It’s a partnership which has endured four decades – as well as a global pandemic.
And, that alliance is set to continue for another three years after the NSW Minerals Council extended its sponsorship agreement, valued at $300,000, with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) this week.
The announcement, at the Broadmeadow headquarters on Tuesday 30 March with former NRL stars Danny Buderus, Kurt Gidley, Andrew Ryan and Mark O’Meley in attendance, comes ahead of this weekend’s annual Voice for Mining Family Day in Newcastle, a major event for the state’s mining communities with the WRHS as the official charity partner.
The industry has supported this vital service since at least the mid-1980s and it is valued by thousands of people across Northern NSW.
WRHS CEO Richard Jones OAM said the service was immensely grateful for the backing from the NSW Minerals Council.
“This year alone, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has undertaken hundreds of flights to assist in emergency situations,” he stated.
“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.
“Mining is at the heart of so many regional communities covered by our service, so the financial assistance 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 sector that’s developed over decades in partnership and it’s fantastic that we can keep working together.”
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee was equally happy with the affiliation with the “angels of the sky”.
“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,” he said.
“We commend everyone at the WRHS 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 important service has never wavered.
“We’re grateful for the vital work they do for communities across the state.”
The industry’s backing includes annual contributions from mining companies, mining supplier businesses and mining-related unions, while thousands of mine workers also make regular donations from their pay.
The sector also aids many events, including the annual Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day in Singleton.