PayPal partners with Australia’s first Indigenous-led not-for-profit marketplace ‘Welcome to Country’
Online payment system PayPal Australia has partnered with ‘Welcome to Country’ to help raise awareness, attract new customers and support Indigenous businesses and communities by featuring the marketplace on its website and marketing materials, as well as running a social media competition for NAIDOC WEEK.
Welcome to Country is an Indigenous-led online platform for Indigenous experience providers across tours, day treks, scenic flights, bush food, festivals, art and cultural experiences. The not-for-profit organisation launched in 2019, but like others in the tourism sector has suffered as a result of the pandemic and travel restrictions, causing difficulty for Indigenous experience providers and the communities those businesses support.
In response to the crisis, Welcome to Country CEO Jason Eades and his team rapidly reinvented the platform 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 to reach those businesses, we decided to help bring their products to the customers.”
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 marketplace sources items directly from artists, art centres and manufacturers that have licence agreements with artists and pay fair royalties.
“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.
PayPal Australia will be running a competition on social media with a $500 prize for the entrant who shares the best photo celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage and capturing what the NAIDOC Week’s 2021 theme ‘Heal Country!’ means to them.