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Australian mining means a lot to Australia. It supports our country, provides thousands of jobs - and is filled with great people. This is the story of Dr Paul Craven and the John Hunter Children's Hospital.

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Australian Mining is helping protect and nurture this country's most precious natural resource -- our children.

With the financial assistance of Xstrata Coal, John Hunter Children's Hospital now boasts one of the leading neonatal intensive care units in the world.

Thanks to their support, and an incredible team of doctors and nurses, the hospital is able to provide state-of-the-art, speciality care to more than 1,100 critically ill babies each year, and is one of the largest and busiest neonatal wards in the country.

Steve and Carlie Lawler know all too well how crucial this support is. Their baby, Lucas, was gravely ill when he was born and urgently needed a life-saving blood transfusion. Thanks to the expertise of the intensive care unit, little Lucas' life was saved. As his proud Dad says, "It blows me away to think what the unit goes through every day. I reckon it takes a special team of people to do this."

And this team of around 180 nursing staff and 50 support staff is inspired by one very special man -- Dr Paul Craven, the Deputy Director of Neonatal Intensive Care at John Hunter Children's Hospital.

Dr Craven was born in southern Wales near a large coal port, so he's grown up with the mining industry. But as a boy he couldn't have imagined how much the industry could positively affect his life, and others, "mining is part of the community and they have been very generous to the Children's Hospital."

Steve Lawler defines it well, "through Paul's leadership and the equipment used, Lucas's life was saved".

Over the past five years, Xstrata has funded the purchase of new equipment and the refurbishment of hospital facilities. This year, Xstrata's support continues with $200,000 funding to purchase crucial cardiovascular monitors that record the heart rate, breath, temperature and blood pressure of newborns in intensive care. As Dr Craven says, "The mining industry has assisted us upgrade, to offer almost the Rolls Royce of equipment".

This kind of support helps his team go above and beyond the call of what's considered the norm for a public hospital. This is certainly the case when it comes to the new crib Xstrata funded for the Westpac helicopter, which helps get urgent life-saving support to society's most fragile members.

In fact, the John Hunter Children's Hospital services over 22,000 square kilometres - an area bigger than the British Isles. And through the mining industry's support, the hospital is able to fund the 'Outreach Program' which travels to 27 hospitals to assist with neonatal education.

But it's not just, as Dr Craven puts it, the "most vulnerable" members of society the industry helps -- mining's commitment to the wider community extends to the John Hunter Hospital Trauma Unit - the only major trauma service outside a capital city.
This year, Xstrata continues its support with a further $200,000 to expand the Trauma Unit's education and research program, and improve the Trauma Hotline Service.

All up, the mining industry has committed well over a million dollars to the welfare of the people of NSW - none more important than the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at John Hunter Children's Hospital.

"To see them getting stronger and bigger, there's nothing more satisfying" says Dr Craven knowingly.

j vimeo.com/33005914

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