Social Impact

Delivering Empowerment To Remote Indigenous Australians

How Oliver Wyman supported Happy Boxes’ new strategy to provide Indigenous women with better access to essential toiletries and hygiene items


Australia has more than 1,000 mostly Indigenous communities, many of them in very remote areas. For some communities, the closest grocery store can be up to 1,000km away and often charges extremely high prices for basic items.

Happy Boxes is empowering Indigenous women and girls in remote communities by providing them with better access to essential toiletries and hygiene items. Donors create their own Happy Boxes with 10 to 12 essential items, including toiletries such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, sanitary products, and toothpaste, and self-care supplies such as make-up and hair and body products. These boxes are then delivered to women in remote communities. In addition, Happy Boxes organizes corporate drives and curates boxes using donations from a range of partners.

Oliver Wyman supported the Happy Boxes team to capture their purpose and ambition, and to create a plan for achieving this ambition. This included getting a clear view on the remote communities Happy Boxes will focus on in the next growth phase. As for every growing charity, we also needed to find ways to expand Happy Boxes’ donor and funding base. One particular challenge for a charity like Happy Boxes that serves very remote communities is how to best get to these societies in a reliable and cost-efficient way, which was one of the key questions we addressed during the second half of the project.

The workshops and discussions around our vision and purpose has re-energized our focus and drive. Oliver Wyman’s work will benefit our team, our cause, and the women we support in remote Australia for years to come
Emma Sullings, founder and CEO, Happy Boxes

Our project provided the Happy Boxes team with greater clarity on their ambition and what needs to be done to achieve it. Not only did we help to articulate their purpose and ambition, but we also managed to show that it would be achievable based on a market analysis and some data modelling. We gave them an actionable five-year plan to grow their impact by a factor of 100.

Happy Boxes’ ambition was clear: the empowerment of First Nations women in remote Australia, by providing the basic foundations we often take for granted to enable them to make their own impact and thrive in their communities. The board’s passion was one I hadn’t experienced before and it was great working with them
Oliver Wyman team member