July 02, 2018

Alcoa employees introduce students to university life

Alcoa volunteers joined with Peel high school students last week to Race Around Campus at The University of Western Australia in Perth.

Aspire UWA students with Alcoa volunteer
Mandurah Baptist College students enjoy lunch with Alcoa volunteer Ashley Winter as part of Aspire UWA’s Race Around the Campus event.

The event was part of the Aspire UWA program, which seeks to raise students’ aspirations for tertiary education, focusing on those who would not normally consider university as an option.

The Alcoa Foundation has been supporting the delivery of the Aspire UWA program in 14 Peel region high schools since 2016. The Peel region has lower than average educational attainment levels and the highest youth unemployment rate in the State.

About 750 Year 9 students from 29 Perth and Peel schools participated in Race Around Campus between 21 to 28 June. 

Peel schools that took part included Foundation Christian College, Kolbe Catholic College, Halls Head College, Mandurah Baptist College, Waroona District High School, Byford Secondary College, Mandurah Catholic College, Gilmore College, Coodanup College, John Tonkin College, Harvey Senior High School, Austin Cove Baptist College and Pinjarra Senior High School.

During each day-long event, students were immersed in a range of activities that showcased different aspects of university life. The activities included exploring offshore engineering, coding robots, trying the Indonesian language, and examining the relevance of maths in modern-day society.

Alcoa employees Joanne Wells, Martin Hall, Craig Thorn and Peter Rose from the company’s Information Technology and Automation Solutions group along with Jodie Read, Ashley Winter and Suellen Jerrard from the Corporate Affairs team volunteered on different days either accompanying groups on the race or helping run activities.

Alcoa Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read said the company saw shared value in augmenting its financial support for the Aspire UWA program with employee volunteering.

“It is a great opportunity for students to hear first-hand from our employees how a university education is achievable and can help shape your career,” Ms Read said. “It is also a great opportunity for our employees to connect with the partnership and to have a sense of pride and purpose about Alcoa’s work to support tomorrow’s workforce and leaders.”

Aspire UWA Peel School Partnerships Coordinator Bronwen Veale said the event gave students an opportunity to explore the campus, experience different study areas and learn about student life while engaging in friendly competition with neighbouring schools.

“The participation of Alcoa employees in these events really highlights to students that university is part of their career journey as well as demonstrating the strong links between universities and industry,” Ms Veale said.


Media contact

Sonia Nolan, Senior Communications Adviser, 0401 034 103, sonia.nolan@alcoa.com.au

Jane McGuire, Senior Communications Adviser, 0410 694 676, jane.mcguire@alcoa.com.au