Powering our Future

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Gladstone students recently had an opportunity to power their minds and problem-solving skills at a workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from ConocoPhillips Australia, as downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), about 45 Grade 8 students from Toolooa, Gladstone and Calliope state high schools, and Chanel College learnt the intricacies of energy generation, demand, and supply.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said students worked in teams and alongside industry representatives as they investigated options for creating an Energy Plan for 2050, based on real-world challenges and opportunities.

“This unique workshop, which is linked with the national science curriculum, used real-time data from the National Energy Market (NEM) to show students how Australia, and its states and territories are powered,” Ms Jones said.

“It comes at a pertinent time when energy generation, distribution and use are undergoing significant change in Queensland and nationally.

“Students had the chance to investigate various types of energy generation, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with each form.”

“Factoring in aspects like buying and selling, supply and demand, the students were tasked with developing their own Energy Contracts for 2050, while considering renewable energy targets and peak demand forecasts.”

ConocoPhillips Australia’s Manager Communities and Sustainable Development, Mr Robert Gibb said representatives from the business were very impressed with the students’ presentations of their team’s 2050 Energy Contracts.

“We know students benefit from applying their classroom learning to real-world scenarios, and it was fantastic to see how well these bright young men and women grasped such a complex topic like the NEM,” Mr Gibb said.

“Our partnership with the QMEA is all about encouraging the next generation to pursue tertiary pathways to a rewarding career in resources and energy.

“The students really enjoyed hearing firsthand from Laboratory Specialist, Natasha McDougall, Operations Support Superintendent, Andrew Harvison, and Graduate Facility Engineer at Curtis Island, Rhianna Cardamone who features in this year’s Shape Your Future campaign.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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