Girls Academy and the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG joint venture have extended their partnership to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to become leaders of the future.
INPEX has long been a champion of Palmerston Girls Academy, through the Ichthys project in the Northern Territory. This extended partnership will see Ichthys LNG increase its financial support in 2020 to $100,000 — funds that will directly support Academies in Darwin, the Kimberley and Perth.
Girls Academy CEO Ricky Grace welcomed the commitment, saying it marked the continuation of a real partnership.
“INPEX has always shown a genuine interest in our program and the progress of our students,” he said.
“The company’s involvement has been very practical and enormously helpful, through activities such as site visits and career talks, as well as financial support. This partnership opens up a world of opportunities for Girls Academy students.”
INPEX Australia Deputy Vice President, Corporate Coordination, Bill Townsend said the Girls Academy partnership was a natural fit for INPEX.
“We’re delighted to increase our support for Girls Academy, which was one of our first community partnerships in Australia,” he said.
“The Girls Academy vision to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls aligns with our key values of diversity, integrity and collaboration, as well as our desire to make a positive impact by empowering youth through education and training and improved health and wellbeing.”
Ichthys LNG has partnered with the Darwin-based Palmerston Girls Academy since 2015. The partnership supported student retention rates and attainment levels, as well as the purchase of a mini-bus for cultural activities and excursions.
This support has grown ever since, with INPEX conducting career sessions for students, as well as hosting tours of the Ichthys LNG site and encouraging staff involvement with Girls Academy.
“We are committed to building sustainable relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Mr Townsend said. “We want the people in the communities in which we operate to know that we are here for the long haul and we want to be partners in progress for everyone.”
Yuko Tokunaga, corporate social responsibility lead at INPEX, said staff got just as much out of the partnership as the students.
“From the feedback we have had, staff feel good about the experience and the opportunity to give back to the community,” she said.
“We are seeing increasing expectations from our staff, particularly the younger generation, in terms of what the company should be doing in the community. It is very important for us, for staff retention and engagement, that we offer these kinds of opportunities.”
Girls Academy: Julie Hosking, 0497 777 324
INPEX: Peter Knight, 0405 950 726