QAL4568 Refining Moments Autumnindd

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he city’s historical collection of images and memorabilia housed at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum has been greatly enhanced with a significant donation from QAL.

QAL Boosts City’s History Collection

The QAL collection, comprising of forty years of local history, will boost the city’s holdings with close to one thousand photographic slides and negatives of the early town development and establishment of QAL in the 1960s. The collection also includes the full range of aluminium hard hats worn on site and complete sets of Horizons and Aluminews magazines dating back to 1963. Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Manager Ross Greenhalgh said the collection was donated to the city as part of QAL’s 40th anniversary celebrations. “With the 40th celebrations last year, it seemed appropriate to gift the collection to the city. The collection will now be more accessible to the community and also kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment to ensure its survival for future generations,” Mr Greenhalgh said. “The survey work and research conducted prior to QAL’s establishment was extensive and many of the images

were used as a record to provide a picture of the community in which the industry was to be established,” “A great majority of the collection is very much focussed on the people and township during the 1960s. Of particular note are images of the early Harbour Festivals, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race and also the town as it was before the boom – both at a ground level and from the air.” Mr Greenhalgh said. Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum Director Pamela Whitlock said the QAL collection was a most welcome addition to the city’s holdings and would provide a very valuable resource that was further enhanced by being well documented and accompanied with supporting material such as personal recollections. “History at community level provides a sense of belonging and derives from an understanding of place, time and the multitude of ties that bring people together,” Ms Whitlock said. “The collection will assist greatly in closing some of the gaps in the pictorial record of the city’s history and development and provide inspiration for many future exhibitions.” The collection is already proving its value with some of the images displayed in the exhibition ‘Racing Onwards: Celebrating 60 years of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race 1949 – 2008’ during Easter.


reating a workplace with a good work-life balance is a major focus of QAL’s vision to be the Employer of Choice.
The QAL Lifestyle Package is a recent initiative introduced in partnership with local businesses and provided to employees in recognition of outstanding safety results for the past two years. QAL recognises that families make a meaningful contribution to quality of life for its employees and as such the package was designed to cover a range of activities for employees and their families. The package consists of: •Unlimited free games of golf at the Gladstone Golf Course •Use of the Yaralla Fitness Centre free of charge •Unlimited free Gladstone Cinema movie tickets Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Manager Ross Greenhalgh said the package was implemented in 2007 initially for 12 months, however its success and continued good safety performance in 2007 has seen the program extended for another 12 months. “QAL recognises the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a person’s optimal health and wellbeing which in the long term will assist in the smooth operation of QAL and maximise the productivity of its staff,” Mr Greenhalgh said. “QAL is therefore committed to providing employees with the opportunity to participate in health and lifestyle enhancing activities and encouraging our people to adopt healthy lifestyles, including a balance between work and other aspects of life.” Plant Support Engineer Lance Clulee uses the package on a weekly basis and has found many benefits from the program. “I use the gym as part of the package every week day and I play golf on every RDO. A healthy body holds a healthy mind, so the benefits are not only of a monetary value but they also have improved my fitness and general wellbeing,” Mr Clulee said. “There are so many advantages to the package. Being new to Gladstone, it has also provided me with the opportunity to meet new people and make friends at the gym and golf club.” A number of other health related rewards and incentives have been introduced for QAL employees, contractors and their families. These include free skin cancer checks and flu vaccinations, provided as part of QAL’s commitment towards providing a healthier and more balanced lifestyle for all.

