Woolworths Group has launched its new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), detailing its commitment to meaningful progress with First Nations team members, communities and businesses over the next two years.
“As the country’s largest retailer with more than 1000 Woolworths and BIG W stores across metro and regional Australia, Woolworths Group recognises its opportunity – and responsibility – to impact hundreds of communities for good,” according to the retailer.
The Group’s new RAP outlines a range of tangible actions it will take to contribute to Closing the Gap with First Nations peoples, and the goals it has set itself in service of Reconciliation.
“Woolworths Group employs 185,000 Australians, including more than 4500 First Nations team members – making it one of the largest employers of Indigenous Australians. However, the company’s new RAP recognises that more can be done to create a team that better reflects the communities it serves,” the retailer said.
“The new RAP is aiming to increase First Nations team member representation from 2.6% to at least 3.2% by 2025, in line with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the 2021 Census. Tailored Indigenous recruitment approaches hope to see hundreds of new Indigenous team members join Woolworths Group over the next two years, including leadership roles.”
Woolworths Group is committed to being “the fresh food people” for all Australians. Its new RAP recognises the role of the retailer in helping to increase access to affordable and nutritious food in Australia’s most remote communities. The Group will look to partner with regional fulfilment providers and other retailers to offer affordable wholesale products at scale.
The RAP also outlines Woolworths Group’s opportunity to foster and help grow Indigenous businesses through its supply partnerships and commits to increased spending with First Nations suppliers.
Woolworths Group’s General Manager of Indigenous Affairs Adam Bray says: “Very few companies are as well positioned as Woolworths to create genuine opportunities that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of First Nations communities.
“We haven’t always got it right, and our Reconciliation Action Plan is about reflecting on the lessons learned, listening to Indigenous voices and putting it into action.
“In the time that I’ve worked for Woolworths Group, I’ve already seen real progress – from the establishment of a First Nations Advisory Board, to more meaningful engagement with our team members – and I’m excited to see that momentum continue to build through our new RAP.
“We remain committed to Australia’s reconciliation journey through listening and learning, empowering more diverse voices and working together for a better tomorrow.”
In 2021, Woolworths Group established a First Nations Advisory Board to provide frank and fearless advice to the wider business on matters related to Indigenous Affairs. The eight-member board has 75 per cent First Nations representation, comprising a cross section of Woolworths Group team members and Indigenous business leaders.
Practical examples of actions committed to by Woolworths Group in its RAP include in-store announcements to recognise events of significance such as National Reconciliation Week and ensuring that all senior leaders complete cultural awareness training.
“Woolworths Group remains committed to supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, as it has since 2019, and the calls to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament within Australia’s Constitution.”