Queensland high achievers Alyssa-Jane Nichols of Rockhampton and Liva Wood of Brisbane were today named as the inaugural recipients of the BHP/BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Girls in Resources Scholarships.
The scholarships, funded by BHP/BMA and administered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy, are designed to encourage and support young women pursuing careers in resources.
Winning the Regional scholarship has helped Alyssa-Jane Nichols set herself up in Moranbah to begin her high voltage electrician apprenticeship at BMA’s Peak Downs mine.
Liva Wood, who was awarded the Future Leader scholarship, is in her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering at The University of Queensland.
Both young women were part of the QMEA/WIMARQ GIRLS Mentoring Program last year – facilitated by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) and sponsored by BHP/BMA – while they completed Year 12. The program was the first of its kind in Queensland and partners year 12 girls from schools across the state with female industry mentors.
“After receiving invaluable guidance from their mentors last year, Alyssa-Jane and Liva are now benefiting from financial support via these scholarships while they undertake further education and training towards careers in the resources sector,” explained QMEA’s Manager of Skills and Education, Matthew Heskett. “We provide these opportunities because women are still under-represented in professional and technical roles in resources.”
Alyssa-Jane Nichols said that being partnered with an electrician in the mining industry was an experience she would never forget. “I made so many amazing friends throughout this program, as well as seeing so many women lead in their careers in the resources industry,” she said. “It showed me that there’s a diverse array of jobs in the resources sector; girls can go out and achieve great things.”
Liva Wood said that the mentorship and scholarship have encouraged her to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer. “I would like to thank BHP and BMA for this incredible honour,” she said. “Your commitment to increasing female representation in non-traditional roles is greatly appreciated.”
BMA Asset President James Palmer said the scholarships are part of a broader effort towards achieving gender parity across the sector. “We are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace because we know that diverse teams are safer, more productive and have a better culture.”
“I congratulate Alyssa-Jane and Liva on being the first winners of these scholarships. They are driven, smart young women with bright futures ahead of them.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources. The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 80 schools and is a partnership with the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.