At Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun, good management of community relationships is as necessary to our business as the success of our operation. This belief is at the heart of our overall approach to communities work, and the reason we set out to build enduring relationships that are characterised by mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment.

Mutual respect depends on our understanding of the issues that are important to our neighbours, as well as our neighbours understanding of what is important to us.

We seek to understand the social, environmental and economic implications of our activities so we can optimise benefits and reduce negative impacts, both for local communities and for regional and national economies.

We accept that we cannot meet everybody’s expectations or alleviate all concerns, but we endeavour to operate with the broad-based support of the Gladstone community.

We support community-based projects that can make a difference in a sustainable way without creating dependency, and also assist regional development, training and employment, and small business opportunities.


Here for Childcare

The Here for Childcare programme epitomises the objectives of the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund through collaboration with government, education institutions, business, private childcare enterprises and early childhood educators. It is an initiative that invests in the future of the region’s young people and supports local families.

Here for Childcare 2013 Results
14 New family day care
11 New
11 High school students in school
based childcare traineeships
17 Existing educators to complete
their diploma in children's
02 Full scholarship winners to
study Bachelor of Education
08 Professional development
full day workshops

Here for Growth

Our work with community groups over the past decade has regularly identified the need to support volunteers in local not-for-profit groups. These organisations make a significant contribution to the local community and deliver a range of services and activities on a volunteer basis. The Here for Growth project has achieved significant funding success with four community organisations receiving a total sum of $259 000. We also held four workshops focused around media, communications, grant writing and sustainable funding with more than 80 participants across 30 organisations. One-on-one assistance was also provided to 10 community organisations through the Here for Growth project.

Here for Growth 2013 Results
$130,000 Gladstone Women's
$31,000 Revolution Gym Sports
$48,000 Gladstone Navel Cadets (applied in 2013 - approval and
monies in 2014)
$50,000 Bindaree Lodge (applied in 2013 - approval and
monies in 2014)
80 Participants across four workshops (Media/Communications, Governance; Sustainable Funding and Grant Writing) 10 Community Organisations offered
one-on-one assistance

Here for Health

Rio Tinto Alcan has facilitated a committee of local health services and community leaders to identify opportunities to improve health services in Gladstone, since February 2013.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund Board has commissioned the development of a One Gladstone Health Plan. This plan has pulled together the public, private and primary health care data to inform a single vision and strategic plan to drive better health services in the Gladstone region.

The One Gladstone Health Plan has invested in the following six specialist areas to share across both the Gladstone and Mater Hospitals:

  1. Orthopaedics
  2. Paediatrics
  3. Obstetrics
  4. General surgery
  5. General medicine
  6. Anaesthetics

The Here for Health committee is investigating the viability of additional incentives for after-hours GP services in Gladstone. The committee is working on establishing an online booking tool for Gladstone residents to book a consultation with a local GP online or via mobile app. This site will allow people to see available appointments across all GP practices in Gladstone, enabling more convenience and reduced waiting times.

Attracting more medical professionals to our region has also been identified as a priority. The community is working to achieve this through the establishment of the Hello Gladstone website The website is designed to showcase all the Gladstone region has to offer those considering moving to the area.

Here for Health 2013 Results
+1 Orthapaedic Surgeon +2 Paediatricians
+1 Director of Medical Sercices at
the Gladstone Base Hospital
+1 Hello Gladstone Website
+1 Online booking tool for patients  


We take complaints at both our operations seriously and respond, report and act on all complaints received.

At our Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun site we received two complaints related to alumina dust. On both occasions an investigation and remedy to reduce dust emissions was completed.

At QAL, we received 75 complaints in 2013. Thirty of those were in relation to dust, 17 odour, 15 noise, 12 alkali and one other.

Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund

We have invested in the region through the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund for more than a decade. The Fund continues to respond to the community’s changing needs. Over the last decade, we have committed more than $4 million to 44 local partnerships and projects.

The Fund launched the Here for Health project in February 2013 which aims to drive improvements in local health services for the Gladstone community. The Here for Health project has an objective to deliver a best practice model of health services to meet the needs of the community and the committee is well positioned to continue driving improvements in local health services into the future.

Sponsorships and donations

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun and QAL have also supported the community through a sponsorships and donations programme. The programme provides financial and in-kind support to local initiatives and events.





Sponsorships and donations (Yarwun)




Sponsorships and donations (QAL)


Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund




Community Contributions

Cultural heritage management

We recognise and respect the cultural heritage of the Traditional Owners of our land. To ensure sites of cultural heritage significance are protected we closely consult with local Aboriginal people.

The Port Curtis Coral Coast group was commissioned in 2013 to conduct an assessment on the RMA2 lot at theRio Tinto Alcan Yarwun site, adjacent to the current facility. The site is currently being prepared for potential future use. During a full cultural heritage survey on the lot, the Traditional Owners requested a traditional burn of the area, leading to a controlled burn across 860 hectares. The cultural heritage survey has also uncovered a number of artifacts, which will be verified and then a management plan devised.