Supporting Healthy Lifestyles

A Message from QAL’S Managing Director


elcome to our Autumn edition of Refining Moments, QAL’s community newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date with our activities.
I am pleased to announce the release of QAL’s 2007 Health Safety, Environment and Communities report. The report presents an overview our successes and challenges in 2007, whilst also providing a background to our organisation and the environment in which we operate. Details of how to secure a copy of the report is included in this issue. QAL has extended the Lifestyle Package for employees, whereby everyone on site has access to free gym membership, golf and movies as part of their employment package. Introduced for the first time last year in recognition of exceptional safety performance, the package has proved to be a great success and provides enormous benefits towards creating a healthy lifestyle and work life balance for our workforce. A total of 17 new apprentices commenced their careers with QAL this year and were welcomed on site in January. QAL is proud to be one of the largest apprentice employers in Queensland and with a total of 86 apprentices now on site, we are providing exceptional training opportunities to address the current skills shortage experienced across the country. Career opportunities at QAL were also explored by 17 vacational students during a 12

Autumn 2008 In This Issue
New Apprentices Vacation Students 2007 Report Tree Planting Eco Report Card History Donation Lifestyle Package

week placement at the refinery. Selected from around Australia, the university students spent a working holiday with QAL to complete specialised projects and studies, under the guidance of our highly skilled mentors. I know they enjoyed the experience of working at one of the world’s largest alumina refineries and have taken back to university a valuable working knowledge of how a large organisation such as QAL operates. With the 40th anniversary being such a big part of our community activities last year, QAL celebrated the past history of the refinery and its relationship with the local community. In recognition of this milestone and to ensure the history of QAL is retained, the entire history collection was gifted to the city’s collection housed at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum. This donation, which consisted of over 2 000 items including photographs and memorabilia will provide a valuable resource for the community and ensure its survival for future generations. I trust you will enjoy reading more about these stories and others which are contained in this issue of Refining Moments. Kind regards

Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum Director and QAL Chief Financial Officer Peter Odgers take a look at some of the QAL collection donated to the city.

Johann van Zyl Managing Director


We value your support of our operations. If you would like to know more information from this edition, or would like to give feedback on the impact of QAL’s operations, please contact QAL Community Relations, Parsons Point, Gladstone, Queensland 4680, telephone 1800 181 110 (for community related issues) or (07) 4976 2211 (for general enquiries), email or visit our website at

Apprentices Start New Career Path

Greening for the Future


AL has an impressive 86 apprentices on site this year, with 17 new recruits commencing their careers at one of the world’s largest alumina refineries in January.
QAL’s recruitment team had the enormous task of selecting the first year apprentices from a staggering 194 applications received throughout the region. QAL Senior Human Resources Specialist Vicki Bruton said the task proved extremely challenging given the high calibre of applications. “QAL has a strong reputation as a favourable employer so it is encouraging to see that so many of our younger generation in the region are keen to begin their careers with us,” Ms Bruton said. “This year’s apprentices represent a large cross-section of the community creating a very diverse workforce for QAL. In particular, we have apprentices from both ends of the scale – some are straight out of school, while others are mature age having accepted adult apprenticeships.” As one of the state’s largest apprentice employers, QAL is committed to providing the local community with viable employment

opportunities through the apprenticeship program. QAL Managing Director Johann van Zyl said employing apprentices was of long-term benefit for both QAL and the Gladstone community. “It makes perfect sense from a business point of view. Our apprenticeship scheme not only provides young people in the region with solid employment, but also ensures us a future pool of skilled workers, which is necessary for growth,” Mr van Zyl said. “At QAL we recognise that productivity and job satisfaction are not just about having a good income but also about having access to upskilling, career paths and diversification,” “We attempt to expose our apprentices to the widest range of experiences and training opportunities that the organisation can offer. Our apprentices can be assured that the training they will receive during their time at QAL will put them in good stead for their future career opportunities, either within or outside of the organisation.” Mr van Zyl said. Of QAL’s new apprentices, eight are mechanical, six are electrical and instrumentation, three are boiler-making. They will be officially welcomed and presented with their toolboxes at the QAL Apprentice of Year awards ceremony on 21 May.


he QAL Tree Planting committee will be putting their green thumbs to work in the coming months as another 2 100 seedlings will be added to the buffer zone between QAL and Barney Point.
Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Manager Ross Greenhalgh said over 18 000 native species including Acacias, Casuarinas, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus and Melaleuca have been planted in the old sand pond areas so far. “QAL is keen to continue with its long term plan to establish local plants

