Our mission at CHOICE is to improve consumer outcomes for all Australians, but we also aim to meet day-to-day challenges in our local communities.
In 2016, a group of committed CHOICE staff formed the Social Impact Committee, to look at ways we could apply our organisational values Truth, Help and Impact within our broader community. These activities are driven by committee members and supported by CHOICE staff.
CHOICE has three workplace giving partners:
Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre
One of our first social impact partnerships was with the Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre (WAGEC), a nonprofit homelessness service for women and families escaping domestic violence, based in Redfern, Sydney.
CHOICE donates test goods to WAGEC
CHOICE staff Walk for WAGEC in May 2021
Since 2016, CHOICE has donated to WAGEC:
- More than 900 products worth over $500,000 in total
- Over $19,000 through fundraising and staff donations
WAGEC uses these donated products, which generally come from our in-house lab testing, to furnish accommodation services and client homes.
We send over 30% of the funds we collect through our workplace giving program to WAGEC. WAGEC uses this money to develop educational programs for children and young people, employment skills training for adults, and therapeutic and wellness activities for the general community.
The Fred Hollows Foundation
We also partner with The Fred Hollows Foundation, an international development organisation that aims to provide high-quality, affordable eye care to those in need. The foundation trains local eye doctors, nurses and health workers in more than 25 countries.
The foundation works directly with Australian Indigenous communities, which aligns with our commitment to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
CHOICE has donated to The Fred Hollows Foundation:
- Over $10,000 via workplace giving since 2016
- $20,000 in fundraising through Fred's Big Run from 2020 to 2022
We added AbSec as a third partner to our workplace giving program in 2022, after CHOICE staff were asked to vote for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation to support our Reconciliation work.
AbSec is the peak organisation for Aboriginal children and families in NSW, supporting Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities impacted by the child protection system. AbSec advocates for Aboriginal community-controlled organisations that deliver services for these people across NSW.
We're looking forward to sharing skills, creativity, building relationships, and fundraising with them in coming years.
Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant
Through end-of-year fundraising, we also support Ashfield-based Loaves & Fishes Restaurant, a service that provides meals to homeless people across Sydney.
CHOICE provides staff with two paid days per year to volunteer in the community.
While staff can chose the organisations they volunteer with, CHOICE also has some long-standing partnerships with a number of community groups and organisations.
Cooks River bush regeneration
On a patch of land that was once Gumbramorra Swamp, and is now a corner of Mackey Park in Marrickville, CHOICE has partnered with the Inner West Council and The Mudcrabs to re-establish native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers.
Signage at our bushcare site to explain the project to passers by
CHOICE staff started working on the bushcare site in 2017
CHOICE staff working to diversify plant species on the bushcare site in 2022
Staff have worked on the bushcare site since 2017, caring for and restoring this area.
Volunteers plant diverse species to help support recovery of the site. Some of the trees have had hollows carved into them to encourage birds and small mammals to nest.
Through volunteering, staff also learn about the history of the lands and waterways of the Gadigal and Wangal Peoples, the area's Traditional Custodians, helping to redress some of the negative impacts of colonisation and climate change in our local environment.
CHOICE volunteers have planted over 450 native seedlings with support from local council and the Mudcrabs
Clean Up Marrickville
CHOICE volunteers pack fresh bread at Addison Road Food Pantry
Our Social Impact Committee organises regular "Clean Up Marrickville" events, preventing many kilograms of plastic and other waste washing into the Cooks River.
Addison Road Food Pantry
Every month, CHOICE staff volunteer at the Addi Road Food Pantry to pack food hampers, help salvage food, fight hunger and support people in our local community.
Red Cross blood donations
Our dedicated team of donors have saved over 500 lives by making regular blood donations to the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood service.
Artist David Cragg's mural on the CHOICE building features local plants and wildlife
David Cragg is a multidisciplinary artist of Irish, Scottish, Bundjalung and Biripai ancestry, working in Dharawhal Country, who grew up on Wangal, Gadigal and Bidigal Country. He's a muralist, fine artist, designer, writer, sculptor, photographer and youth/disability community worker. He developed the design for the exterior wall of our building in Marrickville in collaboration with CHOICE, and the Inner West Council.
David sees his mural "Waterways" as a way to give back to the lands that raised him and the vibrant communities that call this area home. He carefully researched and considered the flora and fauna chosen for this work, and has chosen to depict species endemic to the local area.
David Cragg working on his 2021 mural "Waterways"