Bureau of Tourism Research identified the tourism gift market to be worth over $700 million, yet it was flooded with poor quality, clichéd imported gifts and fake Indigenous souvenirs. The research also demonstrated that international tourists and domestic visitors demanded local, authentic gifts and souvenirs, yet such gifts were not easily found especially in major tourist destinations.

Creative Economy identified this as an opportunity for visual artists and designers and founded Memento Australia to set new standards in the quality and innovation of gifts and to promote local authentic mementos.

Memento Australia began as an Awards campaign with distinct criteria based on Australian designed and made, which proved to be the “formula” for a successful memento. Through strategic partnerships Memento Australia grew to include, a touring exhibition, online distribution portal and education program for product development.

In ten years, Memento Australia was able to launch over 2000 new authentic Australian tourism mementos, attract over $4.5 million worth of media value for Australian artists and creative enterprises; engage in exporting Australian products (including participation in the G’Day USA campaign in New York) and secure multiple strategic partnerships to fund its development.