Clontarf was first established to help young men attend school, finish Year 12 and enter employment. The Clontarf Foundation commenced in 2000 with a single academy located in Western Australia and now, more than 20 years on, it operates 138 academies in six of our States and Territories and supports more than 10,000 participants.
The Newcastle Clontarf Academy, integrated into Newcastle High School, was established in 2019 and Port Waratah has been a proud community partner from the start. Staffed by full-time mentors, the academy rooms are a welcoming, comfortable and inclusive space, designed to foster positive learning and personal growth for the young men in the programme. Port Waratah’s funding has directly contributed to the costs associated with the daily activities that deliver a rich, holistic programme.
Academy activities are planned within the focus areas of education, leadership, employment, well-being, life skills and support. In order to remain in the programme, participants must continue to work at school and embrace the learning, attendance and behavioural objectives of the Foundation.
The programme also offers participants a variety of activities such as weekly training sessions, camping trips, travel to various football carnivals and excursions to worksites.
At our Kooragang Terminal, we have hosted many worksite visits with participants from the Newcastle Academy. The young men receive an overview of Port Waratah’s operations and an understanding of how we fit into the Hunter Valley Coal chain. They also gain valuable insights by engaging with some of our young apprentices, be it mechanical or electrical trades. The discussions allow the young men the opportunity to ask questions and get a taste of what is required to be work-ready, which inspires the participants to consider a range of options for their future.
Newcastle Academy Director, Daniel Fitzhenry, said “We have a great relationship with Port Waratah Coal Services and now we are allowed out into the world again following COVID-19, we look forward to participating in more community events and work site visits. Newcastle Academy participant, Jack Graham, started with an apprenticeship with Port Waratah Coal Services in 2021 and he loves it.”