Amazon.com.au has not only seen Aussies shopping for the big name brands, but also unique, home-grown heartfelt gifts with real meaning.
With this in mind, Amazon Australia has collaborated with Indigenous artist, Iszac Walker, to produce a new digital gift card collection just in times for the holiday season.
Iszac’s designs are not only an Australian alternative to more generic gift cards, but offer a real connection to Country too.
“Art and design is more than just a creative outlet for me,” says Iszac. “These cards were an opportunity for me to give the Australian community an insight into Indigenous culture and share the stories that are intertwined with our heritage.”
“Everything in Indigenous culture is about sharing and equal exchange. There is no taking, only giving. And this gift of storytelling is very appropriate for the holiday season.”
Unique and heartfelt gifts
The collection is the latest addition to the Amazon Australia Gift Cards category, which first launched in 2017 and includes bestselling designs from both around the world, and closer to home.
Available in four designs, Iszac’s illustrations intertwine his Far North Queensland heritage with the Indigenous tradition of sharing and storytelling, and cover themes ranging from determination and happiness, to courage and togetherness.
“The themes gave me an opportunity to use my knowledge and practices of culture, the observations of nature, and the understandings of vibrational patterns and energy exchange”, says Iszac.
“Opportunities like this one, from Amazon Australia, give Indigenous Australians the chance to be creative and to thrive.
“It’s a chance to present ourselves to the global community instead of doing it all on our own. A lot of Indigenous people seek opportunities like this to lift them up to support themselves.”
A career in art
Born on Yidinji Land in Far North Queensland, Iszac has been an avid drawer since childhood but it wasn’t until a close friend asked him to paint at the age of 18, while working as a tradie, that his artistic and cultural journey truly began.
“It made me realise that I could express who I am and connect to my culture through my drawings and paintings,” he reflects.
Leaving a life on the tools behind, Iszac made art his full-time passion and he now can’t imagine a life without drawing or painting.
“The ideas flow through my mind, into my hand, and onto the canvas,” he explains. “If no image appears and I don’t see exactly what I’m going to draw, I have to wait until an image comes to me. Until then, I am stuck.
“The only inspiration is what I see through my mind’s eye. It lets me express the culture that is embedded in my DNA. To my understanding, this ability to tell stories through artwork is a passed-down gift directly from, what the western world refers to as, ‘The Dreamtime’.”
A celebration of Indigenous culture
By creating an opportunity for the Indigenous community to share their creativity, Amazon Australia hopes to inspire younger generations.
Amazon Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan Chairman and Head of First Nations Strategy and Engagement — and Wadandi Noongar Man — Mike Hill, says that the fruitful collaboration with Iszac extends the company’s yearning to build the knowledge of our country’s traditional custodians in all the communities of Australia.
“Beyond the reality that Iszac’s designs are simply stunning pieces of art, Amazon Australia hopes to invigorate the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on the basis of the shared ideals regarding inclusion, equality, family and giving this holiday season,” says Mike.
This collaboration is one part of Amazon Australia’s ongoing efforts to build relationships with and work with traditional custodians to elevate and celebrate Indigenous culture. And at the core of this is the Reconciliation Action Plan.
“As we try to champion Indigenous culture and storytelling on a global level,” continues Mike. “We reflect on the fact that our many fulfilment centres, retail locations, data centres, corporate offices and tech hubs reside on land that was never ceded.
“Amazon Australia believes that historical acceptance, where we all accept and understand our shared history as well as acknowledge the impacts that are still felt today in our communities is vital. This goes beyond a corporate duty and vow to do what we can to contribute to positive, long-lasting outcomes.”
This program is built on the foundation of Amazon’s existing culture of inclusivity and long-term commitment to supporting and collaborating with people of diverse ethnic, ability, gender and LGBTQIA+ backgrounds.
For Iszac, it really is a gift of hope — for himself, his community, and for future generations.
“Projects like these help us know that there are organisations out there that we can work with to present us to the global community instead of doing it all on our own,” explains Iszac. “It allows us to educate and to move towards change — together.”
Treat your loved ones with a gift that will keep on giving this festive season. Visit amazon.com.au to check out the Amazon Australia collaboration with Iszac Walker and the complete range of gift cards.