Alumni inspire next Foundation students

Community > 13th September, 2022

Pathway to careers with GFG Alliance

The past, present and potentially the future came together at a GFG Foundation Alumni Evening celebration event held last month at the UniSA Campus in Whyalla.

Graduates from GFG Foundation’s Whyalla school-based program got a chance to share their experiences with the current crop of 30, Year 7 and 8 students during their weekly learning session, which was extended to include a celebration event for the invited alumni, their parents and carers.

All up, a gathering of more than 60 got to rub shoulders and hear from guest speakers, senior leaders and executives from our steel and mining operations in Whyalla, as part of the event to celebrate the work and outcomes achieved by the GFG Foundation in Whyalla. The Foundation aims to inspire young people and develop the skills they need to pursue careers in engineering, metals and renewable energy.

GFG Alliance General Manager Georgina Crumpton speaks to the Foundation students at the Alumni event.

“The alumni event was a real highlight and provided a chance for kids who completed the program when it first started back in 2019, a chance to stay connected with their peers and also with what’s happening with the GFG businesses in Whyalla,” said GFG Foundation Chief Operating Officer Jonny Samengo.

“The students got to show us and talk about their brand and how they are positioning themselves for a job and career – which is of real benefit to the current cohort of students working through the program. They got to see in a very real way what career planning and pathways planning looks like, and hear and share experiences.”

The alumni event featured presentations and talks from Georgina Crumpton (General Manager of GFG Alliance and the GFG Foundation Globally); Tony Swiericzuk (Liberty Primary Steel Managing Director); Jacqui Higgins (SIMEC Mining Iron Ore Executive General Manager) and Bianca Standing (Mining Primary Steel Head of Organisational Development). Graduates from the program also had an opportunity to provide feedback and insights about their experiences with the program.

The alumni event followed the early weekly learning session where mentors from LIBERTY Primary Steel and SIMEC Mining work with participating Years 7-8 students, under the guidance of program facilitator, CSIRO’s Carol Rance.

The entry program goes for ten weeks with 90-minute STEM-based content sessions during a school term with six mentors and one excursion to experience the local operations.

“The program takes students away from the constraints of timetable and curriculum and introduces them to the world of locally focussed STEM opportunities, coupled with a life-skills component to help them with confidence and self-esteem,” said GFG Foundation Global General Manager Georgina Crumpton. 

“The idea is to seek, inspire and enable young people in industrial communities where we have a presence, to give them an understanding of opportunities that exist.”

“Following the launch of the Foundation in the UK in 2017, we have been able to extend it to Australia in 2019 with the launch in Whyalla, that has helped shape further rollout both domestically, at Newcastle and Bell Bay (in Tasmania), and abroad as the Foundation continues to grow with programs now in Romania and the Czech Republic.”

More than 6,000 students have been involved in Foundation programs since its launch in 2017, with the support from key partners which in Australia include the CSIRO, Princes Trust Australia and the UniSA.

For more information go to GFG Foundation Australia website.

Picture Gallery from the event:

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