Mining’s support for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service will stretch to more than 40 years under a new $300,000 sponsorship agreement with the NSW Minerals Council.
The announcement of the three-year partnership extension comes ahead of the annual Voice for Mining Family Day in Newcastle, a major event for the state’s mining communities with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service as the official charity partner.
The mining industry has been supporting this vital service since at least the mid-1980s and it is valued by thousands in mining communities across Northern NSW.
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee says the long-standing partnership grows stronger every year.
“We are very proud to continue our long term sponsorship of this important community service, especially after what has been a challenging year for everyone in health and emergency services,” Mr Galilee said
“We commend everyone at the Helicopter Service for the way they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing operations safely just like our mines were able to do across NSW.
“Those working at the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service are highly trained professionals and they provide the highest level of care to people in our community when they are in need.
“Our industry’s support for this vital service has never wavered and we are grateful for the important work they do for communities across the state.”
Mining’s support includes annual contributions from mining companies, mining supplier businesses and mining-related unions, and thousands of mine workers also make regular donations from their pay.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones OAM said the Service was immensely grateful for the support of the NSW Minerals Council.
“This year alone, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has undertaken hundreds of flights to assist in emergency situations. Our dedicated team wouldn’t be able to carry out this lifesaving work without the support of our valued partners like the NSW Minerals Council,” Mr Jones said.
“Mining is at the heart of so many regional communities covered by our Service, so the support we receive from the industry is connected and meaningful to what we all do.
“There’s a strong bond between the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and the mining industry that’s developed over decades in partnership and it’s fantastic that we can keep working together,” he said.
A number of events are strongly supported by mining communities, including the annual Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day in Singleton which has raised Hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Service.
And this weekend NRL fans and mining families will have the chance to get behind the Service again at the annual Voice for Mining Family Day on Sunday 4 April when the Newcastle Knights wear the hi-vis mining jersey against the Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Service will be central to these celebrations with a helicopter conducting a fly-over of the stadium and the match day game ball will be delivered by Aircrew Officer Nathan Langham who has been with the Service for 17 years.
Knights fans and mining families will be able to buy tickets in the NRL club’s 50/50 raffle at McDonald Jones Stadium. And a special online auction will take place on the day with major prizes donated by the Newcastle Knights and the NSW Minerals Council.
All proceeds will go to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.