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Indigenous engagement


Birpai dancers perform during the Welcome to Country  and smoking ceremony, outside the Kmart Port Macquarie Store.

Wesfarmers’ diversity strategy includes a commitment by every division to make its businesses places where Indigenous people feel welcome and valued, as employees, customers and suppliers. To do this, Wesfarmers prepared and committed to its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2009. Our current RAP produced in 2017 outlines specific measurable actions to be undertaken across the Group, targeting Indigenous employment, business engagement, community partnerships and team member volunteering with Indigenous organisations. Our latest RAP report and commitments can be found here.

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

Indigenous employment

Since the launch of its RAP nearly ten years ago, Wesfarmers has sought to achieve a level of Indigenous representation in its workforce which reflects the communities in which it operates. 

As Australia’s largest private sector employer, we believe we can provide Indigenous people with greater opportunities to participate in sustainable employment, and this remains our primary goal. This year we employed 997 more Indigenous team members, and Indigenous team members now total 5,228 which is 2.5 per cent of Wesfarmers’ Australian workforce.


Wesfarmers is the largest private employer of Indigenous people in Australia. Full Indigenous employee numbers can be found in the table below.

Business Unit 2018 2017 2016  2015 2014
Coles 3,581  2,872 2,318  1,765 862
Bunnings 637  516 423  410 336
Kmart 539  429 333  278 279
Target 175  155 136  161 107
Officeworks 198  161 65  73 67
WesCEF 27  29 19  17 13
WIS 69  50 13
35 28
Resources NR  17 19  20 18
Corporate 2 3 1
Group total 5,228  4,231 3,327 2,762 1,711

NR means data was not recorded due to the sale of the Resources business during the year

Indigenous procurement

In addition to direct employment, Wesfarmers has created Indigenous employment opportunities through engaging local and national Indigenous suppliers. For example, Wesfarmers businesses work with Young Guns Container Crew, an Indigenous owned business specialising in the packing and unpacking of shipping containers. We are a founding member of Supply Nation, Australia’s leading supplier diversity accreditation organisation. 

Indigenous partnerships

Wesfarmers is committed to establishing community partnerships with organisations focused on improving the lives of Indigenous people.

We have supported The Clontarf Foundation since 2001 to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects for young Indigenous men using football as a foundation. In 2015 we increased our financial contribution to assist the Foundation’s national expansion. A number of our businesses are also engaged with Clontarf across Australia.

We continued to support Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation. Wesfarmers also entered into the second year of its partnership with Reconciliation WA. Many divisions also have partnerships with organisations that support Indigenous communities, such as New Start Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation  and The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation