Welcome to Country is a not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to address employment and economic development outcomes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. As a not for profit driven by our purpose, everything we do is focused on delivering direct outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait people and communities.
“We do not have shareholders or owners who receive profits. All profits made are directed towards achieving our purpose.”
Welcome to Country operates as a social enterprise. We are a majority Aboriginal led team with our main office located in Sydney. Across the team we have deep tourism, arts and culture experience. We provide a marketplace to sell experiences and products. We also provide some support services which we are seeking to expand.
When we set out on this journey, we were looking for ways in which the collective skills of a group of passionate Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people could be applied to amplify outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Largely this skills set was centred in a deep knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and entrepreneurial skills.
Initially established as a project of First Australians Capital Limited (a registered charity) with financial support from Indigenous Capital Limited and a private philanthropic family the project explored ideas that would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait entrepreneurs and business to be established and grow. The core of this was an online platform called Start Your Own Business.
Through a discovery workshop supported by Westpac, the idea was refined and eventually it was agreed that one of the greatest opportunities was within the tourism sector and that the project should refocus on building a marketplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences.
The creation of a marketplace for art and product was always an element of the Welcome to Country business model. This element was accelerated with the advent of COVID-19. The decision was made to expedite the creation of the marketplace to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, art centres and communities with a revenue stream during this time.