Coles supports Indigenous communities amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Coles team members with indigenous lady smiling as Coles delivers groceries to community in need

While customers across Australia may have found it hard to find flour or toilet paper during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, remote Indigenous communities were hit harder than most.

Many people across the Northern Territory were unable to leave their homes to access essential food and groceries so Coles team members partnered with local organisations to deliver truckloads of care packages to more than 2,200 community members.

Prepared by team members at our NT stores, the care packages included fresh and tinned produce, pasta, rice, biscuits and breakfast cereals. Ten thousand litres of spring water plus toilet paper, infant nappies and sanitary items were also delivered.

It was welcome relief to remote communities such as Santa Teresa, Beswick and Elliott, which are located more than 700km from their nearest Coles store.

Coles Regional Manager Daniel Clegg said his team was passionate about supporting remote Indigenous communities who were severely impacted by COVID-19.

“The situation in remote parts of the Northern Territory was critical and we wanted to do everything we could to provide some relief and support to those lacking access to essential supplies,” he said.

“By working with organisations such as the Central and Northern Land Councils, Larrakia Nation, and the National Indigenous Australian Agency, we were able to deliver food donations to people who needed it most, across many parts of the Territory, particularly in remote Indigenous areas.”

An integral part of Coles’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Plan is its focus on building mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.

Coles is also recognised as the largest corporate sector employer of Indigenous Australians and has recruited 430 Indigenous team members in the last three weeks. The new hires take Coles’ total Indigenous workforce to more than 4,800 and mark a significant step towards the company’s target of increasing Indigenous team member representation to 5 per cent of the total workforce by 2023.