When someone is passionate about a cause – whatever it may be – their determination and enthusiasm to see it succeed is unstoppable.
It’s something we see a lot at Port Waratah Coal Services – we are a largely local workforce, fiercely proud of where we’re from and completely dedicated to fostering a dynamic, sustainable future for our region. Combined with individual passion and belief in the forces that drive and inspire each one of us, we are an engaged workforce determined to enhance the communities in which we live.
The Carrington and Kooragang Terminal Sponsorship and Donations Committees support initiatives and causes initiated by our people. For an employee, the cause may have affected their lives – or the lives of people they care about – or is something that is dear to their hearts. At Port Waratah we want to foster that community spirit and to contribute positively to the causes that matter to our people.
One such example is a project led by Port Waratah employee Glenn Parsons, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease five years ago. A member of the Young Onset Parkinson group called The Martini’s (Shaken But Not Stirred!), Glenn has been part of a drive to raise money to support people with Parkinson’s and their families by funding specialist Parkinson’s nurses in Newcastle and the Hunter. He is also a valuable member of Movers and Shakers, which raises money and awareness of Parkinson’s Disease by holding events in Newcastle and the Hunter Region, and is also supported by Port Waratah.
Glenn says Parkinson’s Disease (PD) registered nurses were invaluable to those with the disease because they serve as intermediaries between patients and specialised physicians and primary care providers.
‘My personal experience is that initial diagnosis is devastating for the patient and their partner and it takes time to come to terms with it,’ he says. ‘But in the middle of all this turmoil, these nurses show you there is life after diagnosis. The nurses can conduct preliminary assessments and consult with providers to help determine the appropriate course of treatment.
‘They also serve to reduce barriers patients sometimes face when they are accessing care and they are in touch with informal carers so they can start great conversations around quality-of-life issues.
‘Port Waratah’s support for this – as well as funding for our two Family Fun Days – has been incredible.’
Another example of our employee-led initiatives is our Trivia Night, with all proceeds going to Lifeline Hunter and Central Coast to support the very important work that Lifeline Hunter Central Coast does in raising awareness in our region around mental health and preventing suicide. Hosted jointly with Pacific National, it’s an event that’s close to the hearts of many.
Each year, around 200 people from across the coal chain from Pit to Port come together to put their trivia skills in a night of fun, friendship and fundraising for a very worthy cause. In the past couple of years, almost $17,000 has been donated to Lifeline as a result of the evening.
We’re also supporters of the Mark Hughes Foundation, which raises funds for brain cancer research and patient support through its Beanie for Brain Cancer Campaign. In the Hunter, the Foundation has funded a Brain Cancer Nurse in an ongoing capacity and has just recommitted for another three.
Every year since the campaign’s inception in 2016, Port Waratah has been a corporate sponsor, as well as hosting a barbecue and Beanie Day on site to drive employee fundraising for the event.
Founder Mark Hughes, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013, says knowing the Foundation has the backing of businesses like Port Waratah is personally very moving.
‘To know they are proud to support the Foundation and make a stand to help raise the awareness and funding levels for research into brain cancer is wonderful. Brain cancer is so underfunded that everyone who supports the Foundation is helping us change the terrible statistics.’
Port Waratah employee-led initiatives are often assisted by the Carrington and Kooragang Terminal Sponsorship and Donations Committees and the driver is to recognise and support the contribution made by our employees in the community. The projects contribute positively to the causes that our people are passionate about, that have affected our lives or those of people we care about.