September 06, 2019

Local teens face up to climate change

Photo-1_2019 NatureBridge Return Event_Group
Photo caption: 2019 NatureBridge Scholars recently reunited to share their American adventures with Alcoa.

Seeing the impacts of climate change firsthand has changed the perspectives of 27 Western Australian high school students forever, following their recent adventure to UNESCO world heritage sites in the United States of America as part of the Alcoa Foundation funded NatureBridge program.

Sixty-three young people from across the globe took part in this year’s NatureBridge program, which brings together like-minded students to discover how their actions impact their community and the world around them.

Based in either California’s Yosemite National Park or Washington’s Olympic National Park, students worked in groups to explore the themes of climate change and biodiversity through scientific investigations.

Last week, following their return, Alcoa brought the scholars together to share their incredible stories and learnings.

Students enthusiastically recounted the excitement of wild bear sightings, seeing snow for the first time, hiking to the top of mountains, indulging in campfire treats, seeing America’s iconic yellow school buses, and best of all, making lifelong friends.

Hailing from Mandurah, Frederick Irwin Anglican School’s Danielle Booker and Foundation Christian College’s Pieter Verster were amazed by their learnings of how climate change is impacting the planet.

“Most importantly, the trip taught me the importance of living sustainably and minimising our impact on the environment,” Danielle said.

“It gave me a broader understanding of what is happening in the world and what we must do to look after it so the amazing sites we visited, and anywhere else for that matter, remain forever.”

Danielle said the trip was not all about scientific discovery either, as students got to explore one another’s cultures and develop their own confidence and resilience.

“I met so many kind and interesting people who share the same interests as me and I think my social skills have improved because of it; I am now excited for what opportunities lay ahead after finishing school and I hope I can continue to travel so I build on this amazing experience.”

Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Michael Parker said the NatureBridge program aimed to inspire and empower high school students to become long-term environmental stewards with strong connections to the natural world.

“We are building the next generation of sustainability ambassadors and we strongly believe that being immersed in nature while studying science will have long-term positive impacts on these young people,” Mr Parker said.

A total of 351 scholarships have been awarded by the Alcoa Foundation since the inaugural NatureBridge expedition in 2014, 84 of them benefiting students from Western Australia. The scholarships cover the cost of airfares, visas and the full two-week program.




Media contact:

Cheri Tiglias, Corporate Affairs and Communications Adviser, 0450 393 651,


Editor’s note

Alcoa of Australia (Alcoa) has a proud history in Australia which it hopes to continue by remaining internationally competitive, attracting ongoing investment and providing jobs for future generations.

  • Alcoa has been contributing to Australia’s economy since 1963, investing more than
    $12 billion over 56 years.
  • More than 65 per cent of Alcoa’s total annual revenue stays in Australia through wages, local purchasing, taxes, royalties, capital investment and dividends to Australian shareholders.
  • Alcoa employs more than 4,275 people in Australia. About 3,750 live in WA.
  • In our 56 years, Alcoa has taken on more than 2000 apprentices, trainees and graduates.
  • Alcoa invested $1.7 billion with Australian suppliers in 2017.
  • Alcoa paid $654 million in Australian wages, salaries and associated benefits in 2017.
  • Alcoa paid $400 million in State, Federal and Local government taxes and royalties in 2017.
  • Alcoa made $4.2 million in community contributions in 2017.


About Alcoa

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is a global industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, with a strong portfolio of value-added cast and rolled products and substantial energy assets. Alcoa is built on a foundation of strong values and operating excellence dating back nearly 130 years to the world-changing discovery that made aluminum an affordable and vital part of modern life. Since developing the aluminum industry, and throughout our history, our talented employees have followed on with breakthrough innovations and best practices that have led to efficiency, safety, sustainability and stronger communities wherever we operate. Visit us online on, follow @Alcoa on Twitter and on Facebook at