Hundreds of Illawarra primary school children are getting a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of one of Australia’s busiest ports, right on their front doorstep.
For the second year, NSW Ports is partnering with Inside Industry to deliver tours to about 700 students from schools in the Wollongong and Port Kembla areas over the coming months.
The tours are aligned with the school curriculum to allow students to get a “real world” understanding of what they’re learning in the classroom.
Port Kembla is the state’s largest motor vehicle import hub and home to the state’s largest grain export terminal and second largest coal export port. The NSW Government has approved Port Kembla as the site of the state’s next container terminal once Port Botany nears capacity.
NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the tours helped students learn about the various trades which Port Kembla supports and how it connects farmers, miners, consumers and businesses to the world.
Ms Calfas said Port Kembla’s trades, such as bulk agricultural, construction and renewable energy components, contributed $2.9 billion annually to NSW’s economy, while supporting about 10,000 jobs.
“Port Kembla was established 125 years ago and there’s a great deal of history and pride from our local community, who continue to have personal, enduring connections with the port and its industries,” she said.
Many of the children have personal connections to the port through family members who work at companies such as BlueScope or GrainCorp, or who drive car carriers for ATT.
“The port also has a bright future with support for new trades including various renewable energy industries, which students will learn about during the tours,” Ms Calfas said.
“They’ll even get an up-close look at some of the wind farm components being imported for delivery to regional NSW.”
Inside Industry’s Stuart Barnes said NSW Ports’ school outreach program was a fantastic way to engage the local community, while educating students in a fun and informative setting.
“Inside Industry’s guides are incredibly passionate about Port Kembla and love sharing information about this fascinating and diverse precinct with all of our visitors,” Mr Barnes said.
“Port Kembla has evolved over more than a century and is now entering a new phase with exciting opportunities around decarbonisation and renewables as well.
“Our aim is to give students a better understanding of what goes on at Port Kembla, how it works and why it’s important. Some of the students may even be inspired to work at the port one day.”