Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.

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QCoal Foundation Sets two up for Success with Scholarship and Bursary

We are pleased to announce Jamie Ahearn as the recipient of the 2023 QCoal Foundation Scholarship to study at James Cook University.

Jamie, a first year Environmental Science and Management student, said that he was thrilled to be named as the recipient of the $30,000 QCoal Foundation Scholarship.

“My parents were also extremely happy and very proud of my achievement. I owe them so much for the support over the years,” he said.

“This scholarship will greatly aid me in funding my tertiary education and will allow me to focus my efforts on my study.”

Hailing from Mount Isa, Mr Ahearn said he had a strong interest in land and water management and spent the past year working as an environmental technician within the mining industry in his hometown.

“I had the opportunity to conduct a wide variety of environmental monitoring alongside industry professionals, as well as learn about the greater mining industry,” he said.

“This was a truly gratifying and eye-opening experience for me as a young person.

“After graduation, I would be keen to work either as an environmental advisor in the mining industry or as a hydrologist/hydrogeologist.”

This year we are also happy to announce that Veterinary Science student Isabella Tritton will receive a $5,000 Bursary.

The first person to attend university in her family, Ms Tritton said the bursary helped further her dream to provide quality veterinary services in rural and remote areas.

“Growing up in rural Australia, I’ve never felt disadvantaged by living so far away from cities, but now the only way I can access tertiary education is to live in Townsville while studying, which is expensive,” she said.

“This bursary will assist me in helping pay my tuition and other additional costs such as placement so I can continue my chosen career.”

Growing up on a cattle station outside of Richmond, Ms Tritton said her interest in animal physiology and behaviours only grew stronger during her senior schooling.

“I have always loved animals and genuinely wish to make a difference for animals and the people that care for them,” she said.

“I believe I can influence the field of veterinary science as my goal is to provide care to animals that are often overlooked due to a lack of access, which occurs in rural and regional areas.”

QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia said this year’s scholarship selection process was even more challenging than usual with a strong mix of candidates including those from disciplines and areas not previously well-represented.

“We were overwhelmed with great candidates this year, including students from north-west Queensland – an area where we have historically had fewer applicants,” Ms Bhatia said.

“The Scholarship Committee and the QCoal Foundation Board were again impressed with the achievements and approach of the students applying and their interest in solving the challenges facing rural and remote Queensland.

“This year’s recipient Jamie Ahern is the first of our scholarship cohort to study Environmental Science and we were impressed with his commitment to this field, honed through his recent work experience in his hometown of Mt Isa.”

Ms Bhatia said Ms Tritton’s application and “strong grounding and commitment to rural communities” convinced the Foundation to offer her a one-off bursary to support her studies.

“These recipients, and all of the applicants, provide strong reassurance that the future of rural and remote Queensland looks bright,” she said.

“We wish Jamie, Isabella and all the applicants all the best with their future studies.”

Learn more about the QCoal Foundation Scholarship including eligibility criteria and previous recipients