As we head into 2017, charity organisations continue to be a major factor in Australian calendar production. Generally speaking, most calendar themes are at least loosely tied to the cause represented by each individual charity.
For example, the Buy a Bale organisation, established to support farmers and others having a rough time in rural areas of Australia, publishes a calendar that features farm scenes and images evoking the country lifestyle.
A more unusual twist on the charity calendar concept is the Large Print Calendar published by Vision Australia. Rather than being a simple themed calendar and produced solely for the purpose of obtaining income for the organisation, the Large Print Calendar commissions original artworks directly from vision impaired artists, and it’s also of benefit to the vision impaired community by being a more visually-available style of calendar. They also publish a similar calendar featuring photographs of Seeing Eye Dogs.
The MFPA Calendars are similar, but technically, although the artists who produce the products are people with disabilities, this producer is not considered to be a non-profit organisation or charity, and is in fact run as a private company (Mouth & Foot Painting Artists Pty Ltd). The artworks are simply stunning, and it’s amazing to see the talent of the artists who create these works. The MFPA was created many years ago by Erich Steggman, with the idea being to empower disabled artists, insistent that they should not be regarded as a charity but as an association of professional artists.
As you’d probably expect, the calendar of Greyhound Rescue has a greyhound theme. Produced annually, this calendar solicits submissions of suitable photographs of greyhounds directly from the public (with the deadline for submissions occurring in August). Greyhound Rescue is an organisation that assists members of the public with adopting greyhounds that have been rejected or expended by the racing industry, thus allowing the dogs to continue a full life rather than being euthanased.
Public cause calendars
Still on the theme of rescue, the trend of publishing calendars featuring half-naked rescue workers continues, with the Firefighters Calendar leading the field. While it supports a good cause, and there’s no denying that firefighters are generally hunky guys in good shape, some may consider it to be a bit of a tacky idea. Plus it’s very noticeable that although there are female firefighters, we don’t see any of them appearing in the calendars in similar attire to the males. In order to boost sales even further, this year’s calendar includes puppies. So if you like half naked firefighters and fully naked puppies (and want to help raise money for burn victims), this may be the calendar for you.
Many other charities produce their own calendars each year, so to support their efforts you can simply look up the website of your favourite charity and see what’s on offer.
In the private sector, the usual calendar themes of Australian landmarks and wildlife continue to be among the best sellers. The most famous private branded calendar in Australia is the always popular “easy2C” calendar, which traditionally featured high quality photos taken from around Australia, but now has expanded to include many different themes, and even a DIY calendar option, where you can add your own photos. Some of their calendars still include Australian themes, but they also can include themes on any of a number of international locations. The calendars have also lost much of the informational content they once contained, now sporting a sleeker and more modern look.
Australian themed calendars are also, of course, in strong demand from the tourism sector. Souvenirs Australia Warehouse offers a range of calendars which include Australian Cities, Australian Wildlife, Australian World Heritage Sites, Australian Landscapes, Australian National Parks, Australian Wildflowers, Australian Birds, Australian Beaches, and even “Great Aussie Pubs”.
Which one is right for you?
With so many calendars on the market, it can be difficult to choose which one is going to be best for your needs. Some of the things you’ll want to consider include where the calendar is going to go (if it’s destined for a wall in your office, the Firefighters Calendar may not be the way to go, whereas it would probably be right at home on your bedroom wall), whether you intend to write on it or not, and how much information it contains in addition to the date (for example, does it show the phases of the moon, public holidays, and so on?).
Australian calendars that show real scenes from Australia are always a great addition to any home or workplace, and if your purchase can also help support a worthwhile cause, so much the better.