QMEA ambassadors top of their class

1 December 2017

It may be a little while before the result of the state election is known, but Queensland will soon have 20 new ambassadors.

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) ambassadors will be inducted by the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham on Friday at a gala breakfast.

The year 11 students will have travelled a collective 14 thousand kilometres to Brisbane to attend the breakfast and take up their roles to encourage fellow students to consider resources sector related careers.

A record number of students applied to be ambassadors from the QMEA’s 45 schools across Queensland.

While in Brisbane they will also sample university life, staying at St Leo’s College, University of Queensland (UQ) and visiting the university’s engineering faculty.

And, they will see first-hand a number of aspects of the resources sector, dropping in at the Hastings Deering Training Facility, the Queensland Government’s mine safety research station SIMTARS and BHP’s head office.

‘We were incredibly impressed by the quality of students who applied to become ambassadors and it was very difficult to select just 20,’ said Katrina-Lee Jones Director Skills Education and Diversity with the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

‘The ambassadors play an important role in the QMEA schools, particularly in encouraging their peers to continue with the all-important science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects,’ she said.

‘And with their help, we are making headway, which is backed up by Queensland Government statistics.

‘In 2017, 17 per cent of QMEA students entered engineering and related fields of studies or employment compared to 11 per cent from non-QMEA schools and 9 per cent of QMEA school leavers entered an apprenticeship in the mining industry compared to 2 per cent from non-QMEA schools.

‘It’s also great to see that 9 per cent of female QMEA students entered a mining-related apprenticeship or traineeship in 2017, compared to 0.6 per cent from non-QMEA schools.

‘With women making up just 3 per cent of our trades people currently in QRC member companies, this is certainly gratifying and hopefully the start of better things to come for diversity in trades careers.

‘The other great news is that QMEA schools are punching above their weight with Indigenous students. Just over 6 per cent of QMEA Indigenous students were employed in mining compared to under 2 per cent from non-QMEA schools.’

It’s been the biggest year ever for the QMEA, providing 100 events to more than 3000 students and 800 teachers across the state.

The keynote address will be given by Sarah Coughlan, Graduate Mining Engineer, Anglo American and former QMEA student.

The QMEA is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government through the Gateway to Industry Schools Program.

Photos available.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360