Students Gain Industry Experience

to the buffer zone to create a lush green corridor between the refinery and intertidal area and provide a habitat for local fauna,” Mr Greenhalgh said. “Our planting sessions are recommencing soon and the committee, which consists of QAL employees, retirees and members of the community welcome new members to join them. Everything is supplied including pre dug holes ready for planting, so it is very easy to take part and enjoy the experience of contributing to the betterment of the local environment.” If you would like to join us for the tree planting sessions or obtain further information, please contact Community Relations on 1800 181 110.


hile some university students were enjoying a break over the holidays, 17 students took up the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at QAL.
Providing 12 weeks of paid employment, the QAL Undergraduate Vacation Program allows students to work alongside professionals in their field to assist with projects and to experience a real-life working environment. QAL Managing Director Johann van Zyl said the vacation program had been going for over 30 years and provided students with the opportunity to work on projects that value added to the refinery operations. “In twelve weeks the students start and finish a project which contributes to the refinery operations in some way. The project may be stand alone or subset of a larger project, though either way the outcome benefits both the student and QAL,” Mr van Zyl said. James Cook University student Stephen Jacob was one of many who enjoyed their time with QAL. Working in the Research and Development

section, Stephen used his knowledge in particle analysis to find ways to prevent breakage of alumina crystals when passing through pumps. “The work I have completed at QAL really backs up what I have been learning during my study to gain my Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. I enjoyed the challenge and opportunity to gain hands on experience in a large refinery such as QAL.” Mr Jacob said. “The vacation program is a great initiative as QAL has plenty of expertise within their supervisors and it is a very friendly workplace to work. I have also been able to discuss future career prospects with other vacation students and graduates in similar fields.” Although the major focus of the Vacation Employment program is on engineering disciplines, there are also opportunities within the science, chemistry, commercial, business, accounting, community relations and human resources departments. The Australia-wide selection process is undertaken in the last quarter of the year and advertised through universities. Further information is available from the QAL website or by contacting Human Resources.

QAL Environmental Specialist Richard Haward inspects the health of recently planted trees.

Keeping Waterways Healthy


A Year of Solid Achievements


AL released its annual Health, Safety, Environment and Communities (HSEC) Report in April which details the refinery’s performance over the past twelve months.
The Report provides a summary of QAL’s social, environmental, health and safety programs and results for 2007, as well as identifying challenges and opportunities for the future.

QAL’s 2007 Apprentice Intake

Highlights include the introduction of case studies providing in depth details of our successes, tracking of progress towards QAL’s vision of zero harm in both the environmental and safety areas as well as details of community relations initiatives that have benefited a wide cross section of our community. If you would like to receive a copy and/or join our mailing list for this report, please contact Community Relations on 1800 181 110 or email: The report is also available online at

AL is committed to contributing to a sustainable aquatic environment as an active member of the Port Curtis Integrated Monitoring Program (PCIMP) since 2001.
Regular on site monitoring is undertaken in order to meet QAL’s environmental licence requirements however, we also have a commitment to ensure our operations do not impact the environment outside our operations, which includes the health of the whole harbour and the local waterways. Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Manager Ross Greenhalgh said that one of the many benefits of being a member contributing to the program, is having access to the

detailed research findings. “The PCIMP research team have conducted extensive studies on the water quality, seagrass health and intertidal health monitoring for the whole of Port Curtis over the past two years,” Mr Greenhalgh said. “This research has set an independent benchmark for industry and the region to ensure future sustainable development and provides additional information and reference points for our own internal monitoring programs.” The results of this study were made available to the community on 4 March, in the form of an Ecosystem Health report card for Port Curtis, which provided a health rating for each of the nine harbour zones, based on the data collected during the monitoring. The full report and further information about PCIMP is available online at

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