Fairbridge
 
Since 1996 an integrated partnership between Fairbridge and Alcoa has led to the revitalisation of an historic Western Australian community and its transformation into a renowned centre for programs developing the skills and talents of young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged.
 
 
Redevelopment Program

By 1996, Fairbridge’s operations had declined to the point where it employed just 2.5 positions, its 55 heritage buildings were in disrepair and eight were boarded up. Only 5000 people were visiting the village each year, largely from well outside the local area, and no programs were being run to bring new visitors to the site or create new uses for the village.
 
After 10 years of hard work together the success of the Alcoa and Fairbridge partnership is clear to see, with achievements including: 
 
  • visitor numbers increasing more than 4,000% to 200,000 people per annum
  • creating an accommodation program that now involves 40,000 visitor nights per annum
  • increasing employee numbers more than 6,000% to 156 positions
  • employment benefiting disadvantaged members of the community with 40% of Fairbridge’s staff previously long-term unemployed, 20% indigenous and 10% young people with a disability
  • three quarters of the village is fully renovated
    Fairbridge running a myriad of youth programs, working with 184 youth organisations from around WA and having 15 written partnerships with like-minded organisations
  • Fairbridge contributing over $9 million to the local regional economy over the last four years
  • the finances of the organisation being well on the way to self-sustaining
 
 
Alcoa Fairbridge Pathways Program
 
In 2002, Alcoa in partnership with Fairbridge, initiated the Fairbridge Pathways Program which provides learning experiences in life skills and personal development to disadvantaged young people. Education and training programs are designed to provide training in work skills and behaviours that enable unemployed young people to gain employment, enhance their self esteem and acquire a sense of belonging and ultimately become valued and positive contributing members of the community.
 
Since this program was established, more than 4,800 young people, 2,000 families and 800 volunteers have been involved in programs such as the Youth Leadership Development Program, the Wilderness Youth Leadership Development Program and the Fellowship Awareness Inclusion and Relaxation (FAIR) Program.
 
Other program partners include the Peel Development Commission, Department of Community Development – Youth Affairs and Family and Community Services, Disability Services Commission and the Lotteries Commission.
 

Fairbridge Sustainability Fund

In 2005 Alcoa began a new partnership with Fairbridge and became a Founding Member of the Fairbridge Sustainability Fund.  The establishment of the Fairbridge Sustainability Fund – for Conservation, Maintenance & Development of Fairbridge Village - will ensure that Fairbridge Village is economically self-sustaining in terms of maintaining the Village to enable the ongoing charitable work of Fairbridge. 
 

Alcoa Fairbridge Landcare Traineeships

Fairbridge offers eight Landcare Traineeships a year for young people interested in environmental conservation.  Six are offered in partnership with Alcoa where the young people receive formal training through Fairbridge and on the job training within the landcare areas of Alcoa and Fairbridge.
 
The traineeship runs for 12 months and in this period the trainees are required to complete 390 hours of formal training in what is called the Environmental Sustainable Project.  In addition to the formal training the trainees are involved in a number of complementary projects within the village. Some activities which trainees have been involved in include:
 
  • Renovation of the Animal Touch Farm;
  • Revegetation of Fairbridge's wetland and farm property;
  • Design of a botanical mini golf course;
  • Construction of outdoor settings with recycled materials;
  • Weed control.

Once completed, the Landcare trainees receive a Certificate II in Land Conservation and Restoration along with practical skills improving future employment prospects for the young people involved.

Want to know more about Fairbridge? Why not go to their website...
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When Alcoa volunteers carried out much-needed maintenance work on the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) headquarters at Fairbridge their efforts were matched by a $4500 grant from the Alcoa Foundation.




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Alcoa Chairman, Alain Belda, meets Alcoa Fairbridge Landcare trainees



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School students have an archery training session at Fairbridge



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Fairbridge indigenous training group cut the opening ribbon on Baxter house