Cooking for communities

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun employees took to the kitchen to cook and raise money for local not-for-profit charities, organisations and sporting groups in 2013. Employees interested in raising funds for a community group were encouraged to organise a cooking event on site. The business provides a barbecue, cooking equipment and a cash float to assist with set-up costs. The business also donates $500 in addition to the money raised by each group.

Community day

There was record attendance at the Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun community day held at the Yarwun State School in December 2013. More than 200 community members attended, with refinery bus tours, live music, rides and a barbecue keeping guests entertained.

At the QAL Open Day employees invited their children on a tour of the plant so they could see where their parents worked. In addition to the tours, guests also enjoyed rides and food.

Reconciliation action plan

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun, through its parent company Rio Tinto, has a Reconciliation Action Plan that commits us to a number of activities to create sustainable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.





Long Term

Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title claim group and Rio Tinto Alcan meet annual objectives as set out in the cultural heritage management plan

Achieved. All land has been surveyed.

PCCC and Rio Tinto Alcan meet annual objectives as set out in the cultural heritage agreement

Implement cultural heritage management processes to consult with traditional owners and identify and manage cultural heritage sites that may be impacted by our mining activities

No target set

No cultural heritage incidents

No cultural heritage incidents

No reportable incidents of mining activities impacting on sites of cultural significance

Develop and deliver a cultural awareness training programme for all site employees and contractors

No target set

100% of employees and contractors completed training within three months of starting work

Reviewed target.

100%site employees and contractors complete cultural awareness training programme and biannual refresher programme

Maintain indigenous employment in line with population demographic (Gladstone)




Continue working towards fostering indigenous employment above local population demographic and maintain this level

Looking Forward

Rio Tinto Alcan has been operating in Gladstone since 1964. We recognise the importance that quality childcare and healthcare plays in the community.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund board has been actively working towards the best way to contribute to a solution. The Here for Health project has already seen the recruitment of a Director of Medical Services at the Gladstone Base Hospital in mid 2013, as well as three other specialists. The Here for Health project aims to deliver best practice health services for the region through a strategic and planned approach into the future. The One Gladstone Health Plan will ensure we continue to meet the needs of the community.

The Here for Childcare is a package of programmes which has helped ease the pressures on the childcare industry. We are achieving this through increasing childcare places through supporting family day care, attracting new educators to the industry, upskilling existing educators to improve the overall quality of care and tertiary level qualification support to help meet new legislative requirements. This will be achieved through the delivery of six programmes from 2012 – 2015, which as a holistic package will help ensure our children are provided a sound platform for the future.

We will continue to work with our existing partners and look for additional opportunities to address community need through the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund in 2014. We will also work to continue meeting our obligations under the Reconciliation Action Plan.

Stakeholder Engagement

Maxine Brushe, Gladstone Regional Councillor and Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund Board member

“Rio Tinto Alcan has taken a greater strategic role in providing real solutions in the community. They have facilitated some wonderful discussions between stakeholders in the health and childcare sectors. In the original years of the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund, it was providing funding to individual projects within the community. They were meeting a need, however there were still a few significant community needs that had gone unaddressed. Two of those were health and childcare. If you asked anyone in the community their standout concern, it would have been a lack of health and childcare services. In response, the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund took a proactive approach to addressing these concerns.”

Lyn Huges, Here for Childcare Committee and Gladstone READs coordinator:
"Rio Tinto Alcan helped broker and establish The Pyjama Foundation in Gladstone to help foster children build their literacy and numeracy skills. Rio Tinto Alcan has been very thorough with its consultation with the community before taking any projects on board, to make sure they are meeting community needs. From my perspective I've had a liaison person from Rio Tinto Alcan assist me for the two years I've been involved. She has helped me every step of the way, including holding quarterly meetings and attending important functions for The Pyjama Foundation. I've been very lucky to have the support of Rio Tinto Alcan, it has been ideal."

Case Studies

Jodie Lyon benefits from $10,000 incentive

Jodie Lyon always loved being with children and through the Rio Tinto Alcan ‘Here for Childcare’ programme, she has secured $10, 000 to make that dream a reality. With the grant she has been able to set up her own family day care at home.

Partnership continues to grow roots

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun and the Yarwun State School have been working together on the Acacia Project over a number of years. In 2013, the partnership merged into a project focussed on the local Semi Evergreen Vine Thicket (SEVT) ecosystem. The SEVT learning programme looked at an ecosystem through an interactive, hands-on excursion to a local property with a thriving SEVT environment. In 2014, students will plant pioneers and work with Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun’s Environment team to plant the under layers. This learning programme is being undertaken in partnership with the Fitzroy River and Coastal Catchments Inc (FRCC).