Gladstone electrician's 'surreal' award
RECEIVING one of four Queensland Overseas Foundation Scholarships was what Gladstone electrician Nathan Dunnett described as a "surreal" experience.
The 24-year-old Rio Tinto employee has the opportunity to work overseas in his profession after being awarded as one of the best vocational education graduates in the state.
He received the award at Parliament house on March 15 from Queensland Governor General Paul de Jersey.
"It was pretty surreal to be given such a big opportunity," Mr Dunett said.
"I knew I was in good stead to receive the award but I never really expected it."
He said throughout his apprenticeship he always put the extra effort to further and expand his skills, including competing in WorldSkills and completing an Associate Degree in engineering, which he believed was the reason he received the award.
"I had to put an application in and then sit an interview with the QOF board," he said.
"I was encouraged to apply by one of the judges at the WorldSkills competition I competed in Sydney."
Mr Dunnett said from school he knew he wanted to do something that was "physically challenging while still being mentally stimulating".
"Doing electrical work ticks both of those boxes," he said.
Mr Dunnett is still at the planning stages of working out how he will use his scholarship, but has some preference to what is next.
"My first preference is the United States, so far I'm exploring options to stay with Rio Tinto," he said.
"I'm planning to have something organised for the end of the year."
The program is funded by Construction Skills Queensland.