We’re excited to be working with PayPal, as they’ve been a significant part of our success so far
Welcome to Country is the first Aboriginal-led not-for-profit marketplace. It launched in 2019, showcasing 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities those businesses support.
As the world began locking down, Welcome to Country CEO Jason Eades and his team rapidly reinvented their not-for-profit to provide a digital marketplace showcasing 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,” Mr. 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,’ Mr 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 raise awareness, attract new customers and help 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% month on month increase in sales and today 46% of all sales are from customers who choose to pay with PayPal.”
Welcome to Country is currently featured on PayPal Australia’s website and marketing material, including an email to about half of its 9.1m Australian customers.
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 NAIDOC Week. Entrants are asked to share a photo celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage and capturing what NAIDOC Week’s 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 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.
Welcome to Country and PayPal encourage entries that celebrate and show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Country, traditions, art, design and culture.
Terms and conditions apply, and it’s important to consider cultural appropriateness when planning entries. For example, in many parts of Indigenous Australia, reproducing the names and photographs of deceased people is restricted during a period of mourning and the length of this time varies and is determined by the community. If you feel your entry could contain the name or image of a deceased Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, please do not post it.
Similarly, sometimes it’s inappropriate for images of culturally sensitive sites to be viewed elsewhere, so please don’t take or post photos of sacred sites.
And finally, Welcome to Country has published an article helping readers understand the difference between cultural appreciation and appropriation.
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