Tuesday, 19 March 2024: The Mini Woolies program has arrived in the Northern Territory with the launch of a new site at Henbury School in Tiwi. 

Simulating a supermarket setting, the learning space aims to support the education of students with disabilities through hands-on learning experiences. 

The Mini Woolies program now operates in more than 55 locations across Australia and New Zealand, and over 4,000 young people with disabilities have had the opportunity to engage with these learning spaces since the program was established in 2018.

Over the last month, a classroom at Henbury School has been converted into a new room that looks and feels like a Woolworths supermarket, with baskets for fresh food, shelving for groceries, ticketing, signage and Woolworths branded uniforms that students can wear to create an immersive educational experience. 

Lizi Lay is the store manager at Woolworths Casuarina. Her team has worked with students and staff to teach them how to use the registers. She said, “Many of our team members know Henbury School students and staff in the local community and we were really excited to hear about the arrival of a Mini Woolies. 

“We visited the school last week to help get everyone set up on the registers. It was great to see students practising new skills such as finding items on a shopping list or greeting customers.”

Henbury School caters for students from Year 7 to Year 12 with a range of intellectual disabilities. In the later years, the school offers a number of programs to encourage independence and promote positive pathways to post-school options. 

Sarah Corry, Principal at Henbury School, said: “Henbury School has a strong focus on building work ready skills to provide opportunities for our students post school. Our motto is ‘Preparing for Future Lifestyles’ and we hold the unwavering belief that every student should have the opportunity to have a meaningful pathway which includes a job. 

“We have a strong connection with the community and are extremely grateful to have Woolworths Group support our goals through the Mini Woolies program. The potential to change lives is real as we engage in the program and build long-lasting relationships with our local Woolworths stores.”

Annette Karantoni, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Woolworths Group attended the launch today and said, “Launching the very first Mini Woolies in the Northern Territory today is a milestone moment that we have been working towards for many months. The program has expanded immensely since the first site was launched and we are now set up in every state and territory across Australia.