Hermannsburg and Outback Stores Working Together

Hermannsburg, also known as Ntaria, is a community of around 600 people, 125 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the traditional lands of the Western Arrarnta people. Established in 1877 as a Lutheran mission, tourists today are welcomed to its historic precinct, with church buildings, tearoom, and art gallery. Art enthusiasts are drawn to see the birthplace of Albert Namatjira, while outdoor adventurers visit the caravan park on their way to Palm Valley or the Mereenie Loop Road to Kings Canyon.

After staff and management changes at the start of 2021, the local owners of Ntaria Supermarket decided it was a good moment to reimagine the business and so approached Outback Stores.

Nicholas Williams is the chairperson of Kasey Pty Ltd, the local company that owns the store.

“I like having the long-term vision that working with Outback Stores brings,” said Nicholas.

Upgrades have already started on the Ntaria Supermarket, with new refrigerators, new computer system, a greater selection of fruit and vegetables, and more household items and appliances offered.

Katherine & Sugar Cane Image

Top: Hermannsburg Historic Precinct. Credit Tourism NT
Bottom: Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park

The community has noticed that there’s more stock on the shelves.

– Nicholas Williams

Last week the takeaway store was back in business for the first time in six months. As well as serving sandwiches and other takeaway food, it now stocks a range of groceries, allowing the community to stock up on supplies until 7pm, even on weekends.

“Every change we’ve had, people have been happy with it,” said Nicholas. “The community has noticed that there’s more stock on the shelves. Also more fruit and vegetables, often at the same price as Coles.”

Andrew Sawchyn has worked at the Ntaria Supermarket for six years and has noticed a big difference.

“The cheaper prices means that lots more fruit and vegetables are being sold. And the store looks much better, more professional,” said Andrew.

Karen and Ashley Schaefer are the new managers of the store, moving from Yuendumu community where they had worked for 16 months.

“We had a fabulous reception. Hermannsburg is a really lovely community, very welcoming,” said Karen.

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: Nicholas Williams in the newly-stocked takeaway shop.
Bottom: Before renovations.

It’s nice to see that you’re making a positive difference in the community.

– Karen Schaefer

The couple have received positive feedback about the recent upgrades.

“Everyone is loving the changes. The variety, the presentation and the overall feeling in the store. It’s nice to see that you’re making a positive difference in the community,” said Karen.

Nicholas Williams is keen to see the next phase of upgrades, which includes painting the interior and exterior walls, and eventually new flooring.

“I’m also looking forward to expanding the board of Kasey to include more people and skills from within the community.  We want to concentrate on good governance and creating a plan for the future, to eventually expand into other areas of business in the community,” said Nicholas.


Header photo credit Tourism NT

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo
Ashley and Karen in Car Photo
Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: The takeaway store is now stocking groceries.
Middle: Nicholas Williams and Karen Schaefer in front of the new fridges.
Bottom: The Ntaria Supermarket (on the left), takeaway (back) and petrol station (front).