Sydney is rich in creative talent. It means there’s little excuse for falling back on generic mass-produced gifts this year. Instead opt for more unusual presents with personality that support our local artists, designers and makers.

Here are six left-of-centre gift ideas to kickstart your Christmas shopping.

Aussie Scrabble from Powerhouse
A far cry from the Queen’s English, Australian parlance is a riot of idiosyncrasy and abbreviation. From avo – famously what you have on toast instead of saving a deposit for a house – to woop woop – somewhere far away from good coffee – an Aussie dictionary is full of colour and cheek. And now, finally, the hallowed Scrabble boardgame has given our local lingo the recognition is deserves, issuing a special Aussie version. Trust us, it makes a ripper of a Chrissy pressie for the rellos. Find it at the Powerhouse Ultimo gift shop.
500 Harris St, Ultimo

Local art from Southeast Aboriginal markets, Carriageworks
Southeast Aboriginal Arts Market is a Carriageworks’ event that’s been forced to switch online in the last two years. In 2021, the market showcases the work of 26 contemporary Indigenous artists from New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania. Curated by Hetti Perkins (Arrernte and Kalkadoon) and Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi), Southeast celebrates the rich talent of Aboriginal artists and practitioners in a region that is often overlooked in the Indigenous art world. Find a truly unique gift for someone special at the same time as supporting local artists, who receive 100 per cent of sales. The online market runs for four days from November 25 to 28.
245 Wilson St, Eveleigh

Ceramic lobster serving platter from Alex and Trahanas
Nothing yells summer entertaining quite like a handmade ceramic serving platter adorned with a hand-painted lobster. An extravagant talking point that’s nevertheless eminently practical, it’s the perfect dish on which to serve up a summer seafood feast of prawns, oysters and lobster. The platter is available online from Alex and Trahanas, the Paddington-based passion project of Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas, two Mediterranean-obsessed ladies with an excellent eye for style.
257 Oxford Street, Paddington

Something from one of the local artists on the Blak Markets
Blak Markets is a micro-business hub that gives Indigenous businesses a platform to sell their products. The social enterprise allows you to buy directly from Aboriginal businesses, such as Sydney-based jewellery maker Maramali Designs, or clothes and accessories store Wrights Clothing.

Anything from Object Shop Australian Design Centre
Object Shop at the Australian Design Centre in Darlinghurst stocks an array of locally designed and handmade ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass, homewares and more. Importantly, these are gifts that benefit the makers, not just the recipient. A beautiful woven basket from Tjanpi Desert Weavers, a social enterprise based in Central Australia, helps the 400 or so Aboriginal women it represents to earn an income from fibre art. A printed linen tea towel from Baluk Arts supports the urban Aboriginal community arts centre’s work with emerging and established artists. Also fine ceramics by Rina Bernabei, jewellery by Leonie Simpson and glassware by Edols Elliot.
101/113-115 William St, Darlinghurst

Shell Coral hoop earrings from Dinosaur Designs
A beloved jewellery and homewares brand, Dinosaur Designs have been delighting local Sydney shoppers for decades. After selling jewellery at Paddington Markets as art students in 1985, co-founders Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy have come a long way.

When you think of Dinosaur Designs, you think of iconic, fluid shapes and splashes of bold colour. These gold earrings made of pearl, resin and brass are a fresh take on a classic, sure to impress this Christmas.
Strand Arcade 77, 412-414 George Street

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with City of Sydney. Find more about where to shop, eat and explore in the City of Sydney this Christmas.