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The Jack Shewmaker Scholarship


In memory of Jack Shewmaker's contribution to Woolworths, we recognise and reward individuals who have implemented a great idea in our business every year through the Jack Shewmaker Scholarship.





Across Australia and New Zealand, we received over 40 applications this year showcasing fantastic initiatives that have made a difference to our business. The winners of the scholarship for 2013 were:

Tom Jachimczak

Tom Jachimczak from Logistics won the Jack Shewmaker Scholarship for 2013, for improving the new store ordering process. Tom took what was a manual process of ordering stock for new stores and used technology to create those orders. Through this new process our On Shelf Availability has improved while significantly reducing inventory.

The solution provides many other savings: a reduction in manual labour, a reduction in transport costs through load consolidation, improved planning for our DCs and finally a reduced workload in the store, putting away stock that isn't required on opening day and by removing rework created when too much stock is ordered. 
As his prize, Tom can select a study opportunity of his choice over the next 12 months up to the value of $20,000.

Melanie McGrath

Melanie McGrath from BIG W, won the Product Innovation Award, a new category, introduced this year. Over the past 12 months Melanie has designed her own toys for the girls’ home brand range, including a dolls house and a nursing doll, rather than buying direct from agents. With the support of her team and Hong Kong, Melanie has introduced these products with great results.

Rebekah Newman

Rebekah Newman and her team, from Group HR, received the 2013 Encouragement Award. Rebekah and the team have overhauled the Retail Certificate Training Program, with completion rates for the program expected to double over the next three years. Eligible staff now have the option to complete Certificate Training online and have their prior experience credited to their study. This program is only just beginning, so if you are interested, please go to
Both Melanie and Rebekah receive a study opportunity of their choice up to the value of $5000.
Our other finalists for 2013 were:
  • Vishal Sisodiya from Group Financial Services. Vishal is working on mobile payments for our customers.

  • Matt Cronan and Shaun Elliot from Woolworths Supermarkets. Matt and Shaun overhauled the Long Life AutoStockR process with great results in stores.

Congratulations to our winners and finalists! 

The Joe Berry Award

Joe Berry was born in England and came to Australia in 1919 where he worked with Brisbane Cash & Carry. Joe was constantly looking for new ideas, many of which took him on overseas study tours, particularly the United States. His ideas and innovations dramatically affected the Australian retail industry and include the introduction of the supermarket trolley, open topped refrigeration and the common "twist-tie" which was used with pre-packed fruit and vegetables.

This national award offered by the Association of Sales and Merchandising Companies Australasia is a tribute to Joe Berry and recognises retail talent from across the industry. It is an opportunity for candidates to share their knowledge and ideas regarding the retail industry. The finalists of this award are chosen based on their written submission on an area of retail significance. They then progress through the competition by giving a presentation on their chosen topic to a panel of business experts. The prize for this award includes an overseas study tour.

The Paul Simons Award

The Paul Simons Award is an annual award aimed at encouraging the development of trainees within Woolworths. Paul Simons, a former Woolworths trainee, was asked to return to the Company as Executive Chairman during a period of poor performance, where he was instrumental in steering Woolworths Limited back to successful times.

The Award is a tribute to Paul Simons and recognises and rewards outstanding trainees, and graduates in our organisation, with development and learning opportunities.