Wesfarmers is pleased to launch its latest Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which has for the first time received ‘Elevate’ status, the highest level of endorsement from Reconciliation Australia.
Alongside many Australians, Wesfarmers shares a vision for a more reconciled Australia, and our businesses are committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel welcome in our stores and workplaces as team members, customers, suppliers and visitors.
“Wesfarmers is honoured to be invited to produce an Elevate RAP and join a cohort of Australian companies deeply committed to reconciliation,” Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Reconciliation Australia, other RAP organisations and local communities to build a more fair, just and reconciled Australia.”
The Elevate RAP is focused on sustainable employment, career progression, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement, community partnerships and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
“As one of Australia’s largest employers, with over 1,000 locations across the country, Wesfarmers touches the lives of millions of people every day,” Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer Karen Mundine said. “Occupying such a position, Wesfarmers is uniquely placed to push for real change at scale. Its reconciliation journey so far has been characterised by its ability to foster resilient, long-term community partnerships.”
This is Wesfarmers’ eighth RAP and builds upon the company’s strategy to publicly commit to specific, measurable and timebound actions. As part of the RAP, Wesfarmers has committed to a bold target of delivering more than 120,000 instances of cultural awareness training, informed by cultural advisers, to build understanding and enhance competencies within our teams.
As at the end of 2021, around 3,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members were working in Wesfarmers businesses, which equates to around 3.4 percent of the Wesfarmers workforce in Australia. The youth employment RAP Leadership Project will see Wesfarmers employ more than 1,200 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the life of the RAP. Wesfarmers is also committed to providing opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members to build successful careers within the Group.
In the 2021 financial year, Wesfarmers paid almost $37 million to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers and we are committed to increasing the diversity of our supplier base. Our Building Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Businesses (BOAB) Fund is central to achieving this goal and the Fund is supporting existing and potential new Indigenous suppliers to the Group to develop and scale.
Wesfarmers continues to invest in community partnerships that are focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Within the Wesfarmers Corporate Office community partnership program, more than 20 per cent of the organisations we support choose to focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander led.
We also continue to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and we have collaborated with cultural organisations, artists and communities for over four decades. We are especially proud to have partnered with the National Gallery of Australia to present the international touring exhibition Ever Present: The Art of Australia’s First Peoples, showcasing more than 130 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art drawn from The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art and the National Gallery of Australia.