weeks until the competition closes at 11.59PM AEST on Tuesday, 13 July.
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