ARROW Energy's new indigenous scholarship program, through CQ University will give six young students across Queensland a helping hand.
There is no shortage of indigenous youngsters in the Gladstone region with dreams of working hard for a career in the booming resources sector.
Caleb Ginn has just completed Year 12 at Toolooa State High School and now he dreams of a chance to work in big industry.
His goal is to become an electrical engineer. He admitted finishing school and entering the real world was a daunting step, but he will now begin applying for apprenticeships in an electrical field or applying for tertiary education.
"I did QAL for work experience, and I just loved seeing all the big machinery," he said yesterday.
The Arrow scholarships are designed to encourage kids like Caleb.
The message to indigenous high school students across the Gladstone region is simple: get involved.
Arrow CEO Andrew Faulkner said the two-year, $120,000 program was aimed at encouraging Indigenous people into higher education in Central Queensland.
"University completion rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are significantly below that of non-Indigenous students," Mr Faulkner said.
"The scholarships are designed to address this imbalance.
"This is a complete educational package that also includes mentoring, tutoring and peer support networks so students have the best support to achieve their goals."
The Arrow Energy Indigenous Scholarship Program will provide scholarships each worth $10,000 a year to:
- two full-time students in the Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) / Diploma of Professional Practice (Engineering)
- two full-time students in resources-related disciplines like engineering, finance and accounting, geology, business, environmental science, law, water, occupational health and safety, and information technology
- two full-time students in any program.
The scholarships are open to any Indigenous students attending CQU but preference will be given to students who identify with Traditional Owner groups in Arrow's areas of operation.
Additionally, Arrow will contribute $30,000 over two years to support 20 Indigenous Year 10 students from the Gladstone region to participate in the PREQUIP program - a work-ready and pre-trade course that provides inductions, mentoring and training.
Mr Faulkner said the Arrow commitment would remove some of the barriers that might discourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from progressing to higher education.
"Today's new scholarships add to the Indigenous opportunities that Arrow has already backed - from Arrow's Brighter Futures community investment fund to school-based traineeships."
Arrow has also established similar scholarship programs at James Cook University, Central Queensland University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University - a total commitment of $780,000 over two years.