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Smiles all round as the Laverton supermarket re-opens
There were smiles all round in the remote Goldfields town of Laverton in Western Australia when its local supermarket re-opened in August 2013.
The newly refurbished supermarket is saving the town’s residents from a 300km round trip to buy their groceries and has created jobs for four local Indigenous residents who are now employed at the supermarket.
Through its Equity and Investment Program, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) partnered with local and state governments to purchase the Laverton Supermarket and undertake renovations and upgrades to its fittings, fixtures and refrigeration.
At the store’s reopening, Wangkatha Elder Shaneane Weldon delivered the Welcome to Country and said she “believed the reopening and the accompanying smoking ceremony marked a healing of the past and a new beginning for the township”.
Giving people access to a choice of healthy food is crucial in reducing the high rates of infant mortality and preventable, diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and renal and heart disease that are common in remote Indigenous communities.
In addition to promoting positive health and social outcomes, IBA hopes its investment in well-managed retail stores with stable ownership will assist members of local and surrounding Indigenous communities to find jobs and access training and development opportuinities.