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Community Relations

RAC works towards Long Term Sustainable relationships with each community we are involved in.

In particular this means:

  1. Working with each community to understand their needs and to help them understand our needs.
  2. Only making commitments we can keep together
  3. Being a good neighbour.
  4. Paying our bills to the local communities
  5. Supporting our communities where appropriate with financial and social functions.

1. Schools

For the past five years RAC has supported small primary schools associated with three of its projects, at Toora, Starfish and Collinsville. 

We now have four schools that we support, with small donations that must go to purchase items that directly support the children.  At Toora we purchased a full wireless tablet system that enables the small school ( less than 30 children at that time) to enjoy electronic learning, a thing that small rural schools are never able to afford themselves. 


Scottville State School

We donate $10,000 per year to Scottville State School to help the school with supplies e.g. computers etc.

Construction Manager, Glenn Rice visited the school a few weeks ago to award students with certificates for outstanding work.

 


Toora Primary School - Dreaming Story

Toora Primary School Students and staff made the follow "Dreaming Story" called "How the wind turbines were created" in July 2016 as part of NAIDOC celebrations this year. View the story here.


Rapid Bay School Camp


At Rapid Bay Primary School, our neighbour for Starfish Hill Wind Farm, and about the same size as Toora, RAC has supported the school camp for two years giving encouragement and team building to all the children.  Many of them come from families that could not afford a school camp trip and RAC’s support puts them all on an equal basis so they can all hold their heads up high and enjoy the time together.

Pictures from Rapid Bay School Camp – September 2013

   
Rapid Bay children, cruising the mighty Murray River   Rapid Bay children ready to go caving near the Murray River   Rapid Bay camp – one party ready for the Murray river
         


After the camp the school wrote to us and all the parents:

I’m sure all students slept well after the Illawonga camp. The behaviour of all children over the whole three days was excellent. Students engaged with all of the activities and interacted with the camp staff with interesting questions and answers about the many unusual activities. The foam pit in the centre of the Olympic standard gymnasium enabled lots of safe risk taking and strenuous 3D hide and seek. All students took over the wheel for part of the boat trip; they clambered over wombat mounds and through 130 year old ruins; cracked a rawhide whip and stood for a minute in warm, silent, pitch blackness more than 150 metres into a deep cave. Again we thank RATCH Australia Corporation for covering the whole cost of the camp.
Chris Hartfield - Principal, Rapid Bay Primary School.

RAC works to attend the schools’ end of year events to show our presence and ongoing support in these small communities.   There is no shop in Rapid Bay and five kilometres away the Delamere corner store/garage next to Starfish is the centre of the community in this remote agricultural area. Similarly while there are a few more shops in Collinsville, the district needs support to ensure the young people there have access to some of the facilities that city schools take for granted.   RAC’s visits to the people and hearing them is a valuable part of our working with the community.

Rapid Bay School Camp 2016

   
Rapid Bay Primary School Camp 2016   Rapid Bay Primary School Camp 2016   Sandpit built with Sponsership Money
         


2. Tara Jenkins


Earlier in the year RAC was approached by 12 year old Tara Jenkins from Scottville Primary School in Collinsville to support her representing North Queensland in the Queensland Junior Golf Trials held in July 2013.   After consideration of her needs and the difficulties Collinsville town was having with the coal mines and power plant cutting back workers, we decided to support Tara with $1,000 towards her travel and costs at the Queensland trials 800k away.

After Tara returned in mid July we received a great letter and photographs from her parents:

 
  Tara Jenkins – Sponsored by Ratch Australia, with her All Queensland Schools Golf winners trophy.
   

"Good evening Geoff and Ratch Australia,
We are writing to let you know how Tara’s Wynnum Golf Trials have gone. After four long days of playing golf at the Queensland School Golf Championships, Tara has walked away with the Queensland Girls Primary School Nett winner trophy. She was also successful in making it into the girl’s primary school Queensland Golf Team. The team will compete at the School Sport Australia National Championships held from Sunday 10 November to Thursday 14 November at Rosebud and Portsea Golf Clubs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

Tara met many new golfers and competed with the best from the State. She has a smile from ear to ear and will talk about the experience for a long time to come. She has surprised herself, with making the team and is very thankful for the opportunity you and Ratch have given her.

As Tara’s parents, Roy and I would like to sincerely thank you and Ratch Australia for your support and encouragement towards Tara and her golfing future. We are very proud of Tara and her efforts. Your funds have been used wisely and have made a difference to Tara’s golfing experience.

We hope to keep in touch and once again, thank you.
Regards Tara, Roy and Tammie Jenkins.
Scottville
17th July 2013"

At RAC we are delighted with Tara’s success will consider further support in the future.
                   

3. Community Meetings

As a part of our development activities we hold Community Meetings in the region of our sites and this year it’s the turn of Collinsville, Bowen and Collector. In 2012 we met near to Mt Emerald and informed many local people about that project too.

 
  Ratch sponsored the Collector Village Pumpkin Festival
   

4. Events and Fairs

Other support - At all our Wind Sites we also support local events and fairs as well as special needs as they occasionally occur. 

At Collector, in NSW, Ratch have sponsored the Collector Village Pumpkin Festival for the past 4 years. We have also publicly committed to a community fund of $200k p.a once the farm is operating.


5. Whitsundays Regional Council Solar PV


With our CSR approach to working with the Whitsundays Regional Council we have achieved very positive responses to all our development approaches including Development Approval for Solar PV granted in under 3 months. 

6. Community Trusts

For the new sites at Collector and Mt Emerald, RAC has accepted a commitment with the local Regional Councils to formally support the local communities.   This will be supported through local Community Trusts set up for each project, with guiding committees taken from a cross section of the society in each region, together with RAC input.  The Trust set up will ensure that 50% of the funds that RAC projects put into the communities are directed towards education and the rest to community needs.    

 

 
   
   

7. Teagan Smith

Teagan Smith is our 2016 CMAA Scholarship winner.