Reconciliation Australia welcomes the release of the Independent Panel Review into the proposed Dan Murphy’s Darwin development and Woolworths Group’s initial reflections on and response to the report.
The report criticises Woolworths’ approach and conduct in this matter, especially in relation to prioritising commercial considerations over public interest issues.
Respectful relationships built on trust are at the heart of reconciliation and the report underscores Woolworths’ failure to prioritise meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.
The hard work of the Independent Panel has produced a meaningful roadmap for Woolworths to meet its own aspirations to be a leader in advancing reconciliation.
Reconciliation Australia believes that the report also includes significant lessons for all organisations working toward brave reconciliation action.
The report, and Woolworths’ reflections, underscore the critical role of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program in equipping Woolworths to respond to this issue and providing a further avenue for community groups to voice their concerns.
Woolworths’ commitments to building stronger relationships with First Nations communities and to reconciliation underscore the important structures that RAPs provide to enable organisations to enact robust governance and commit to relationships with, respect for, and opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reconciliation Australia also recognises the commitment of Endeavour Group to respond to the recommendations of the Independent Panel Review and to reflect its learnings in the Endeavour Group Sustainability Plan to be released within the next 12 months.
We urge Endeavour Group to act quickly to strengthen and improve their engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to develop their own Reconciliation Action Plan promptly after the demerger.
We expect organisations with RAPs to deliver on their commitments and live up to the intent of their plan.
We will continue to work with Woolworths, as we do with all RAP partners, to equip and challenge them to continue to grow in their reconciliation journey.
Read the Independent Panel Review into the proposed Dan Murphy’s development in Darwin and associated documents.