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27th November 2023

• Queensland Hydro is delighted to partner with the University of Sunshine Coast to deliver the Queensland Hydro Scholarships, providing two eligible engineering students with a $10,000 scholarship each
• The scholarships will bring some relief for students who have a demonstrated financial need. Applications are now open for the 2024 Queensland Hydro Scholarships
• It’s one of many ways that Queensland Hydro is contributing to the long-term growth and sustainability of the communities in which it operates, bringing real, tangible benefits for employment and workforce development.

The pipeline of locally grown talent equipped and trained for major infrastructure projects in the renewables sector continues to grow, with Queensland Hydro offering another two scholarships for local engineering students at the University of Sunshine Coast today.

Queensland Hydro Borumba Project Director, Ms Leah McKenzie, was joined today by the Member for Nicklin, Rob Skelton and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global and Engagement) Alex Elibank Murray from University of Sunshine Coast to promote applications for scholarships at UniSC for the 2024 academic year for second year engineering students. The scholarships provide for $10,000 to successful students.

They were also joined by Dean School of Science, Technology and Engineering, Professor Stuart Parsons and two UniSC students who were the successful applicants for the 2023 Queensland Hydro Scholarships – local engineering students Alyssa Mantarro and Matthias Kauffman.

The Queensland Hydro Scholarships will help support and shape the work force of the future for Queensland Hydro’s two pumped hydro projects (at Lake Borumba outside Imbil and at Pioneer-Burdekin outside Mackay). Priority for the scholarship recipients will be given to those who reside around the Borumba Project footprint, ensuring that locals receive first priority with some of the early project benefits.

It’s one of the many ways that Queensland Hydro is contributing to the long-term growth and sustainability of the communities in which it operates, bringing real, tangible benefits for employment and workforce development.

UniSC students wishing to apply for the Queensland Hydro Scholarship are encouraged to do so before 30 November 2023. Winners will be announced in February 2024.

The Queensland Hydro-UniSC partnership is also delivering four bursaries each year, valued at $2,500 per student – a total investment by Queensland Hydro of $90,000 over three years. The bursaries support engineering students with a demonstrated financial need at the Sippy Downs campus of UniSC. (Applications for the 2024 bursaries open in April next year).

Quotes attributable to the Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton

““The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan outlines how Queensland’s energy system will transform to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to provide power for generations with a focus on driving regional economic opportunities and creating thousands of jobs in the regions.

“A vital component of this is providing our future workforce with the support to be part of that and the student engineers of today will form a critical part of the clean energy sector workforce of the future. We have shown a vision for the future through the QEJP and we want local students and local workers and businesses to be at the heart of this vision and part of the rollout of the big projects like pumped hydro which are the cornerstone of the energy transformation.”

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro Project will deliver long-term benefits during the construction phase and beyond, such as driving transformative employment and training outcomes for the next generation of workers, as well as more reliable clean energy for communities, stronger economic opportunities for our regions and positive environmental and social outcomes.

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro Project is a ‘game-changer’ for the region and hopefully these scholarships are a ‘career-changer’ for the brightest and best engineering students at UniSC who this scholarship program is helping to support.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Hydro Borumba Project Director Leah McKenzie

“These scholarships are also designed to bring benefit to the region through supporting long-term workforce development, giving more locals job-ready skills now and into the future.

“In this current climate of cost-of-living pressures, these scholarships will also help provide some relief for students who have demonstrated a financial need as well as fulfilling other key criteria such as academic merit. Queensland Hydro is committed to investing in the regions in which our proposed projects are located, ensuring that locals receive first priority of any project benefits.

“Queensland Hydro is delighted to be able to support University of Sunshine Coast engineering students like Alyssa and Matthias as well as the next wave of scholarship winners and we believe it’s an exciting and unique opportunity for them to receive financial support and some inspiration from a project which is a centrepiece of the renewable energy transformation.”

Quotes attributable to University of Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett

“It’s fantastic that students such as Alyssa and Matthias will graduate with the skills to make an impact in renewable energy.

“We are thrilled that they are preparing for a future in engineering with sustainability in mind, and that their efforts will be supported by Queensland Hydro, which has a fantastic ethos of nurturing the workforce talent of tomorrow.

“Sustainable development is an enormous focus at UniSC, where we have reduced our energy use by 40 percent with a solar-powered ‘water battery’ and implemented ways to minimise water use on campus, which has contributed to our recognition as third in the world for Clean Water and Sanitation in the 2023 Times Higher Education Rankings.”

Quotes attributable to University of Sunshine Coast engineering student Alyssa Mantarro

(Alyssa was born on the Sunshine Coast and is a second-year civil engineering student. She says she’s enjoyed many camping holidays in the Imbil region and canoeing at Lake Borumba.)

“The Queensland Hydro scholarship has been such a wonderful benefit for me this year as it has allowed me to completely focus on my engineering studies and not have to feel the pressure of having to do a lot of part time work to support myself.

“It means that I have been able to live up to the high standards which I set for myself in my studies - and that focus and support has helped me to have a GPA of 6 so far this year.

“I’m passionate about using my degree, once I graduate, to pursue an engineering career in the renewables sector.”

Quotes attributable to University of Sunshine Coast engineering student Matthias Kauffman

(Matthias is a second-year mechanical engineering student living in Gympie and is interested in infrastructure development with a focus in his local region. He enjoys boating and wakeboarding at Lake Borumba with his family.)

“The whole renewables energy sector is something I find truly fascinating and am very interested in pursuing, so it’s been quite an honour to receive this scholarship from Queensland Hydro. It would be a dream of mine to work on one of the pumped hydro projects when I graduate.

“I’m also excited to know that there will be more locals following behind me with this STEM scholarships program and that it will provide current and future students with the pathway to becoming engineers or local students wanting to work in construction roles whether it’s on pumped hydro or other renewable energy projects in the region.”

About Queensland Hydro
Queensland Hydro is playing a major role in supporting regional economies as we transform Queensland’s energy system with our two pumped hydro projects. Queensland Hydro will inject tens of millions of dollars into the local regional economy over coming years and, if given the go ahead, the Borumba project will create over 2000 construction jobs once construction hits full speed in 2025. 

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