QAL goes purple to support Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month
This May, Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) has taken its commitment to domestic and family violence awareness to the next level.
A significant landmark onsite, the QAL logo at the site’s front entrance was painted purple at the start of the month in recognition of Domestic and Family Violence month. This prompted a challenge around the site, with various other purple items popping up, including an old tree stump at the RDA facility, and electronic signs and screen savers around the plant turning purple in support of the cause.
As well as collecting donations around the plant, the QAL team have also purchased 100 mini care packs to be donated to the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Domestic Family Violence (CCRDFV) group, with collection bins also around the site for team members to contribute.
QAL General Manager Pine Pienaar said “Anyone who comes on-site will notice the large purple Q, and will ask why it’s suddenly painted purple. We did it to start a conversation and it’s working; people are thinking about it, offering safety shares in meetings on the topic and finding out how they can help. “
Wendy Morris, Secretary of (CCRDFV) Committee in Gladstone supports QAL’s awareness campaign. “Talking about domestic violence has been very hush-hush in the past and it can still be an uncomfortable conversation to start. Long-term culture change takes time, and it can’t shift unless we start the conversations.”
CCRDFV is about providing support and education programs to those affected by domestic and family violence, including women, men, youth, victims and perpetrators. Support is available in Gladstone. QAL, along with BSL and Rio Tinto, has again this year funded CCRDFV in the lead up to May’s awareness month under the Here For Gladstone banner.
“Change starts with one small act and QAL has taken steps to raise awareness and start those conversations to make a difference within the Gladstone Community,” Wendy said.
In 2019, QAL also introduced a family and domestic violence policy to support those experiencing DV by offering special leave and flexibility.
In addition to the obvious physical changes on-site, QAL’s Human Resources team is committed to raising awareness even further.
As the sun rose on 19 May, the HR team and various helpers from around site were at the main gates handing out breakfast packs and purple ribbons to all staff and contractors to encourage more of those difficult conversations. This was followed up with toolbox talks underpinned by an ‘unmuting yourselves’ theme.
Sue-Ellen Pashley from Converge International, QAL’s EAP provider has been leading the training with QAL Volunteer Peer Supporters. ‘Providing information and knowledge about Family and Domestic Violence helps to raise awareness and give people confidence in supporting others who might be in this situation she said. In line with this, we’ve provided our fantastic group of peer supporters with training and information they can share with others over the month. This helps to ensure issues around Domestic and Family Violence don’t remain unheard or unseen.’
“For us, the health and safety of our people goes beyond the front gate and beyond one month of the year. We are determined to work as a team to raise awareness, educate and eradicate domestic and family violence in all its forms,” Pine said.