Across Australia we partner with diverse stakeholders, including councils and communities, universities and vocational training providers and environmental groups. Whether it is our decades-long involvement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service or work with the CSIRO on the Great Barrier Reef, our partnerships focus on people, on skills, on science, and on progress.
Rio Tinto is an active community partner. We support community initiatives as diverse as education and training, childcare, health and wellbeing, and cultural heritage and environment protection.
In 2016 we supported 470 initiatives in Australia and over the past five years our direct investments total more than A$300 million. Our people also provide significant in-kind support through their time and roles in the communities in which they work and live.
In Queensland our Here for Gladstone project covers community, health and business initiatives including the Here for Childcare programme that led to traineeships, upskilling and accreditation.
In Western Australia, our Better Beginnings partnership has enabled 98 per cent of WA kindergarten classes to participate in early literacy programmes, while more than 300,000 visitors explored Scitech’s Rio Tinto Innovation Central.
Read more about communities performance in WA and investments such as the A$8 million Wickham Community Hub.
Rio Tinto is the single largest non-government contributor to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA. Together, Rio Tinto and the RFDS have created a state-of-the-art, flying intensive care unit, the Rio Tinto Lifeflight Jet, which provides one of the fastest, and most comprehensively outfitted, aero-medical retrieval services in Australia. In 2017 we extended our support of the RFDS to 2021 with a A$10 million contribution lifting our long-term partnership to A$22.5 million.
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Since opening in 2011, the Rio Tinto Naturescape in Kings Park, Perth has attracted almost 500,000 visitors. It is a dedicated nature space that encourages learning and discovery and gives city kids the opportunity to have a ‘bush experience’ in the heart of Perth.
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The Australian Football League’s suite of Indigenous programmes harnesses the power of sport to engage young Indigenous men and women in football development, leadership, capacity building and cultural identity initiatives. In 2016, Rio Tinto expanded its exclusive partnering relationship to cover all AFL Indigenous programmes.
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Rio Tinto has been working in regional Australia for decades. We took the lead on recognising Native Title and we’ve signed hundreds of access and land use agreements. In 2016 we were endorsed by Reconciliation Australia as an Elevate RAP organisation for our leadership in Indigenous engagement and we work to provide new business opportunities and training opportunities.
We are one of the largest private sector employers of Indigenous Australians.
We employ almost 1,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
More than 12 per cent of our Pilbara workforce are Indigenous. In some locations Aboriginal employment is more than 30 per cent.
In North Queensland we employ more than 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people at our Weipa bauxite and Amrun project development.
Education and STEM are smart steps
In 2016 we supported initiatives across the education spectrum from kindergarten literacy to primary and secondary education to tertiary vocational skills and university bursaries.
In Western Australia we team up with Murdoch University to support an outreach programme for regional high schools. It is part of a joint initiative to boost student engagement to help student discover where Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) can take them in their careers.
In Queensland our Yarwun team works with local school to provide hands on experience and experiments from chemical reactions to electricity generation.
SMART is Rio Tinto’s education portal. It stands for Study, Mining and Rio Tinto and forms part of our ongoing commitment to operate as a sustainable, responsible company.
SMART was first launched in Australia at the start of 2014. New subjects and lessons will be added over time to provide ongoing support for teachers and to engage students throughout their high school education.