Connect corporate capacity with stronger futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
To support the prevention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide and its related causes in Australia. With a focus on education, employment, and wellbeing we aim to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young adults the opportunity to believe in a future without limitation. Cultural Choice Office Supplies is the creation of Mark and Jodie Watson.
Mark is a proud Gamilaroi man from Walgett in northern NSW. Mark worked for many years as an Aboriginal Education Worker in local high schools and a local school for disengaged young adults.
Jodie is a mother, businesswoman, and community advocate who shares Mark's passion for a stronger future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities.
Mark and Jodie have 2 sons Connor & Fletcher who in their final years of schooling, through the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation were granted education scholarships that the family could have only dreamed about. Immensely grateful, the family often reflected on the significance of ‘opportunity’ on a young person’s perception of what might be possible in life.
Inspired by Connor and Fletcher’s experience and Mark’s experience with disadvantaged youth, Mark and Jodie had a vision to link business and corporate capacity with programs that, through education and employment, would create opportunities and inspired futures for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. In turn, Cultural Choice Office Supplies was born and later the Cultural Choice Association which is financially supported by sales of Cultural Choice branded products.
After becoming members of the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and gaining Supply Nation Certification, Mark and Jodie worked tirelessly to build relationships with suppliers and community partners to create a truly authentic and unique Aboriginal product range.
Jodie and Mark engaged Aboriginal artist the late Elder Uncle Les Elvin, a very proud Aboriginal man and Naidoc artist of the year in 2008. Uncle Les painted by story and was proud to share his wealth of cultural knowledge. Uncle Les created the Cultural Choice logo and shared his passion of art with Mark before his passing in 2015, teaching Mark to paint by story himself.
Mark began to create the artwork for the Cultural Choice product range. Each piece of art depicts belonging, reconciliation and connection to country, all things that are very important to Mark and his family. Mark has also taught Fletcher, his younger son, to paint and Fletcher has begun creating new artwork for the Cultural Choice range. All artwork is created on a canvas before being adapted to each product. The stories of each of the artwork are printed on each product Mark and Jodie also engaged an Indigenous linguist to advise on creating adaptation words that represent each individual product. The Watson family has since completed a Gamilaroi language and culture course at NSW TAFE to have a better understanding of the language and culture themselves and to share this knowledge through their product range, giving our customers a truly authentic and unique product.
Being an Aboriginal owned business, Australian made, and sustainability are always important and a preference in manufacturing where possible. The Cultural Choice product range now extends from general stationery to janitorial, personal hygiene, cleaning, and chemicals.
The Watson family had the vision to establish a not for profit to assist in Education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, and later after experiencing a family tragedy, The Cultural Choice Association was established. The Cultural Choice Association was established to assist in the prevention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide and its related causes in Australia.
A portion of proceeds from Cultural Choice private label products sold, goes back to the Association to assist with programs that support our dream of stronger futures without limitation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
The Cultural Choice Association delivers The Boots for Brighter Futures program which is a cultural program run in partnership with the NRL, NSW Juvenile Justice, NSW Schools and Aboriginal Hostels.
The program is designed to provide at-risk Indigenous youth with an opportunity to reconnect to their culture through art. The young participants are empowered to share their stories and build self-confidence through artwork they design and paint on the boots of NRL players in the lead up to the annual NRL Indigenous Round.
The boots are auctioned off after the game and proceeds spilt between the Association, artists and participating centres or organisations.
Cultural Choice provide staff in kind to assist the Association and in particular in preparation for and during for Boots for Brighter futures program. This is also supported as part of the donation from the Cultural Choice products sold.
The Watson family and the Cultural Choice team are proud and grateful of the relationships we have built with our suppliers and manufacturers to create the Cultural Choice product range.
We hope you love our products as much as we do.
Thank you for your support!
For more information on Cultural Choice and the Cultural Choice Association