Wilcannia Store going from Strength to Strength 19 May, 2022


When taking over Wilcannia’s only supermarket, the Friendly Grocer in January, REDI.E had a goal – to boost local employment and provide the community with a larger range of healthier food options.

And that is exactly what we’ve done.

Fresh produce for everyone 

As a small, remote community, where people would previously take a 400km round trip to Broken Hill for fresh supplies, this change of hands has been a huge leg up for the local people.

Saving time and money on travel and being able to get the same quality and price from home is a win-win situation for everyone.

As advocates of health and wellbeing, REDI.E is so pleased that it has been able to provide its community with a source of fresh fruit and vegetables, giving them the opportunity to invest in their own health.

And the people have been receptive. The vast improvement of Community attitude and people coming into the store has been amazing. Knowing that there is someone investing in them and willing to make their lives easier has encouraged the community to support the store even more.

Local jobs for local people 

Not only are people now able to purchase fresh produce close to home, the store has opened up a range of job opportunities for local people.

In the four months since opening, six people have been employed in various roles.

A young woman who previously never thought she’d be able to get a job due to her lack of confidence and the high unemployment rate of the town, is now working as a checkout operator where she is exercising her people skills and challenging her comfort zone.

A mother who has been out of the workforce for the past 15 years raising her children is now upskilling and being trained as the Duty Manager of the store.

These jobs are not only beneficial to the people participating – by giving them a sense of purpose and financial security – but they are also helping whole families to live healthier and more fulfilled lifestyles.

Wilcannia site manager ‘BB’ Adams says REDI.E’s” aim is not just employment and getting someone a job. It’s about investing in people, investing in Community and investing in growth”.

“When we provide opportunities for people to work, to make healthier choices, to shop local, we are doing just that. And that’s a target that will make a real difference to Wilcannia”.

More opportunities to come

While it is still early days for REDI.E and the store, there are big plans in the works.

Recent funding announcements by the Government disclosed that REDI.E will be receiving approximately $1.1 million in two rounds of funding from both Federal and State Governments to go towards upgrading, extending and developing the store.

This funding will be huge for Wilcannia as it is going to provide job opportunities at all stages of the build. Not only will local people be initially employed for construction, there will be ongoing jobs with maintenance and store workers.

REDI.E plans on adding a kitchen to the store to provide another healthy food source for the town. Adams says, “the kitchen will allow people to buy fresh and homemade food which is another way we can encourage people to eat and live healthier”.

“REDI.E’s aim for Wilcannia, both locally and regionally, is a focus on providing healthy food as a priority. And it is through projects like these that we can turn that opportunity into action”.

Stay tuned!

We are very excited about the growth opportunities surrounding Wilcannia and cannot wait to share with you all the improvements that will be made to our store.

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This initiative is funded/supported by the Australian Government.

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