Rio Tinto renews partnership with Clontarf Foundation

25 July 2017

Rio Tinto announces new A$1.1 million commitment to the Clontarf Foundation over the next three years supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and year 12 qualifications around Australia.

Since first partnering with the Clontarf Foundation in 2008, and with the renewal of the partnership Rio Tinto’s total financial contribution to the Foundation will exceed A$11 million.

This announcement is in line with the Federal Government’s funding announcement which will effectively double the Clontarf Foundation’s reach to 10,500 participants by the end of 2020.

Rio Tinto managing director Australia Joanne Farrell said "We are really pleased to be renewing our successful partnership with Clontarf Foundation to help continue the work right across the country.

"By working alongside the Clontarf Foundation, State and Federal Governments we are seeing positive change and real outcomes within Indigenous communities throughout Australia," Joanne said.

Pictured: Rio Tinto managing director Australia Joanne Farrell meeting Clontarf Aboriginal College students with Clontarf Foundation Founder Gerard Neesham and Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion

Rio Tinto has employed well over 50 Clontarf graduates across Iron Ore, Dampier Salt, Argyle Diamonds, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and the Gove Bauxite operations.

Founder & CEO of Clontarf Foundation Gerard Neesham said "With this new commitment, Rio Tinto will remain our largest corporate partner and also one of the leading employers of our year 12 graduates.

"We are extremely proud that our partnership with Rio Tinto will continue for another three years, particularly as we embark on a period of enormous growth," Gerard said.

Attending the announcement today, Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said "I am pleased Rio Tinto have renewed their commitment to the Clontarf Foundation following the Federal Government’s increased funding as part of its 1967 Referendum 50th anniversary Indigenous education package.

"The results Clontarf Foundation have been able to achieve, highlights just what can be accomplished when not-for-profit organisations work in partnership with government, industry, Indigenous people and communities," Nigel said. 

Notes to Editors

The Clontarf Foundation is a charitable not-for-profit organisation formed to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

The agreement stands from 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020 with the aim to engage 10,500 students by the end of 2020.

Rio Tinto is a national leader in ‘Closing the Gap’ and Clontarf’s first A$1 million financial partner. This renewed commitment with ensure Rio Tinto remains Clontarf’s largest corporate partner.

Since opening its first Academy for 25 boys in 2000 the Foundation has grown to cater for over 5,700 boys in 92 schools across Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The Rio Tinto Aboriginal Fund initially provided $150,000 for the establishment and ongoing operations of the Katherine Clontarf Academy in the Northern Territory from 2008-2010 and an additional $80,000 in 2011.

In 2012, Clontarf entered in to a two year agreement with Rio Tinto Australia for $1.25 million per annum for the establishment and ongoing operations of our Academies in NSW. This agreement has since been renewed twice (at the same amount) for the period 2014 – 2015 and 2016 – 2017.