♦ Community Engagement

As an international industrial chemicals company with operations in many countries, we take a grass-roots approach to community engagement.

Many of our operational sites have community engagement programs in place to facilitate two-way communication between the site and the local community. Outcomes associated with these local site community engagement programs during 2015 include:

• Our manufacturing site in Geelong, Australia conducts community meetings twice a year. Advertised through the local media, Geelong residents, local journalists and council representatives attend. During the meetings site representatives present data about the site, such as safety information and results of ongoing environmental monitoring. Community leaders are provided with the telephone numbers of key site employees and are able to notify them of issues if they arise. The site also sponsors a local swim held by the North Shore Residents Group, provides an award for the top engineering graduate from Deakin University, and is actively involved in the Northern Futures Program which provides disadvantaged persons with employment experience.

• Employees at Geelong also volunteered their time to help give the Northern Bay College a fresh lease of life. Situated in Norlane West, the Peacock Avenue Campus lacks funds for projects such as grounds development. The school received a real boost in June 2015 when our employee volunteers took on the task of removing years of soft fall to create new garden beds. The gardens were then replanted with the assistance of the school’s students. This project aligns with the IPL priority area of Education within our Sustainable Communities Policy and is facilitated by Karingal Inc. through its initiative BacLinks, a service that brokers relationships between businesses and community groups. The volunteers enjoyed a day of team-building, as well as making a difference to a local school while becoming more aware of some of the challenges that face our local communities.

• Employees at our Phosphate Hill manufacturing site in Queensland, Australia nominated the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Townsville Hospital as a worthy recipient for IPL Community Giving and a request was submitted for a coffee machine in the parent’s lounge. The coffee machine was purchased under the IPL Community Giving Program and provides an opportunity for a much needed coffee break to both staff and parents.

• Employees from our Moura, Australia, emulsions manufacturing plant gave their time to raise funds for the Moura Coal & Country festival. The team they were a part of raised approximately $7000 with sponsorship and has been nominated in the Banana Shire Council Australia Day awards for event of the year.

• Employees from our Portland SSP manufacturing site in Victoria, Australia, volunteered time to Kyeema Support Services in preparation for their annual Spring Sale. Kyeema Support Services offers community based respite, day programs and employment programs to adults with disabilities, along with day and overnight respite for young children and teenagers. The ten volunteers enjoyed a day of team-building, as well as making a difference to the local organisation. They assisted with painting outdoor equipment ready for sale, as well as general maintenance and gardening improvements. 

• Our Explosives manufacturing site located in Cheyenne Wyoming, USA, which produces ammonium nitrate solution, prill, ammonia, UAN (a liquid fertiliser made with urea and ammonium nitrate) and urea, has a long history of supporting the local community. This year employees continued to focus on helping the underprivileged, running community safety events and responding to local emergencies. Donations were made to local sports teams, and support and sponsorships were made to the Boys and Girls Club, East High School and to Cheyenne Frontier Days. 

• Sites regularly participate in community forums, working with local representatives to ensure appropriate plans are in place to mitigate the impact of a crisis situation. One example of this is our Big N Fertiliser Depot in Moree, NSW, Australia, which participates in the annual incident planning day with the Moree Shire Plains Council. Emergency action plans are established for the Moree community and surrounding area together with the local Fire Brigade. On completion, our site holds a BBQ and conducts a debrief meeting, with Moree Police and Ambulance services also attending when possible. For more details, see Community Safety.


At IPL, we are committed to engaging and partnering with our Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This year’s NAIDOC theme served to highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea: ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate’

This year the IPL Board approved our Reconciliation Action Plan, which was also endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. The RAP provides us with a framework to outline our vision for reconciliation and is also a public commitment to implementing and measuring practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our sites across Australia celebrated NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week with their local Aboriginal communities. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

Our Gibson Island manufacturing site was fortunate to have members of the Aboriginal traditional owner group Turrbal help us embrace the NAIDOC theme and learn more about aboriginal culture. Aunty Maroochy Barambah performed a welcome to country song and blessing, also explaining the site at Gibson Island is built on spiritual land of significant importance to the Turrbal people.  Bruce McLean then provided staff with a detailed insight on the history of the didgeridoo and gave a performance that left the audience mesmerised. To complement the event, staff were encouraged to taste some traditional foods they may not have previously had exposure to such as kangaroo, emu and a range of native berries.

To support the Indigenous traditional owners of our Phosphate Hill site, the Yulluna people, IPL sponsored a trip for upcoming Titans Rugby League star Kierran Moseley to travel from the Gold Coast back to Cloncurry via a flight from Brisbane to Mt Isa, to be a guest speaker at a NAIDOC Week careers day at the shire hall. His words encouraged many students from his old school, Cloncurry State High, to follow their dreams and achieve their full potential.

At our Perth office the NAIDOC celebrations hosted Leonie Bartlett, a renowned Artist in Western Australia who has worked in many areas promoting and educating Indigenous and non-indigenous people about her culture by using her amazing talent of visual art. Leonie involved the staff in creating an art piece, using their hand and foot prints to produce a work with many different colours and themes. This demonstrated how all people can work together to create something good, no matter their background or race. The Indigenous General Kaartdijin (Knowledge) Quiz was sent out to all IPL sites in Western Australia during the week with the winning prize being a traditionally painted didgeridoo by Philip Walley-Stack. All Perth Staff took a short bus ride to Kings Park to partake in the fully guided “Indigenous Heritage Tour”. At the Park they joined an Aboriginal Guide and learned of Perth's first people, the Wadjuk, and the unique local plants used for both bush food and medicine. A display of local bush tools was viewed as the Ancient Dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people was told to explain how sustainability is central to the Aboriginal way of life. Staff learned some great bush survival tips and the traditional Nyoongar dancers performed as the didgeridoo sound echoed through the park.