For the people of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and NSW’s Shoalhaven area, paper manufacturing is the lifeblood of the community.

Australian Paper has been an integral part of these communities for generations. Today it is the major employer in both places, and has around 1,400 people on the payroll. And for every person that works at Australian Paper there are many more jobs that are created in the general community. The local shops, schools, businesses and other services all rely on the economic boost that Australian Paper creates in the community.

But Australian Paper does a lot more than just put money into the local economy. The company is also committed to working with the community for the benefit of everyone. For example, by employing young people, Australian Paper keeps families in the area and maintains strong community ties. To help achieve this, last year Australian Paper helped 22 apprentices from regional areas to learn new skills and gain professional qualifications.

Local organisations benefit from Australian Paper’s commitment to the community as well.

Gippsland’s KIDS Foundation supports children who have experienced traumatic injury and Australian Paper contributes around $20,000 per year to their SeeMore program which develops safety skills in children.

Doxa Youth Foundation cadets, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, are sponsored by Australian Paper to undertake eight weeks of mentored work experience within the company. This provides work skills and opportunities to be employed in areas not previously available to them. It’s these sorts of things that can change lives.

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The wellbeing and continuing prosperity of the people that we employ and the health of the communities in which they live is really important to us. It’s a two way street because without their skills we wouldn’t be able to make the quality paper products, such as Reflex paper, upon which so many Australian businesses and households rely.

Australian Paper also communicates directly with the Latrobe Valley community through a Consultative Committee that includes local residents, businesses and local authorities. The Committee contributes to the development of the company’s strategic environmental plan and other important processes of sustainable paper making.