partnering stronger communities
kids in our communities to be fit for life
Former swimming champion Shelly Taylor-Smith helped Alcoa celebrate our partnership with the Bluearth Foundation this month.

The Bluearth program has been running successfully in schools right around Australia for a number of years, thanks to the Bluearth Foundation and corporate partners. The program aims to instil lifelong healthy habits and a love of physical activity in school kids – an ever important goal in the fight against childhood obesity.
Through Bluearth, students are given the opportunity to explore their co-ordination, agility, speed, motor skills, stability, flexibility, cardiovascular adaptation and balance within a fun and supportive environment. The physical activity then helps the children to keep focused in class, ultimately delivering them with better learning outcomes.

Alcoa has been in partnership with Bluearth since 2008, first supporting the roll out of the program in ten schools throughout the Peel region.

This year we extended our support so several schools in the South-West could also take part (Waroona, Harvey, Yarloop and Australind Primary Schools). Alcoa was the first corporate to become involved in the program.

Former Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, now Bluearth CEO, Mal Brough, (pictured right) was at our recent celebration. “The Bluearth program assists teachers to maximise learning outcomes for all students and it’s been shown to improve self-confidence, cooperation, awareness of others and the students’ ability to concentrate and stay on task.

“Independent evaluations have verified that students who take part in the Bluearth program also show significantly reduced projection of body fat for their age group, increased postural stability and improved academic results in literacy, numeracy and reading - as measured by the national standard NAPLAN test scores.

“Bluearth is working hard to ensure that the benefits of the Bluearth program is accessible to schools and communities Australia-wide, and thanks to our sponsors like Alcoa of Australia this goal is coming closer to being realised.”

Wagerup Refinery Manager, Eugenio Azevedo, said: “Our support enables Bluearth to deliver the program in primary schools from Pinjarra to Australind, the communities were we operate and where our employees live.”

As a company with one of the lowest lost workday injury rates in Australia, we believe that our health and safety expertise is a valuable asset which can be used to build capacity in the broader community.
The Bluearth Institute was founded by software entrepreneur Malcolm Freake.

alcoa supports research to further equality for women in work
New research released in Canberra last month, by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and Alcoa of Australia, shows an increasing number of organisations is now offering paid maternity leave.

The data were collected from 2300 organisations, with 100 or more employees, representative of over one million Australian women.  As an EOWA recognised ‘Employer of Choice for Women’, and as part of our commitment to promoting equal opportunity and more diverse workplace, Alcoa funded the EOWA research.

According to Alcoa’s Director of Talent, Learning and Development Jann Kinsela: “Sustainable national productivity and growth partly relies on equality for women in the workplace.”

“Flexibility, equality and providing career opportunities for women are critically important for well functioning communities, and it’s research like this which helps sign-post the way for businesses and society to progress,” Jann said.

50.8% of organisations now provide employees with paid maternity leave – an increase by more than 15% from 2003. However, Australia saw only a 1.9% increase in paid maternity leave between 2007 and 2008.

“EOWA is currently collecting data on how organisations plan to change their current practices and policies given the introduction of the Government funded paid parental leave scheme,” Acting EOWA Director Mairi Steele said.

Alcoa continues to offer 13 weeks paid maternity leave, compared with the average duration of 9.4 weeks.

“Alcoa’s return to work rates following maternity leave are high at around 90 per cent, and data tells us that our ability to offer part-time arrangements for women returning from maternity leave has had a significant impact on the retention of women,” Jann said.

“But at Alcoa, we also know that providing paid maternity leave and part-time arrangements are only two parts in providing women with equality and a work/ life balance.
“Diversity initiatives and flexibility are key to business sustainability – taking these issues seriously simply makes good business sense.
“Providing opportunities for women to realise their career potential have been central strategies for Alcoa for many years now, because we know that we stand a far greater chance of attracting the right people who will be the best fit for our organisation and who will be best placed to deliver our business results.”

The full survey results are available by clicking here.

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Bluearth event: Standing- Adrienne Stegena, Taylor Kelly, John Cattermole (Alcoa), Shelley Taylor-Smith (Bluearth), Mal Brough (CEO Bluearth), Shaun Morrison, Kyron Nunn, Briana Fiore. Kneeling - Kathryn Sydney-Smith (Alcoa), Brody Jordan , Ashlyn Curly, Michael Ellis

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Alcoa supports equal opportunity research. Scroll down for full story

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Alcoa of Australia has been named an Employer of Choice for Women by EOWA for 8 consecutive years

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Acting EOWA Director Mairi Steele, Federal Minister for the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek, with Alcoa's Jann Kinsela

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Alcoa's Director of Talent, Learning & Development Jann Kinsela at the launch of the EOWA research in Canberra