Alcoa volunteers help prevent Murray River erosion

Willowdale Mine graduate mining engineer Oluwabukunayomi Taiwo helped plant sedges along the Murray River at George Brook, Ravenswood with her fellow graduates.
Willowdale Mine graduate mining engineer Oluwabukunayomi Taiwo helped plant sedges along the Murray River at George Brook, Ravenswood with her fellow graduates.

ALCOA volunteers are continuing to play a key role in efforts to improve an important stretch of the Murray River, near Pinjarra, planting more than 1000 sedges and shrubs.

About a dozen graduates from across Alcoa’s Western Australian operations planted seedlings along the river banks at George Brook in Ravenswood, helping slow erosion and adding habitat for wildlife.

It is the latest in several volunteering efforts made by Alcoa volunteers at the site.

Other activities over recent years have also included: plantings, monitoring programs and installing anti-erosion mechanisms.

The volunteering component forms are part of the company’s multi-million-dollar commitment through the Alcoa Foundation to help improve the Murray, Serpentine and Harvey rivers along with the Peel Harvey Estuary.

As part of those efforts, Alcoa is partnering with Greening Australia to get important on-ground works done around all three rivers.

Alcoa chemical engineer graduate Mara O’Grady, who coordinated the recent volunteer event, said the group enjoyed helping the local community and environment.

“By volunteering, we were able to see and feel the benefits of getting involved in something bigger than ourselves,” she said.

Alcoa has a dedicated year-round program that allows employees to volunteer for worthy causes.

Its Alcoans Coming Together in Our Neighbourhoods (ACTION) Program further encourages employee volunteering by recognising these efforts with grants of $3000 to community groups and charities.

This year, more than 500 of Alcoa’s Australian employees are involved in about 70 ACTION activities, injecting more than 2,000 volunteer hours and about $200,000 into charities and community groups.

More than 50 of these are occurring in the Peel, South West and Kwinana areas where Alcoa has bauxite mines and alumina refineries.