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BHP has provided more than $18 million in community funding across Western Australia, and more than $8 million in the Pilbara, over the past year via the Vital Resources Fund.

BHP established the $50 million Vital Resources Fund to help support regional Australian communities surrounding its operations to manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisations that have benefitted reach from the Kimberley in the north through to the South Australian border.

BHP, Western Australia Iron Ore, Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “We stand side by side with the communities in which we operate.

“Over the past year we have provided over $18 million to organisations across WA. This has included critical services such as local healthcare and mental health, business and financial support and Indigenous communities. 

“The funding has helped regional communities navigate the challenges of the previous year and will set them up for continued success.”

The Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) received over $1 million to help fund prevention and support programs for family and domestic violence across the Pilbara.

WACOSS CEO, Louise Giolitto, said: “The funding has enabled us to establish new programs across the Pilbara, specifically in South Hedland and Newman.

“This includes the establishment of a behaviour change facility, the development of a family and domestic violence (FDV) strategy for primary prevention, the roll-out of culturally-safe, trauma-informed training to support our social services and the investment in strategic coordination of the sector.

“This generous support from BHP has allowed us to lay the foundations for effective prevention.”

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) also benefitted, receiving $2 million, helping with the purchase of a new Pilatus PC-12 aeromedical aircraft.

With one in four retrievals on a RFDS plane being from a mine site the donation facilitated an enhanced service to regional communities who needed urgent medical attention.

RFDS WA Chief Executive, Rebecca Tomkinson, said: “2020 was an extraordinary year for the RFDS with record levels of activity – on average 785 retrievals per month. Our service is more important than ever and we are grateful to BHP for their support.”

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