The local Indigenous community of Ieramugadu (Roebourne) will be empowered in overcoming social and economic barriers through a longstanding partnership between Sodexo Australia (Sodexo) and the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation Limited (NYFL).

 Australia, June 2023

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Sodexo is committed to supporting community empowerment, training pathways, employment, corporate knowledge sharing, and sustainable business enterprise.

This vision will be achieved under the guidance of the Ieramugadu (Roebourne) Elders, aligned with Sodexo’s commitment ‘For Our Elders’, this year’s NAIDOC Week theme. 

Ngarluma leader and NYFL Director Josie Samson, said: “Our Aboriginal community of Ieramagadu (Roebourne) experiences significant challenges as a remote community in Australia.

“Many of our families struggle to access food and good nutrition. So, we’re so proud that we’ve turned our little shop into a not-for-profit supermarket. It helps local mob get good food. Our Elders can come in and get a feed for themselves and their mungurla (children).

We’re really pleased that Sodexo are committed to empowering us Ngarda-ngarli (Traditional Owners) to design solutions. It helps us take charge… to overcome the barriers.”  

The MoU with NYFL reflects Sodexo’s commitment to long-term, progressive, and respectful relationships with Indigenous businesses, creating rich and tangible outcomes for Indigenous communities.

NYFL is a Traditional Owner organisation made up of the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi nations delivering social, economic, and cultural empowerment for all Ngarda-ngarli (Aboriginal people) through numerous social impact and commercial enterprises.

One of these businesses is the Ieramugadu Store Maya which aims to address food insecurity in the community by providing quality food at low or no cost to those in need. 

At no cost, Sodexo and its logistics partner transport tonnes of supplies to the local Ieramugadu Store Maya through the freight network. Located more than 1,500 kilometres from Perth, the freight charges saved for NYFL are significant.

The bulk wholesale discount accessed using Sodexo’s buying power means great savings on most items that are passed onto the local community, ensuring consistency and variety of affordable grocery items for the community.

NYFL CEO, Sean-Paul Stephens, said: “As the cost-of-living increases pressure on the most vulnerable in our community, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people needing to access food through the Ieramagadu Store Maya (Roebourne General Store). 

“The supply of quality food to our supermarket along with a commitment to training is something we place great value on given our remote location. 

“This, along with Sodexo’s assistance with Ieramugadu (Roebourne) Elders’ Birthday, community events, a community garden, and funding initiatives, will provide vital support for local Indigenous women and families.

Our aim at NYFL is to empower the community to enjoy the social and economic prosperity that we see elsewhere in Australia. It’s partnerships like this MoU with Sodexo that help us deliver meaningful change.”

The NYFL partnership is an example of Sodexo’s deep-rooted commitment to reconciliation in Australia, built upon an innate culture of respect within the organisation. 

Sodexo has long supported Indigenous employment and enterprise, prioritising long-term relationships with Indigenous businesses and vendors, which create a ripple effect of economic outcomes for Aboriginal communities across Australia. 

The organisation commenced its RAP journey with Reconciliation Australia in 2011 and is now progressing its sixth Reconciliation Action Plan.

Sodexo’s current Stretch RAP outlines a goal of $10 million of Indigenous spend annually. Sodexo has already doubled this figure in the last nine months and is on track to spend more than $30 million in the first year of its new RAP. 

Keith Weston, Managing Director Sodexo Australia, said: “We are committed to making real change for improvement in remote Australia and assisting local Indigenous communities in the way they feel supports them best. 

“As a business, we are experiencing growth in the region, and as we grow, we know the importance of bringing our Indigenous partners on the journey with us.

“This isn’t a business contractual arrangement but a long-term community-led partnership that is relationship based and anchored in what the community values, not what we, as an international corporate organisation, think is needed.

We are committed to working together and at a grass-roots level to support, train, mentor, and partner with community. We also provide all employees up to 3 volunteering days each year and we will encourage them to spend this time with our Indigenous partners in support, training, and mentoring.” 

About Sodexo Australia

Sodexo in Australia employs a diverse workforce of over 5,000 employees. Sodexo delivers a unique array of over 100 integrated services lines, including cleaning, catering, facilities management, aerodrome services, concierge, security, asset and building maintenance and hospitality services in the following segments: Corporate Strategic Accounts and Energy & Resources, both on and offshore. 

About Sodexo

Founded in Marseille in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in Quality of Life Services, an essential factor in individual and organisational performance.

Operating in 53 countries, our 422,000 employees serve 100 million consumers each day. Sodexo Group stands out for its independence and its founding family shareholding, its sustainable business model and its portfolio of activities including Food Services, Facilities Management Services and Employee Benefit Solutions. We provide quality, multichannel and flexible food experiences, but also design attractive and inclusive workplaces and shared spaces, manage and maintain infrastructure in a safe and environmentally friendly way, offer personalised support for patients or students, or even create programs fostering employee engagement.

From day one, Sodexo has been focusing on tangible everyday gestures and actions through its services in order to have a positive economic, social and environmental impact over time. For us, growth and social commitment go hand in hand. Creating a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all is our purpose.

Sodexo is included in the CAC Next 20, CAC 40 ESG, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indices.

Key Figures

  • 21.1 billion euro in Fiscal 2022
    consolidated revenues
  • 422,000 employees as at August 31, 2022
  • #2 France-based private employer worldwide
  • 53 countries
  • 100 million consumers served daily
  • 13.3 billion euro in market capitalization
    (as at January 5, 2023)


About NYFL

The Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd (NYFL) is a Traditional Owner organisation made up by the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi nations, which delivers social, economic and cultural empowerment for all Ngarda-ngarli (Aboriginal people) in the community. NYFL is place-based in Ieramugadu (Roebourne), a predominantly Aboriginal community located more than 1,500kms from Perth, in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region.  The community of Roebourne experiences some of the greatest social and economic disadvantage in Australia. Since 1998, NYFL has been the Traditional Owner representative body for the Woodside-operated North West Shelf project. NYFL does not receive royalties from the resource sector.

NYFL is led by a Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Board of Directors, who are guided by the local Traditional Owner community. NYFL’s social impact programs aim to empower local Aboriginal people in overcoming barriers to prosperity and wellbeing. One of NYFL’s key social impact programs is a not-for-profit ‘social supermarket’, called the Ieramugadu Store Maya. The Store aims at addressing food insecurity in the Roebourne community, by providing quality food at low-or-no cost to Elders and those in need. In 2022, the store provided 22 tonnes of free food to the community of Roebourne. The store is 100% owned and designed by the Traditional Owner community.

NYFL also delivers Roebourne’s most successful employment and training program, which supports Roebourne Aboriginal people pursuing vocational employment pathways. 

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