WESFARMERS SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2017

Indigenous engagement

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More than 4,000 Indigenous team members employed

Our vision for reconciliation is an Australia that affords equal opportunities to all. Wesfarmers aims to ensure that Indigenous people feel welcome in our businesses as employees, customers, suppliers and visitors. We will know that we have succeeded when we have a workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.

Wesfarmers produced its first public Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2009, with a focus on ‘Relationships, Respect, and Opportunities’. Our RAP outlines specific measurable actions undertaken across the Group, targeting Indigenous employment, business engagement, community partnerships and team member volunteering with Indigenous organisations. The RAP is registered with Reconciliation Australia.

This year, we made progress across all areas of our RAP, with the following highlights:

Indigenous employment 

As Australia’s largest private sector employer, we believe we are able to provide Indigenous people with greater opportunities to participate in sustainable employment, and this remains the primary focus of our RAP. At 30 June 2017, Wesfarmers had 4,231 Indigenous team members, representing two percent of our current Australian workforce. This is a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.

Business Unit 2017 2016  2015 2014 2013
Coles 2,872 2,318  1,765 862 640
Bunnings 516 423  410 336 176
Kmart 429 333  278 279 270
Target 155 136  161 107 86
Officeworks 161 65  73 67 54
WesCEF 29 19  17 13 15
WIS 50 131 35 28 37
Resources 17 19  20 18 22
Insurance NR NR  NR NR NR
Corporate 2 3 1 2
Group total 4,231 3,3271 2,762 1,711 1,302

NR means data was not recorded due to the sale of the Insurance division in 2014
1This number has been restated due to a review which was conducted in 2017.

Our businesses continue to offer full-time and school-based traineeship programs and our corporate office employed an Indigenous cadet during the year.

Wesfarmers retailers engage Goldfields Indigenous communities

In 2017, our Kalgoorlie-based retailers engaged with Indigenous communities across the Goldfields region, and some initiatives included:

  • Bunnings and Kmart provided care packs during a community visit by store team members to Laverton.
  • Coles ran its First Steps pre-employment training program resulting in seven new team members being employed at two Kalgoorlie Coles supermarkets, a Liquorland and Coles Express.
  • As part of our commitment to regional and remote areas, in March 2017 Bunnings, Target, Coles and Kmart team members from their Kalgoorlie stores travelled to Leonora, two and a half hours north of Kalgoorlie for a community day. Click here to view a video of the community event.

Wesfarmers-led community events have on occasion, resulted in employment opportunities being offered to local Indigenous young people.

Indigenous community partnerships

Wesfarmers is committed to establishing community partnerships with Indigenous organisations.

We have supported the Clontarf Foundation since 2001 and in 2015 agreed to a new, three-year partnership with an increased financial contribution to assist the foundation’s national expansion. Most of our businesses also engaged with Clontarf across Australia during the year.

We continued to support the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience  and The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation. Wesfarmers also entered into the second year of its partnership with Reconciliation WA. Our divisions also have partnerships with organisations that support Indigenous communities, such as Red Dust Role Models, New Start Australia and The Australian Literacy & Numeracy FoundationWe also contributed to the Centre for Independent Studies ‘Prosperity Project’ research program, which is looking at funding for Indigenous programs and where it is having the greatest impact.

Indigenous procurement activities

Wesfarmers has committed to increase its procurement from Indigenous suppliers. We are a founding member of Supply Nation, Australia’s leading supplier diversity accreditation organisation. In May 2017, nine representatives from our businesses attended the Supply Nation Connect Indigenous business conference. We were also proud to sponsor the Government Member of the Year Award at the Supply Nation 2017 Supplier Diversity Awards.

In the six years to 2016, Wesfarmers procured more than $47 million in products and services from Indigenous suppliers.

Our latest RAP report and commitments can be found here.