• NAIDOC's partnership with Woolworth's group could be axed, as calls from Indigenous health organisations mount to dump the supermarket retailer. (Federal government)Source: Federal government
The National NAIDOC Committee has suspended partnership talks with the Woolworths group over a controversial Dan Murphy's megastore, as an open letter calls for the supermarket giant to have it's RAP revoked.
Shahni Wellington

25 Feb 2021 - 12:31 PM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2021 - 1:06 PM

The partnership between the National NAIDOC Committee (NNC) and Woolworths Group could be severed, depending on how the supermarket giant deals with community opposition to their proposed Dan Murphy's megastore.

In a statement provided to NITV News, the National NAIDOC Committee said it had suspended discussions with the Woolworths Group regarding an official partnership for NAIDOC Week 2021.

"The NNC supports the significant concerns over the development raised by the 45 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and health organisations," it said.

"We strongly urge Woolworths Group to work with the Aboriginal communities, leaders and other stakeholders in Darwin to help create a stronger, healthier and more resilient community."

Woolworths Group was an official sponsor for last year's NAIDOC week, also contributing as the 'NAIDOC Week Poster Partner.'

Report to decide fate of Woolworths Reconciliation Action Plan
RA says it will first await the results of an independent inquiry before deciding whther it will pull its support of Woolworths over a proposed liquor megastore near three dry Aboriginal communities in Darwin.

The severing of the partnership will be costly to NAIDOC, which currently enables the distribution of some 200,000 NAIDOC posters from 1000 Woolworths outlets across the country.

The retail giant has marked a location for the development of a liquor megastore nearby three 'dry' Indigenous communities in Darwin. The proposal has the been opposed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and community health organisations from the outset. 

An Independent Panel Review is currently underway for the proposed building and the Woolworths Groups' community consultation, with a report expected at the end of March.

The National NAIDOC Committee will make a decision based on the findings and the response of Woolworths. 

"We note Woolworths Group’s work in creating Indigenous employment and supplier opportunities look forward to a decision that reinforces their commitment to creating positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," the NNC said in its statement.

The 2021 theme of NAIDOC Week is 'Heal Country!' in reference to the importance of protecting and preserving our connection to lands. 

Last week, an open letter was signed by more than 30 health and community organisations calling for the supermarket giant to have its Reconciliation Action Plan to be scrapped, similar to the course taken with Rio Tinto for the destruction of 46,000 year old rock formations at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

Reconciliation Australia will also await the report findings before making a decision. 

Reconciliation Australia urged to dump Woolies over NT liquor MegaStore
Health and community organisations have called on Reconciliation Australia to dump Woolworths over the controversial Dan Murphy's megastore in Darwin.