2009 Case Study: Kids Foundation and Alcoa Building Safer Communities

With 5000 children injured and 200 hospitalised* in Australia every day, Alcoa employees are helping to change the way primary school students think about safety - through our long-standing partnership with the KIDS Foundation.

The KIDS Foundation/ Alcoa Foundation partnership was established in 2004. Together we have a goal of creating a safer community.  KIDS Foundation is a not-for-profit, health promotion charity dedicated to childhood injury prevention and injury recovery.  Our partnership builds on Alcoa’s existing internal commitment to safety and safe-work practices.   One of many KIDS Foundation initiatives, supported by the Alcoa Foundation in 2009 was the ‘Safety Club Program’ which impacted 275 schools around the country.

As part of the ‘Safety Club Program’ students, from schools around our operations in Western Australia and Victoria, participated in Safety Education and Leadership Field Days in 2009 which aimed to empower kids to think about safety while still having fun.

Over the years, the Field Days have become a highlight of the Safety Club Program which educates primary school students and teachers to realise that injuries and incidents are predictable and preventable. The Program strives to nurture a ‘think safe, play safe’ culture in school communities.

In 2009, the Geelong Supercats captain, Braith Cox, (Australian sporting star) was the star recruit at the Geelong region Safety Field Day session.  Braith discussed playing sport safely, as well as the importance of team-work and leadership.  Safety representatives from Alcoa Point Henry also shared safety tips with the students.

KIDS Foundation Schools Coordinator Simone Segrave said the Geelong Field Day was an opportunity for students to learn about safety through fun, interactive activities.

“We aim to challenge and inspire students to create a safer school environment by developing their leadership potential through a variety of activities.”

In Western Australia, more than 20 students from four primary schools in the Harvey region discovered new ways of playing safely during their Field Day at Harvey Primary School.

Wagerup Refinery Safety Coordinator Dave Inwood said: “There’s nothing better than to see this great bunch of kids with a genuine concern for not only their own safety, but of everyone at their schools. 

“The discussion between the kids about what to do with some of hazards, that they identified themselves, was brilliant. It showed that even at their young age, they understood that there’s more than one way to sort out a safety problem.”

Meantime, students from seven primary schools around Pinjarra came together with safety representatives from Alcoa’s Pinjarra and Mining operations – sharing safety tips and practices.

In a separate KIDS Foundation initiative, more than 60 burn survivors and their families from across Australia attended the Burn Survivors Network’s annual 'Camp Phoenix' held in Anglesea in August 2009.
 
Camp Phoenix was also supported by Alcoa, with our people volunteering at the annual two day event.  Camp Phoenix provided burn survivors and their families with an opportunity to be ‘just one of the crowd’ as they shared experiences, built friendships and took part in four days of action-packed fun-filled activities – building their confidence along the way.

Each year, Camp Phoenix is held in various locations throughout Australia. In 2009, it was held in Victoria to give ‘Black Saturday’ burn survivors the opportunity to attend the camp close to home. 

‘Black Saturday’ was the name that was given to some of the worst bushfires in Australian history which occurred in February 2009, and claimed 173 lives.

Camp Phoenix participants had the opportunity to take part in exciting and challenging activities including surfing, horse riding and golf - all made possible through grants from the Alcoa Foundation.

KIDS Foundation CEO Matt Stevens said the Burn Survivors’ Network supports all burn survivors with their personal recovery, regardless of the severity of their injuries.
 
“We understand that burn injuries impact people in different ways - both physically and emotionally. Burn survivors can join Camp Phoenix or the Burn Survivors’ Network regardless of how small or severe their injuries because the Network is about supporting and respecting individuals with their own, personal recovery,” Matt said.
 
The KIDS Foundation’s Burn Survivors Network and Camp Phoenix have been running for nine years, supporting hundreds of burns survivors and their families, both children and adults.
 
* 2000 Kidsafe “10 key facts about child injury in Australia” fact sheet, KidSafe, ACT website. www.kidsafe.com.au