BHP Billiton has made a A10$ million donation to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund (ACPF) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Anzacs’ landing at Gallipoli and honour the contribution of serving Australians and New Zealanders past and present.
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Senator Michael Ronaldson, commended BHP on the sizeable contribution and reflected on the company’s historic ties to Australia.
“BHP Billiton’s commitment to the wellbeing of our nation began many years ago and it has long provided support for our servicemen and women,” Senator Ronaldson said.
“This sizeable investment in the Anzac Centenary Public Fund will allow many Australians an opportunity to remember all those who have worn our nation’s uniform and ensure the Anzac spirit lives on.”
BHP Billiton CEO, Andrew Mackenzie said the company has had close ties with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) throughout history, assisting the war effort with steel manufacturing. He said the donation was a tribute to the serving defence personnel who defended Australia’s freedom and prosperity.
“Since the establishment of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company in 1883, BHP Billiton has actively participated in the development and advancement of Australia, including during war times. We are proud of our heritage and our contribution to the Australian community,” Mr Mackenzie said in a media release.
“The Newcastle steelworks commenced operation in June 1915 – an industry that would define BHP and Australia’s economy for many years. Overseas restrictions during the war meant that BHP’s steel sustained Australian industry. Many of our employees and their family members served in WWI, and we continue to support veterans and those who serve in the armed forces today.”
BHP supported Australia’s war effort during WWI by providing steel and zinc that was used as an important input for munitions and ship building. The company continued to supply the ADF with steel and zinc for building ships and planes throughout WWII.
Records show that over 3,000 men enlisted from Broken Hill; 365 died in action, some of them in a miners’ war tunnelling under enemy lines.