Outback Stores welcomes Kunawarritji

Outback Stores welcomes Kunawarritji

Outback Stores is expanding its range of services to remote Indigenous communities, with the recent signing of a 12-month contract with Kunawarritji Aboriginal Corporation, representatives of the Martu people. Not only will Outback Stores oversee the store, but it will also assist with managing the corporation.

Kunawarritji is a community in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, halfway along the famous Canning Stock Route. Due to its small population and remote location the community has recently been experiencing difficulties in ensuring food security amongst other challenges.

“I’m excited that our community is working with Outback Stores. We see many possibilities for the future,” Larry Bundabar, Chairperson, Kunawarritji Aboriginal Corporation.

In consultation with the community and directors of the Kunawarritji Aboriginal Corporation, Outback Stores have customised a unique management agreement that will ensure the smooth delivery of key services to this small population, while also encouraging local skills development and career growth.

The community is also known as Well 33, because it was an important water stop on the Canning Stock Route. Some years ago the community windmill fell into disrepair, but recently this iconic symbol of the community has started pumping water again.

“The school kids finished early to come out and see the windmill working. It made their day to see the water flowing from the mill for the first time in two years,” Scott Burridge, Community Services Coordinator, Kunawarritji Community.

Well 33, Kunawarritji offers a campground and 16-room accommodation complex, for adventurous travellers keen on four wheel driving. The community welcomes visitors to the land of the Martu people and are looking forward to the Canning Stock Route opening again once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Outback Stores CEO Michael Borg recently visited Kunawarritji and was impressed by the leadership of the community.

“It was great to meet the directors at Kunawarritji Aboriginal Corporation and hear them talk about the positive work Outback Stores has been doing so far. We look forward to working alongside the Martu people further, to create the community they want to see”, said Michael Borg.

Lesley Nelson appointed to Board of Directors

Lesley Nelson appointed to Board of Directors

Lesley Nelson is a proud Noongar woman from the Balladong and Whadjuk clans who holds over 25 years’ experience in various executive leadership roles within the Aboriginal health sector, the most recent being her current role as CEO of the South West Aboriginal Medical Service.

Lesley’s bias for innovation and action is strengthened with post graduate qualifications in Business and Epidemiology. This unique skill set has seen her champion the expansion of accessible primary health services for Aboriginal communities living in the vast South West region of Western Australia. Her drive to influence, collaborate and engage across the sector has directly contributed to greater health outcomes for Aboriginal people living in the region.

“As CEO of South West Medical Service,  improving the health of our Indigenous communities is vital to ensure our culture and heritage continues for future generations. As an Indigenous woman I am very excited and proud to have the opportunity to assist our remote and regional communities access fresh food to improve healthy lifestyles and wellbeing,” said Lesley Nelson about her recent appointment to Outback Stores’ Board of Directors.

Lesley brings a wealth of strategic governance experience to several board director positions, including Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industry,  Forum for Directors of Indigenous Organisations,  Sustainable Health Review Independent Oversight Committee,  Registry of Senior Australians, NAGATSIAC, and Outback Stores.  She also chairs the Aboriginal Health Council WA CEO’s Network and the South West Aboriginal Health Planning Forum.