VERA salute for mine’s vollie work

Headshot of Kellie Balaam
Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Brad Warr, bottom left, with the Boddington emergency response team.
Camera IconBrad Warr, bottom left, with the Boddington emergency response team. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Boddington’s Newmont Goldcorp has won gold in this year’s Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards.

The awards celebrate employers of emergency services volunteers from across WA and recognises their support in paying staff for volunteer training and donations of materials, skills and funds.

Newmont Boddington emergency services officer Brad Warr nominated the mine for a VERA.

“The thing for me was about highlighting the volunteers within our workspace and to promote volunteering,” he said.

“It was also an opportunity to highlight Newmont Goldcorp in a space they probably haven’t been in before.”

In 2013, Boddington was hit by a fire that destroyed a cottage and burned through 800ha of bush.

Mr Warr said Newmont supported emergency service volunteers from around Australia during that time by opening the village gates to different services such as Parks and Wildlife, the Country Fire Authority, and rural fire services.

“They camped and used the facilities here because Boddington itself was jam-packed — there was no more accommodation anywhere,” he said.

“As a volunteer, Newmont has allowed me and others to have time off, just a day or two here and there to support their own local volunteer organisations or to do training.”

The Boddington mine also employs volunteers from the State Emergency Service and St John Ambulance.

Mr Warr said the Newmont employees who doubled as emergency volunteers left their positions at any time when there was an emergency.

“If someone is hurt or if there’s a fire, they come and conduct the emergency operations, clean up, debrief and then they go back to work,” he said.

Mr Warr said it was very important to recognise when someone did something good.

“I feel the intention of the company is that it is there to help the community, especially in times of need,” he said. “It showed that no more prevalently than in 2013 when the big fire came through.”

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said the VERAs were an important way to acknowledge businesses and organisations who supported volunteers in their mission to keep communities safe.

“It cannot be an easy task to have an employee away from work, but these employers recognise how important volunteering is to community safety,” he said.

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