The Christmas Gift Guide On How You Can Support Bush Communities Doing It Tough

Small Australian businesses based in regional towns are being showcased in a new Christmas gift guide from social media giant Facebook.

Know someone who needs a fish print for their wall? Or a dog raincoat, or a handcrafted acoustic guitar?

Facebook has joined the push to encourage Australians to look for Christmas presents from regional towns if they're doing their festive shopping online.

Artist Adam Ashdown, who runs Salty Bones from southern WA town Dunsborough, is among 30 small businesses featured in this year's gift guide from the social media giant.

He uses a traditional Japanese technique, gyotaku, to make prints from fish, covering them in non-toxic ink and then pressing them onto paper or fabric.

The method means people can commemorate a big fish catch but don't waste the animal, he says.

"If they've caught a big jewfish - a West Australian jewfish is a very iconic fish from where we are - it's still a beautiful table fish," he tells AAP.

"If you're going to get it taxidermied the fish is gone and you can't eat it, but with gyotaku, I'm nice and quick, I print it when it's nice and cool ... then I'll fillet the fish and they come and pick up the print and two fillets of fish; it's the best of both worlds."



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More than half the businesses that made this year's list are in drought-affected areas.

That comes after NSW senator Hollie Hughes started a campaign to encourage Australians to think of drought-stricken towns while looking at their Christmas shopping lists.

Much of Queensland and NSW remains in drought ahead of whats expected to be a hot and relatively dry summer. Image: Getty

Facebook's director of policy Mia Garlick said she managed to buy presents for everyone on her list last year from regional towns and hoped to do the same again this year.

"We're really happy that we can have so many people showcasing some of the wonders and joys that exist in regional communities and make sure that we're supporting them and letting them know that we're all standing with them, particularly for those that are drought-affected," she told AAP.

Facebook has launched its Christmas gift guide. Image: Getty

Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash also noted the impact of the drought and the importance of support for local communities.

"When small businesses grow, they create more local jobs which leads to greater prosperity for all Australians," she said in a statement.