In April 2020, during the height of the Covid lockdown, over 1,300 care packages containing essential supplies were distributed to Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara, as part of Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
HELPING COMMUNITY & COUNTRY
WOOLAHRA COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
HOW WOOLLAHRA GROUP SUPPORTED INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES THROUGH THE COVID PANDEMIC
With the support of Woollahra, SureKleen, Action Industrial Catering and Sodexo, 29 pallets of non-perishable foods and critical hygiene products, including flour, tin meat, rice, soap, hand sanitiser and disinfectants, were picked up by representatives of Aboriginal communities in Port Hedland, Karratha and Roebourne.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “We are acutely aware of the risks of COVID-19 to regional and remote Aboriginal communities and are working proactively with a range of stakeholders to ensure they are supported during and after this global health and economic crisis.
“As a business operating in the Pilbara, we have built longstanding relationships with our Native Title Partners and now more than ever, it is vital that we work together to ensure these communities remain safe and resilient.
“These critical items will help empower Aboriginal communities to take the necessary steps to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 and we will continue to work with all of our Native Title Partners to keep providing these targeted support measures in the months to come,” Ms Gaines said.
Fortescue’s support for Aboriginal Australians also involves working closely with its Aboriginal business partners to ensure they remain resilient during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the ongoing impact of COVID-19 will be challenging for many Aboriginal businesses and we are helping to address any specific issues they may be facing, while also continuing to engage their services,” Ms Gaines said.
“We are also proactively working to ensure that our Aboriginal suppliers are part of Fortescue’s ongoing procurement strategy to secure supplies and services needed to contain the spread of COVID-19, including medical supplies, hand sanitisers, cleaning and hygiene products.”
Woollahra's CEO Chris Schmid added "We are proud to work with Fortescue Metals Group and our other partners to deliver this project to some of the nations most vulnerable. Woollahra's values are entrenched in caring for community and country and this project is another step forward in supporting our community partners."
This initiative was featured in a number of published articles: