Woolworths Group has reaffirmed its commitment to Australia’s reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with the launch of its 2019-2021 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
With more than 3800 team members who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples across the Woolworths Group, the company’s second RAP, an innovate level RAP, is designed to further contribute towards Australia’s reconciliation journey.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci launched the RAP in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales last Friday alongside local Woolworths team and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Brad Banducci said: “Our new RAP reinforces our commitment to create positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and outlines the progress we are making with stakeholders in this space.
“We are a part of virtually every community in Australia and as the country’s largest employer we know we have an important role to play in creating opportunities for prosperity for all Australians. This diversity brings a rich culture, personality and vibrancy to our business.
“We see our role in creating these opportunities for prosperity through the RAP via employment and supplier relationships and by nurturing lasting and impactful ties to communities through our national footprint of stores.”
Woolworths’ Resourcing the Future program, run in partnership with Diversity Dimensions, has welcomed 2279 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members in the past three years. The program has a retention rate of 71% and aims to provide at least 900 more opportunities by 30 June 2021.
Other key initiatives undertaken since the last RAP first launched include:
- Joining the Federal Government’s Employment Parity Initiative in partnership with Diversity Dimensions;
- Endeavour Drinks partnership with Jawun – a non-profit organisation which manages secondments from the corporate and public sectors to a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partner organisations in urban, regional and remote communities across Australia;
- The first external Indigenous Advisory Panel established in 2018.
Woolworths key focus area for the new RAP will include continuing to share skills and knowledge via innovative programs of change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and driving closer community engagement via our network of stores.
The launch of the new RAP also confirms Woolworths Group’s support of the aims of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The statement calls for an amendment of the Australian Constitution to provide a voice for First Nation Australians in agreements and decisions made by the government that affect them.
Brad Banducci said: “We have a deep respect for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members, customers and all of those who live in the communities we serve.
“We firmly believe they should have a voice in decisions that affect them. That’s why we support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the recommendations of the Referendum Council.”
Adam Goodes, part of the Woolworths’ Indigenous Advisory Panel for the RAP, said: “Woolworths Group has shown great leadership in its commitment to reconciliation and its support of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
“I believe there is a real opportunity for businesses to use their collective voices to continue to drive conversation about the importance of the Uluru statement and the potential for positive change it can bring.”
Brad Banducci concluded: “Our commitment to being an inclusive organisation is at the heart of our RAP journey.
“We acknowledge that we still have more work to do, but we are excited about the opportunities we can create, the relationships we can build and the respect we can generate as we work together to deliver on our RAP commitments going forward.”
To review the Woolworths RAP click here.