Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.

Noel Waipape – 2022 QCoal Foundation Scholarship Recipient

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QCoal Foundation awards 7th annual Scholarship

A budding geologist dedicated to his local community has been named as the recipient of this year’s $30,000 QCoal Foundation Scholarship.

James Cook University (JCU) Geology student Noel Waipape said he was “over the moon” after receiving news he had been successful in applying for the scholarship.

The Proserpine local, currently in his second semester of the first year of his degree, said he hoped to work in the mining industry after he graduates.

“I’ve always been interested in working in the mining sector since I was young. I’d like to become either an exploration geologist or an earth scientist working in the clean-up effort after a mine’s been dug up, doing things like soil testing,” Noel said.

“I’m looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty with geology this semester, challenging myself and taking some unique subjects that I haven’t done before.

“The scholarship will help me take my mind off other things, like out-of-pocket expenses such as accommodation costs and tuition fees.”

Mr Waipape said he intends to return to his community once he graduates and give back to the region, where he has been a part of his local cricket, rugby league and rugby union clubs.

“It’s very important to do that as an example to other young people who are going away to study at university,” he said.

“It’s good to show the community what you can contribute to your home town and make everyone proud.”

QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia said it was a tough decision for the Selection Committee this year with a large group of strong candidates who were not only committed to their studies but also showed a strong connection to, and understanding of, rural and regional communities.

“Each year we are impressed with the students who are choosing to study at JCU,” Sylvia said.

“These are a high achieving group of young adults who are excelling academically, making genuine contributions to their local communities and working hard to support themselves during their studies.

“We congratulate Noel on the hard work he has put into his studies to date and for securing and retaining a place in the Geology field at JCU.”

Sylvia said the Foundation valued Noel’s commitment to his studies and his hometown as well as his aspirations to continue living and working in regional Queensland.

QCoal Foundation established the scholarship program with James Cook University to provides a pathway to further education for talented young adults from regional and remote communities without the economic challenges that are associated with having to relocate to attend university.

Since 2016 the QCoal Foundation Scholarship has been awarded to students studying a wide range of disciplines including dentistry, veterinary science, engineering and medicine.

While degree disciplines have varied, all recipients share a genuine desire to use their skills to build resilient regional and remote communities after graduation. Learn more about previous recipients of the QCoal Foundation scholarship at https://qcoalfoundation.org/our-initiatives/qcoal-foundation-scholarship/.