Celebrating NAIDOC Week: Keep the fire burning in retail

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration recognising and honoring the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The week-long event not only serves as a time for reflection and respect but also presents a significant opportunity for the retail industry to engage meaningfully with First Nations communities.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘Keep the Fire Burning’. 

It calls upon the community (including businesses) to uphold the flames of Indigenous culture, resilience and knowledge. For retailers, this provides an opportunity to support Indigenous business through their supply chain, product development and partnerships.

Retailers can participate in NAIDOC Week by showcasing Indigenous art, products, and designs in their stores. By doing so, they not only promote cultural diversity but also provide economic opportunities for Indigenous artisans and entrepreneurs. Collaborations with Indigenous suppliers can enrich product offerings, offering customers a chance to purchase items that carry significant cultural meaning and authenticity.

Beyond merchandise, NAIDOC Week presents a chance for retailers to educate both their teams and customers about Indigenous First Nations culture, histories and perspectives. Workshops, discussions and written communications can help raise awareness about the importance of reconciliation and respect. This education fosters a deeper understanding among employees and customers, which contributes to a more inclusive retail environment. 

Supporting First Nations causes, organisations and initiatives is also important during NAIDOC Week but must be complemented by continuous, ongoing and authentic engagement through the year to demonstrate true commitment to the issues. Whether through donations, sponsorships or partnerships with Indigenous organisations, retailers can actively contribute to positive social change. 

In conclusion, NAIDOC Week is not just a time for celebration. It’s also a call to action for the retail industry to embrace diversity, celebrate Indigenous culture in a respectful manner, and ignite meaningful change. Retailers can play a pivotal role in fostering a more inclusive society where the voices and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and celebrated. 



In the lead-up to this year’s Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week, the ARA held a roundtable which brought together members who have worked on Reconciliation Action Plans with others who have yet to start on their reconciliation journey.  

For more information about the ARA’s commitment to reconciliation or review some of the online resources that the ARA has produced, go to retail.org.au/reconciliation 


Jordan Lewis is the ARA’s Policy Advisor for Social Impact, including DE&I in the retail sector.  



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