November 03, 2022

Alcoa’s Pinjarra refinery celebrates 50 years

Indigenous Dancers

Around 2,000 past and present employees and their families attended the 50 year celebrations of Alcoa’s Pinjarra refinery on Saturday 29 October 2022.

Children got a chance to see where their mum, dad or grandparent works at the free family event that featured a dance performance by the Bindjareb Middars, kids’ entertainment, facepainting, food, music and local community group displays.

Attending the event, Alcoa Vice President Operations - Australia Michael Gollschewski said it was fantastic to celebrate the significance of the refinery to the local community in the five decades since it opened on 3 May 1972.

“Construction of the refinery way back then created an economic and population boom that helped create the community we know today as Carcoola North Pinjarra,” Mr Gollschewski said.

“Operating successfully for the past 50 years comes down to the many talented people who have worked or currently work here."

“Congratulations to all of our employees past and present - it is only through their innovation and dedication that we are celebrating today’s milestone.”

Mr Gollschewski said Pinjarra refinery employs around 1,150 employees and 270 contractors.

“Around 60 per cent of our Pinjarra workforce lives in Pinjarra and Mandurah and we have a responsibility to be active community members and add value to the places where we operate,” he said.

“We want to help these communities thrive and we do this through consultation, volunteering and investing in local businesses, initiatives and non-profit organisations that make a real difference to people.”

Also attending the event, Shire of Murray CEO Dean Unsworth said for 50 years the Shire has had a strong and positive relationship with Alcoa.

“The company has provided many benefits to the community including building the Shire’s first public library about 40 years ago and providing $1 million towards the Shire’s Aquatic Centre specifically for the region’s first public hydrotherapy pool,” Mr Unsworth said.

“Alcoa has also provided assistance for many specific projects such as the Sir Ross McLarty third sporting oval, Murray Leisure Centre upgrades, Edenvale Homestead upgrades, Cantwell Park playground redevelopment, Murray Regional Equestrian Centre, South Yunderup Oval expansion, Wheeler Airfield fire water bombing upgrade, Exchange Hotel Heritage Restoration, Pinjarra Foreshore redevelopment, North Pinjarra Recreation Precinct, South Yunderup Sporting Pavilion, Sandy Cove Playground, Ravenswood Community Centre and Dwellingup Visitor Centre.”

In 2020 Pinjarra refinery contributed approximately $180 million through salaries, wages and benefits and $510 million in supply contracts and every year Alcoa invests millions of dollars in a wide variety of local community partnerships including the Pinjarra Prospects program and the Alcoa Aboriginal Student Excellence Scholarship Program.