Science came to life for year nine Oakey State High School students yesterday as they fired up their beakers for a chemical processing and robotics workshop with the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

The Beakers.Bots.Build workshop guided students through three key challenges exploring chemical processing, robotics and construction activities.

The workshop was supported by two New Acland Mine staff who shared their personal career pathways into the resource industry.

New Acland’s Site Senior Executive Dave O’Dwyer began his resource career as a mining engineer and said sparking student’s interest in science could equip them well for future careers in Queensland’s resource industry.

“Bringing the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy to Oakey State High School opens students up to all the different possibilities the resource industry can offer them,” Dave said.

“Our industry has a really diverse workforce, with roles like engineers and environmental scientists, through to core trades like diesel-fitters and electricians.”

“A lot of these professional and vocational career pathways are underpinned by high school study in science, technology, engineering and maths so it’s really rewarding to bring QMEA back to Oakey State High School again this year.”

As well as helping local students access QMEA, New Hope also has a number of local trainees and apprentices working across its operations.

“We’re really passionate about helping our local youth acquire skills that empower them to stay and work in regional Queensland, without having to move away to the big cities to pursue a career.”

“Right now across our operations New Hope has four apprentices, two trainees and one work experience student, with another eight new haul truck trainees about to start.”

New Acland Landholder Liaison Grant Higgs also shared his resource industry journey, using his experience in rural banking and agriculture to work with landholders living near resource projects.

The QMEA is a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Queensland Government and various resource companies under the Gateway to Industry Schools program. It has 46 schools throughout Queensland.

QRC is the peak representative body for Queensland‘s resource sector. The Queensland resources sector provides one in every $6 dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 16,400 businesses across the state, all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.


Media contact: Anthony Donaghy

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