partnering stronger communities
alcoa kicks educational goals for clontarf
The Clontarf Foundation, which aims to keep Indigenous boys at school until the end of year 12, has been given a boost - thanks to a new partnership with Alcoa.
The Alcoa Foundation (see below for more on Alcoa Foundation) has contributed more than $300,000 to help launch a new football academy at Gilmore College in Kwinana Western Australia, which will enhance the life skills, health, wellbeing and educational prospects of young Aboriginal male students.
The Alcoa Foundation’s contribution is also aiding the expansion of the existing south west academy, creating opportunities for more boys from Bunbury, Collie, Harvey and Pinjarra to join the already flourishing football program.
The Clontarf Foundation uses sport, physical activity and mentoring to run football academies in partnership with secondary schools, with the aim of attracting and retaining Indigenous teenagers to school.
Alcoa’s Managing Director Alan Cransberg officially launched the partnership immediately following a football training session last month, in which he participated. Mr Cransberg played for the Swan Districts Football Club in the Western Australian Football League in the 70s and 80s and sits on the board of the West Coast Eagles.
Mr Cransberg said Alcoa was acutely aware of the challenges Indigenous youth face, and the company sees its partnership with the Clontarf Foundation as an important way to help provide positive experiences for young Indigenous Western Australians.
“Alcoa is a company that invests in people and we seek out opportunities to make a difference in the community. Partnering with a great, innovative organisation like Clontarf should make a genuine impact on these kids’ lives,” he said.
“It’s not just about football - it’s about developing academic and social skills that will help them during their lifetime.”
about the alcoa foundation
The Alcoa Foundation is a non-for-profit U.S. corporate foundation. Its mission is to actively invest in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide, combining funding with hands-on support from our active employee volunteers.
about the clontarf foundation
The Clontarf Football Academy was established at the Clontarf Aboriginal College in Waterford, in January 2000 and is now known as the Clontarf Foundation.
The football programs implemented by the Foundation act as an incentive for Indigenous youth to attend school, as students can only take part if they participate in the school program. Students receive mentoring to stay engaged in school and this is combined with football activities such as coaching sessions and competitions which reach elite level.
In the eight years since its inception, the Clontarf Foundation has had exceptional results, with a six fold increase in the number of boys attending Year 12 in three established Academies, and 75 per cent of graduates involved in full time employment within one year of graduation.
employees get their hands dirty for the environment
Alcoa employees right around the country embraced this year’s National Tree Day, which aims to create a positive impact on the environment by providing food and shelter for wildlife and combating problems such as salinity and erosion.
Portland Aluminium, Greening Australia and local Portland primary schools joined forces at the end of last month to help restore the natural environment. Co-ordinated by Planet Ark, a tree planting day was held at the Narrawong Estuary, where around 100 school students planted approximately 2000 indigenous trees and grasses.
Meantime, Alcoa’s Employee Day of Trees saw hundreds of back gardens in Western Australia receive a new burst of life. On the Employee Day of Trees, which happens annually, every employee in WA was given two native seedlings to plant in their own environment.
WA Operations Controller, Justin Fennessy, said: "I've worked for Alcoa for 10 years and my half acre has a wide variety of Alcoa trees that I received through the annual Employee Day of Trees. Some of the trees are quite big now!"
"People like me tend to get a bit of an Alcoa tree collection happening and at the same time we are helping the environment, so it's a win-win."
The trees planted by employees under the Employee Day of Trees are in addition to those planted in the revegetation programs routinely undertaken by Alcoa as part of our successful mine rehabilitation. (See the part of the solution section of this edition for more on mine rehabilitation).
Alcoa’s annual Tree Planting Weekend in Western Australia, which has become somewhat of a ritual for our employees, also took place last month. Around 60 Alcoa employees and their families volunteered their time on a wet and windy weekend to participate in what was the 19th Alcoa Tree Planting Weekend.
Anika Wall, an Environmental Scientist at our mining operations, attended the weekend and said: “It’s a great opportunity to get out with Alcoans from other sites and give something back to the community and the environment.”
“The weekend gave me a real sense of achievement and satisfaction because we were doing something that will help ensure our unique native fauna are around for my grandkids to see.
“Despite the weather, there was a real sense of teamwork and lots of motivation to get all those seedlings in the ground!
“Tree planting is very therapeutic; it is like a form of meditation!” Anika said.
Over the weekend, 33,800 seedlings were planted in a strategic manner at the Australian Wildlife Conservatory’s Paruna Sanctuary, in partnership with the Wooroloo Brook Land Conservation District Committee (WBLCD).
This year the WBLCD Committee singled out Kwinana employee Peter Rossi and his wife Lidia for their long association and commitment to planting trees in their area.
Peter and Lidia have given up their time to join the Alcoa Tree Planting Weekend nearly every year since it began and were presented with their very own potty-putkis - an implement that looks like a bazooka but is actually a tool used for tree planting with ease.
Employee Day of Trees and the Alcoa Tree Planting Weekends form part of Alcoa’s global Ten Million Trees program, which was launched in 2003 to recognise the trees planted by Alcoa employees around the world. The Ten Million Trees program grew from the extremely successful One Million Trees program, which began in 1998 with the goal of planting a million trees within ten years. When this goal was quickly met, Alcoa raised the bar and created the Ten Million Trees program.
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