November is whizzing past us and December is knocking on the door. You know what that means: The time-honoured Work Christmas Party is just around the corner. Read on for some ethical Christmas party ideas.

If you’ve been crowned ‘CEO of Christmas Party Planning’ this year, fear not, for Goodsmiths is here to help banish the boredom, light the room with laughs and add some sparkling goodness to your special event. Big or small, corporate or casual, it’s time to nip those drab corporate functions in the bud – and try ‘ethical’ on for size this holiday season.

1. Nature never goes out of style
With so many hours spent indoors every day, it can be easy to forget the simple joys of fresh air, sunshine and adventure.

An expedition into the wilderness can provide the best way to reconnect with your co-workers.

Fancy getting up close and personal with some wild koalas or ‘roos?
How about a three-course bush dinner while watching the sun set?

kangaroos from Echidna Walkabout tours

If you like what you’re hearing, you can blaze a trail on the Echidna Walkabout with its unforgettable wildlife eco-tours to suit a range of budgets and group sizes.

Drinking and dining in a green, magical environment?
A Sri Lankan banquet like no other?

Getting curious? Then check out all that CERES Environmental Park has to offer – a unique not-for-profit sustainability centre that’s all about community and living well together.

2. Christmas catering that’s worth favouring
Already found the perfect venue, but still hunting for the right caterer? Maybe if the food and drink made an impact far beyond the culinary delights, the choice would be easy.

We have a swag of suggestions.

In Melbourne, foodies with a passion, can find all they need at ASRC Catering: Exotic and authentic flavours that echo the origins of the asylum seekers and refugees that they employ. Or STREAT, a social enterprise that exists to help young people develop self-esteem by gaining training qualifications in the hospitality industry.

Or how about something distinctly Australian this year? Introducing Charcoal Lane – the only Restaurant and caterer that features Native ingredients throughout its menu. A social enterprise of Mission Australia, Charcoal Lane provides invaluable guidance to young people in need of a fresh start; 100% of Charcoal Lanes trainees and apprentices are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. Dine like royalty here, it’s where Meghan and Harry had lunch when they visited Melbourne!

The good folks at Kinfolk also offer both onsite and offsite dining options, all while giving 100% of their profits to charity.

If you’re a little further out of the big smoke, you can make a delicious order from the Peppergreen Farm; you’ll be supporting people from across the Bendigo area living with a disability, and helping them along their employment journey.

Sydney party goers Parliament on King, providing jobs for asylum seekers has you covered. Or check out the menu from Dan the Man, a zero waste caterer with seriously good food.


Palliament on King example

3. Want to make your Christmas event different… and make a difference?
How about ordering up a food cart or coffee van? They are so 2018. Casual but chic. Trendy but tasteful.

What’s more, it couldn’t be easier. They simply turn up on the day and do their thing. And when it comes to choosing the van/cart company for your function, it’s good to know that all are definitely not created equal.

So go ahead and acquaint yourself with Crêpes for Change, the not-for-profit social enterprise that supports youth homelessness across Australia. Or if you have a coffee-lover or two at your workplace (who doesn’t?), you can’t go past the Wheelly Good Coffee cart – a Whitelion Justice initiative that reaches out to young people at risk with the goal of giving them a better future.

Crepes for Change van

But if coffee is not their potion of choice, why not grab a case or two from Goodwill Wine? With each bottle of quality boutique wine, you’ll be contributing to a charity partner of your choosing.

4. Too much ham and Christmas turkey?
Who says the holiday season has to be so… meaty?

If you’re looking for a little less indulgence this holiday season (and a little more perspective), Lentil as Anything is a rare find. With their unique ‘pay as you feel’ philosophy, Lentil as Anything serves up mouth-watering vegetarian and vegan dishes, all while helping to feed the community and training volunteer refugees and the underemployed.

(Don’t worry, the turkey sandwiches will still be there tomorrow.)

5. But don’t forget about the goody bags!
Quality food and company is a great start. But will your guests bid you farewell on a high-note as the festivities come to close?

How about offering a take-home gift that keeps on giving?

The wonderful artists at Hosier Hoodies can create personalised street-art hoodies for your guests. (Yup. That’s party entertainment and a take-home gift in one.) Inspired by the walls of Melbourne, $20 from each hoodie goes towards crisis accommodation for Melbourne’s homeless.

Hosier Hoodies examples


And if your team has little ones at home, you can’t possibly let them leave empty handed, can you? Say hello to the Happily Made Monkeys, the sweetest little creatures you’ll ever meet that help provide employment for disadvantaged women in Cambodia. They’re cute, cuddly and create social impact!

See? It really is possible to do the office Christmas party and do good – without sacrificing quality, affordability or fun. And there’s so much more to discover. So dive further into our inspiring community of social enterprises at Goodsmiths to unearth more ways to make responsible choices this holiday season.

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.