2024 Ambassadors

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Queensland’s next generation of leaders and innovators explored the frontiers of mining, minerals, and energy at a unique camp in Brisbane last week, forging potential new pathways into exciting careers in the resources and energy sector.

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), welcomed a high-achieving cohort of 20 soon-to-be Year 12 students from across the state.

The students have been hand-picked to be 2024 QMEA Ambassadors and the camp was the first step in a 12-month journey of learning, networking and skills development.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the program will expand students’ understanding of the resources and energy sector, offering unmatched networking opportunities with fellow students and industry representatives while nurturing their leadership skills.

“These ambitious young minds represent our future workforce, who will play a pivotal role in decarbonising our sector, driving innovation and harnessing new technologies to improve safety and the sustainability of resources operations,” Ms Jones said.

“From trade professionals and technicians to engineers and scientists, this camp demonstrated the diverse range of job opportunities for students who are keen to challenge themselves and pursue careers that align with their values and skills.

“Over the next year, these 20 students will play an important role championing the many benefits the resources and energy sector brings to people, Queensland’s prosperity and the planet when they engage with industry stakeholders, students and the wider community.”

During the camp, students:

  • visited Genuity’s energy trading floor and learnt about the energy market;
  • explored behind the scenes of Core Resources’ Albion facility where they toured laboratories, unearthed the critical role of exploration and geology, and discovered careers in chemical and process engineering, and metallurgy;
  • visited Glencore Technology’s office where they engaged with chemical and mechanical processes, witnessed flotation demonstrations and took a remote tour of the Isa Mill thanks to impressive virtual reality (VR) technology;
  • took a tour of The University of Queensland (UQ) Engineering’s cutting-edge facilities, including the Civil Lab and Hypersonic Lab, where experiments on space concepts like the speed of light are conducted. Students also watched a demonstration presented by second-year robotics competition participants;
  • visited Queensland’s world-leading centre for mining safety and health research at Redbank – Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station (Simtars), where they saw how the industry tests and manages challenges like dust, gas, spontaneous combustion and emergency response;
  • had exclusive access to Hastings Deering’s Acacia Ridge facility where they learnt about its annual apprentice and graduate programs, got hands-on experiences in the auto electrics training centre and diesel training centre, and visited a Virtual Reality facility with simulation units for operating excavators and haul trucks; and
  • visited BHP’s Brisbane headquarters including its Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC), where students engaged with the talent and acquisition team to learn about various career pathways including BHP’s annual apprenticeship, graduate, and internship programs.

St Hilda’s School student and 2024 Ambassador Aileen Hu said she’d previously participated in QMEA programs at school and knew it would be valuable to have more industry experience.

“This [camp] has been really rewarding, and I’m still deciding what I want to do [after school] but this has opened many pathways for me to consider, because you can’t do what you can’t see”, Aileen said.

The QMEA’s 2024 Ambassadors are:

  • Erin Keaney, Wavell State High School, Brisbane
  • Pernille Allen, Somerville House, Brisbane
  • Minho Sung, Mansfield State High School, Brisbane
  • Zachary MacInnes, The Gap State High School, Brisbane
  • Hunter Smith, Upper Coomera State College, Gold Coast
  • Aileen Hu, St Hilda’s School, Gold Coast
  • Ryan Philp, Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa
  • Damarish Robin, Spinifex State College, Mount Isa
  • Lincoln Hicks, Kirwan State High School, Townsville
  • Lexi Croce, Moranbah State High School
  • Hailey Ellis, Moranbah State High School
  • Shanae White, Blackwater State High School
  • Rihenna Gifford, Dysart State High School
  • Ava Haine, Moura State High School
  • Keira Falzon, Pioneer State High School, Mackay
  • Cadence Taylor, Bundaberg State High school
  • Alec Rix, Chanel College, Gladstone
  • Brendan Conway, Redeemer Lutheran College, Biloela
  • Colby Grieves, The Cathedral College, Rockhampton
  • Adrian Perry, Miles State High School

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools initiative, the QMEA expands student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers in the resources sector, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 100 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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