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portland shares milestone with 53 dedicated employees
Portland Aluminium is celebrating 25 years of successful operations this month.

While there are many reasons to celebrate, we believe none are more important than acknowledging our employees who have been central in making this milestone a reality.

Today we still have 53 employees with us, who have been around since the beginning. They were with us when the operation was known as ‘Portland Smelter Services’ in the early days, they were there when the first shipment of aluminium left Portland’s dock in 1987 bound for Japan, and they were there when the five millionth tonne of aluminium was cast in 2004.

While all our employees have their own story, we hear from just a few...

tim hol, ingot mill operator
Born and bred in Portland, Tim literally helped lay the foundations for Portland Aluminium.

“I actually began in construction as a Surveyor’s Assistant, working on the smelter with concrete pours for the Alumina Silo, or what we call the Thunder Dome,” he said.

“One of the best parts about working for Portland Aluminium is the great people; they make the plant run the way it does. There have also been lots of opportunities for training, which has allowed me to learn new skills along the way.”

ian gladwin, anode operator
Life could have played out quite differently for Ian, had he not been offered a job with Portland Aluminium.

“At the time, I was living in Horsham and trying to enrol in the army. Then the opportunity came up to work for Portland Aluminium, so I moved to Portland instead,” he said.

“I’ve stayed here so long because of the good people and the good pay here. I have seen lots of changes over time, but things are always changing, change is a constant thing”.

jennifer tapscott, site buyer
Over the past 25 years, Jenny has celebrated all of life’s major milestones while working at Portland Aluminium -  leaving home, getting engaged and married, the purchase of a first home, and raising children.

"I guess I’ve actually grown up while working for Portland Aluminium," she said.

"What I’ve valued most during my time at Portland Aluminium are the friendships I’ve made along the way, the opportunities for growth and learning and the work/life balance.

"It has been really interesting to work under the various site managers over the years; each has brought with them their own style and operating methods. In particular it was a privilege to work for David Judd, who’s vision really shaped the ‘Smelter in the Park’ concept, and more recently John Osborne, observing his enthusiasm and passion for the future of Portland Aluminium."

john sandow, ingot mill operator
“The best part about working here is the friendships I have developed, particularly from working with the guys on night shift,” said John.

John began working at Portland Aluminium straight after finishing school at Portland High School and has been primarily based in the ingot mill since then.

“One of my highlights was when I oversaw some major changes to the crucible preparation, which improved the way they operate.

“This time next year I am taking my family on a three month trip around Australia: up to Cape York, Gove, Darwin, Kununurra, back through Alice Springs and home. Working here has enabled me to do things in life like this, that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.”

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Portland Aluminium

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Ian Gladwin

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Jenny Tapscott

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John Sandow