partnering stronger communities
alcoa celebrates 30 years on tour
After receiving over 600,000 visitors since opening our doors to the community in 1978, and being recognised as a major accredited tourist attraction, Alcoa’s Huntly bauxite mine and its Pinjarra refinery celebrated 30 years of tours during a major celebration this month.
Local, interstate and overseas visitors including Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser, former Governor General Michael Jefferies, US Consul General Dr Ken Chern - and even Charles and Di who toured one of Alcoa’s Victorian smelters back in the early 1980’s - have been some of the high profile tour participants over the years.
The milestone event, hosted by Perth Channel 9 celebrity Dixie Marshall and held at the new Alcoa Discovery Centre in Pinjarra, was attended by a host of Alcoa employees, partners, and fellow community members.
“The 30th anniversary provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our history in the Peel and South-West region over the last three decades,” said Alan Cransberg, Managing Director, Alcoa of Australia.
“If we look back 30 years, one of the reasons for opening our doors was to increase the level of community knowledge about our business,” he said.
“This focus hasn’t changed and today we remain committed to building understanding about our operations and our contribution to Australian life.
“As well as learning about the aluminium production process, visitors can get an insight into why our mine rehab area and our revegetation techniques have created a world benchmark and have won us many awards for our commitment to sustainability.
“We are very proud of these achievements and are genuinely thrilled that so many visitors have been able to share these accomplishments with us.”
To mark the 30th anniversary of our free educational tours, a new Sustainability Tour - a unique educational experience which focuses on Alcoa’s economic, social and environmental sustainability – was launched. This is in addition to a newly introduced tour of Alcoa’s Wagerup Refinery and Willowdale Mine which, together with the sustainability tour, takes places once a month.
Simon Butterworth, General Manager of WA Operations, said the celebrations mark 30 years of Alcoa sharing its story and helping the community to better understand the company and the resources sector.
“Our tours aim to help visitors experience first hand the aluminium industry and to assist our community understand what we do at Alcoa, and the role we play in Australian life,” he said.
“Our new sustainability tour explains Alcoa’s focus on climate change challenges and sustainable growth issues we all need to be thinking about.”
During the celebrations, local resident and Alcoa employee Raelene Jones was acknowledged and commended for reaching her own 30th anniversary with the company. Raelene was one of the first tour guides to begin work at Alcoa in 1978 when the first public tours commenced.
“The visitors are the people who really make the job special, meeting people from all walks of life every week and from countries throughout the world is an incredibly interesting part of my role here.
“I can’t quite believe it’s been 30 years, but I love my job and one thing’s for sure, I’ve no plans to retire just yet.”
So if you haven’t gone ‘on tour’ with Alcoa in the past 30 years, now might well be the time. Contact the tour centre on 9530 2400 for more details.
alcoa scores prestigious arts award
Alcoa walked away a winner from the 2008 Victorian Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Awards recently. The highly prestigious AbaF Awards recognise excellence in private sector-arts relationships. Our ongoing partnership with Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) took out the Qantaslink Regional Award.
The Alcoa/ RAV partnership supports RAV’s arts2GO program, the largest in-schools touring program in Victoria, which aims to provide access to high-quality arts and cultural experiences for school students. Each year, the arts2GO Schools Touring Program reaches 65,000 regional students with over 600 performances in more than 400 Victorian schools. The partnership has facilitated the creation of innovative new works, which in turn support Victorian artists to pursue excellence in this field.
Alcoa Victorian Operations General Manager Arnaud Soirat said it was the partners’ shared vision for community access to the arts in regional Victoria that led to the success of the ongoing partnership.
arts2GO provides schools in Alcoa’s main Victorian operating areas (Geelong, Anglesea and Portland) with free performances or workshops. The program enables schools in regional areas to have similar arts and cultural experiences to their counterparts in Melbourne.
While Alcoa and Regional Arts Victoria received the award - the real winners are the regional school children.
“As a predominantly regional employer and operator, Alcoa is committed to the long-term sustainability of the communities where we live and work. We believe creativity strengthens communities and makes them more vibrant places to live and work.
“Alcoa’s support for the arts is focused around making access to the arts a possibility for all,” he said.
Regional Arts Victoria CEO Lindy Allen said the secret to the success of the partnership was the vision both organisations shared for the local community.
“Regional Arts Victoria believes quality arts experiences should be available for all Victorians,” said Ms Allen.
“Partnerships like this one enable participation on many levels, and ultimately, make the process a lot more fun. This partnership is an excellent vehicle for artists and for industry. These new and broader community relationships are testimony to the value of this type of investment for industry partners and the rewards for our audiences in regional Victoria”.
For more information about AbaF visit: www.abaf.org.au.
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