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global recognition for wagerup & point henry employees
Ten Australian Alcoans, from our Wagerup Refinery and Point Henry Smelter, will jet off to the US in March after being selected as finalists in Alcoa’s 2011 Global Impact Awards.

The Impact Awards are an internal Alcoa-wide global competition, recognising teams that have demonstrated extraordinary business results.  Importantly, the Awards also allow the sharing of best practices across all Alcoa business units globally.

The Wagerup team (who all stem from the local area of either Waroona or Mandurah) of Terry Wilson, Gino Vitale, Peter Hartnup, Colin Davis and Michael Magno, stood out amongst 317 global entries.  As a finalist, in the Asset Management category, the team from Wagerup has proven how great ideas, when combined with hard work and disciplined execution, can lead to great success.

The five-strong team has been recognised for a smart business idea which recovers previously unrecoverable alumina from the alumina storage bins by a significant 74%, and reduces costs.

Terry Wilson, one of Wagerup’s Senior Asset Owners Representatives, came up with the original concept and was assisted by his four colleagues to make the idea a reality.

“These guys are doers not talkers – they got stuck in and took pride in the results. I think along the way we all wanted to prove that we could do something a lot of people thought impossible,” Terry said.

“It’s good to see the good guys get reward for a great effort.”

“I actually think we have the best chance of winning when you consider the amount of money we saved and reclaimed for the business right in the middle of the global financial crisis when we needed it the most,” Michael Magno said.

Terry is quietly confident of a win in Florida: “I don’t know the competition, but they will have to be pretty impressive to better our project! I look forward to meeting them.”

Colin Davis and Peter Harnup both agreed that being told they were Impact Award finalists was their proudest Alcoa moment.

On heading to Florida, Mr Hartnup said: “Excited – it has taken some time to realise this is real. Even now it’s hard to believe.”

Our successful Victorian team is a finalist in the community category, for a project known as ‘Moolapio’.  Moolapio is a partnership with long-term conservation partner Greening Australia, and together we developed, and continue to implement, a management plan to conserve, enhance and restore the flora and fauna of the land surrounding our Point Henry Smelter in Geelong.

The Alcoans responsible for ensuring Moolapio’s success to date, in partnership with Greening Australia, are Stewart Esdale (Point Henry Operations Manager), Brendan Foran, Kate Betts, Barry Knight and Steve Ford.

So far the partnership has achieved:

  • Community engagement; 
  • Knowledge sharing and capacity building between Greening Australia and Alcoa; 
  • Positive engagement with employees and their families; and 
  • Significant landscape and wetland restoration.

“Over the past two years a great deal of work has been done, and there is more work to do towards our long-term vision that Moolapio become one of the world’s most unique and important centres for developing grassland restoration technologies and showcasing this best practice to industry partners and the wider community,” said Brendan Foran, Alcoa’s Eastern States Corporate Affairs Manager.

Moolapio has previously won two national awards, the United Nations Environment Day Award and the Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence.

“Congratulations to our two Alcoa of Australia teams - fantastic! Whatever happens at the final judging in Florida, both teams have done outstanding work and thoroughly earned their nomination,” Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said.

“The huge number of entries represents the excellence we have within this global business. Our Aussie finalists really have made a wonderful contribution to Alcoa and should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.”

The finalist teams will go on to share their best practices with Alcoa’s top managers at an Alcoa Leadership Conference in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.  There, the best of each category will be announced and the success of all finalists will be celebrated. Finalist teams will also be rewarded with a cash prize to be spent on a team event (winning teams receive $10,000, other finalist teams receive $5,000).

Globally, three teams have been selected as finalists under six Impact Award categories:

  • Growth: recognising sales, profit and market share gain;
  • Productivity: focused on monetary impact and relative gain;
  • Asset Management: recognising dollar impact and days of working capital or management of capital expenditures;
  • Environment, Health and Safety: celebrating excellence and improvement towards an EHS benchmark;
  • Alcoa Advantage: encouraging collaboration and leveraging the advantages of being part of the larger Alcoa; and
  • Community: cultivating relationships in our communities to strengthen our social license to operate.

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Click image to enlarge.

(L-R) WA Operations General Manager Simon Butterworth with Gino Vitale, Terry Wilson, Peter Hartnup, Colin Davis and Michael Magno from Wagerup Refinery