NSWNomineeAustralian of the Year2021
In 2019, drought in New South Wales was devastating rural livelihoods and communities. In response, rural-dwelling, self-employed mum Grace Brennan started a social media campaign, #buyfromthebush.
Inspired by her friend Nicky’s desire to have a ‘buy from the bush’ themed Kris Kringle, the idea was to connect city consumers with rural small businesses.
Within six weeks, business owners using #buyfromthebush saw their average revenues skyrocket by 660 per cent – even before the traditional Christmas rush. Four months later, the initiative had generated $5 million in revenue for bush-based businesses selling art, fashion, food, homewares, jewellery and services.
Increased sales led to 21 per cent of businesses hiring new staff. Businesses ran out of stock, some started exporting for the first time, and struggling Australia Post franchises were revitalised by increased orders. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of business owners reported a better quality of life.
Now promoting businesses from rural communities across Australia, Grace’s #buyfromthebush initiative has created stronger, more empathetic connections between rural and urban Australia.