BHP Billiton Iron Ore and World Vision help children in the Pilbara

A new $5 million BHP Billiton Iron Ore and World Vision partnership will boost care and health activities for hundreds of pre-school aged children in the East Pilbara.

The five year partnership will help Indigenous parents and families improve health and learning activities for babies and pre-school children.

The East Pilbara was selected after results from a study by the Australian Early Childhood Development Index raised concerns about the wellbeing and development of Indigenous children in the region.

“We are thrilled with BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s support, and feel privileged to have the chance to work with communities in the Pilbara,” says Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia.

“It is the first time these communities will have been given a hand with specialised services for pre-school aged children and parents,” says Dr Mark Moran, Head of World Vision’s Australia Programs.

“Under 5s are particularly vulnerable and the earlier we start working with them the better the long-term future is for them and their community. We have seen the benefits of this early intervention in our international work as well as here in Australian communities,” added Dr Moran.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore Vice President Sustainability, Carl Binning said the initiative will be very beneficial to the East Pilbara community and will play a critical role in the social growth of communities in which the company operates.

“BHP Billiton Iron Ore is committed to the sustainability of our neighbouring Indigenous communities and we are extremely pleased to be embarking on this partnership with World Vision Australia to help improve Indigenous health and wellbeing in several East Pilbara communities,” he said.

“The partnership with World Vision Australia forms part of BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s Investment in Indigenous Relationships Strategy, and will have a positive impact on the lives of young children and will assist in achieving improvements in the health and wellbeing of Indigenous mothers and children in these communities,” says Mr Binning.

World Vision has worked alongside Indigenous communities in Australia for several decades, and in the Pilbara will work with parents and families to help them provide supportive and safe environments. Two full time World Vision staff will be based in the region. 

The program builds on World Vision’s early childhood work with Walpiri communities in the Northern Territory, which began last year in partnership with the Central Land Council.

Early childhood care is one of the most critical areas of work to overcome Indigenous disadvantage. It can help develop children’s physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and communication skills and wellbeing.

Available for interview:

Tim Costello 
CEO World Vision Australia

Carl Binning 
Vice President Sustainability BHP Billiton Iron Ore 

Michelle Rice 
World Vision 
Public Affairs 
Ph: 0402 503 227

Emma Meade 
BHP Billiton Iron Ore 
External Affairs 
Ph: 0409 199 236


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