First Nations designs to feature on new Woolworths bag range

Woolworths has announced a new partnership with the Yothu Yindi Foundation with First Nations designs featuring on its new Art Bag range.

The first in the new Art Bag range has been designed in collaboration with Warumungu, Wombaya woman Jessica Johnson, Founder of First Nations owned and run creative agency, Nungala Creative.

Johnson’s colourful designs celebrate the joy of fresh food and connection to the land, with her three works titled ‘Fresh as’, ‘Journey Lines’ and ‘Landtracks’.

To launch the Art Bag, and in partnership with the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Woolworths will give back to Australian communities by supporting the education of Yolngu students in Northeast Arnhem land in the Northern Territory, with an initial donation of $100,000 made to the foundation.

The Art Bag range joins Woolworths’ growing family of reusable shopping bags and is set to feature designs from up and coming Australian artists.

Made using at least 70 per cent recycled materials, the new range is now available to purchase across Australia, in-store and online. Larger than the current 99 cent bag and offering two different handles, with a longer strap for ease of carrying over the shoulder, shoppers can choose from a selection of three designs for $2 each.

Johnson said that she was incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to create th artwork for the new range of bags.

“Food is life,” she said. “It’s at the centre of almost everything I do, playing the lead role during the good times and bad. It can provide a great little bit of escapism and take you on a journey.

“Food really is my happy place. You know life is good when you’re eating well. Through some recent struggles with health issues, I have a better understanding of my body’s relationship with food. Eating well is so necessary for the mind, body, and spirit. It’s the catalyst in coming together for mob in my life.

“The artwork itself is an expression of that joy of eating. We call it the food dance. It’s like an uncontrollable happiness that turns into a little groove in anticipation of chowing down. Each bag has its own flavour but is essentially a celebration of food in its own unique way.”

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Natalie Davis, said it was a delight to showcase the creativity of an Australian artist like Johnson on the bags.

“We know that the vast majority of our customers already bring their own reusable bags to shop, which is the very best outcome for the environment, and the new range gives customers even more reusable options to choose from when they shop.

“As we worked to bring the new Art Bag range to life, we remained focused on our goal to create a collection of reusable bags that could give back to the community. In working with the Yothu Yindi Foundation, we’re proud to support their work in creating an education hub for Yolngu students in Northeast Arnhem land.”

The Yothu Yindi Foundation is one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisations, representing the interests of Yolngu clan groups in northeast Arnhem Land, and staging the annual Garma Festival.

The Foundation’s mission is for Yolngu and other Indigenous people to have the same level of wellbeing and life opportunities as non-Indigenous Australians. They are working to create a world-class education hub – to be called the Garma Institute – on country in northeast Arnhem Land, encompassing junior and secondary schools, as well as a tertiary and vocational training facility.

Yothu Yindi Foundation CEO, Denise Bowden, said education is at the heart of everything they do, and the Garma Institute is a game-changer for the region.

“This is a new model in education, one that properly integrates Yolngu knowledge and learning into the curriculum, and we know that it works.

“The Dhupuma Barker junior school in Gunyangara, which will soon celebrate its second birthday, is already achieving outstanding attendance rates, and a team of students from the school recently qualified for the international school robotics championships in the US.

“We’re now finalising the secondary and tertiary components of the project, to complete the learning life cycle and improve educational and employment outcomes for Yolngu of all ages.”

The Art Bag range joins a number of reusable carry bag options for Woolworths customers to choose from. This includes the 25 cent paper bag, the 99 cent shopping bag, foldable fabric bags and Chiller bags.

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