More than 120 volunteers came together in Roebourne last month to lend a helping hand at Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) fourth annual working bee, which again concentrated on improving Roebourne District High School.
Fortescue employees and their families were joined by volunteers from Fortescue’s contracting partner Thiess, Wirlu Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and the local community, as well as teachers and parents from Roebourne District High School and prisoners on supervised release from Roebourne Regional Prison.
Tim Deavin, Flynn Ogilvie, Nick Budgeon and Glenn Simpson from Australia’s world champion men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras, also pitched in, swapping their hockey sticks for shovels, paint brushes and landscaping equipment.
With the help of generous donations from Blackwoods, Coates Hire, Hanson Concrete, Hertz Karratha, Holcim Australia, Mobile Concreting Solutions, Northwest Sand and Gravel, Rio Tinto, Signswest, Toxfree and Woksense, the team revitalised the school grounds and gardens and constructed an inviting outdoor classroom.
A communal fire pit was also installed for traditional Aboriginal cooking and to promote Aboriginal culture and storytelling.
Fortescue chief executive officer Nev Power said the annual working bee is a great example of Fortescue’s ongoing commitment to the communities that host its operations.
“At Fortescue we’ve always believed that we can make a real difference to local communities through our actions. Our annual working bee is a wonderful team bonding exercise and it shows the students and Roebourne community what can be achieved through team work and determination,” Mr Power said.
Kookaburras player Tim Deavin said that having the opportunity to represent Australia at Olympics, World Cup and other major events over his five years with the team has been a very rewarding experience and that it has been equally rewarding to be able to make a difference to remote and regional communities off the field.
“It’s been great to work with Fortescue at the Roebourne working bee for a third year. The day was extremely well organised and everyone pulled together to make a real difference for the students of the high school,” Mr Deavin said.
Fortescue has a significant presence in Roebourne through its Vocational, Training and Employment Centre (VTEC), which is located at the Pilbara Institute’s Minurmarghali Mia campus and provides local Aboriginal people with training for a guaranteed job at Fortescue’s operations.