University of Southern Queensland students on track with award of Inland Rail scholarships

A medical lab scientist, community support worker and high school teacher are the recipients of this year’s Inland Rail scholarships at the University of Southern Queensland.

Inland Rail undergraduate scholarship recipient Hannah Fowler is undertaking a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Southern Queensland

*image caption: Inland Rail undergraduate scholarship recipient Hannah Fowler is undertaking a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Southern Queensland

Three undergraduate scholarships valued at up to $20,000 each have been awarded by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to University of Southern Queensland students as part of the Inland Rail Skills Academy program.

Now in its second year, the scholarship program was open to students living within areas close to Inland Rail alignment who want to pursue careers that will enrich, diversify, and contribute positively to their regional communities.

The scholarships provide students with financial assistance of $5000 per year of study and an additional $1000 relocation assistance in their first year of study.

ARTC Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer Richard Wankmuller said the Inland Rail Skills Academy is supporting regional students by providing opportunities for them to pursue careers which will enhance their local communities. 

“We are committed to playing our part in upskilling the nation and ensuring that different groups of people are given the opportunity to help build Inland Rail including tertiary students,” Mr Wankmuller said. 

“Through the Inland Rail Skills Academy, we are supporting students to study at a regional university and that contributes positively to the many regional communities along the Inland Rail corridor,” he said.

Member for Groom Garth Hamilton said the initial round of scholarships is an example of Inland Rail supporting our next generation of future leaders.

“These important scholarships will build the capabilities and skills of the Toowoomba Region community along the way,” Mr Hamilton said. “As a region we look forward to the many benefits that will flow from this significant project.”

University of Southern Queensland Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, said the Inland Rail Scholarship Program would enable students to undertake a tertiary education and pursue a career they otherwise might not have been able to do without financial support. 

“We know that university can be a financial burden so it’s fantastic that the ARTC is once again providing this valuable financial support for students who need it most,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“This will allow them to pursue their chosen careers and, importantly, give back to their communities.”

Scholarship recipient Cooper Timms from Goondiwindi, who is studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education at the USQ Toowoomba campus, was thrilled to have been awarded an Inland Rail scholarship.

“I was so happy and relieved when I found out I was getting that extra financial support. It’s hard when you’re a student juggling studying and working so this was a real bonus for me,” Cooper said.

“My family and community are really proud of me for getting this scholarship and I know how important my high school teachers were for me, so I look forward to being a positive influence for kids somewhere in regional Australia.”

“I’m grateful to Inland Rail and the University of Southern Queensland for the assistance to help make that happen,” he said. 

Other scholarship recipients are Hannah Fowler from Toowoomba, who will study Medical Laboratory Science, and Makayla Wright from Harrisville who will study Human Services at the USQ Springfield campus.

The Inland Rail scholarship program is an initiative of the Inland Rail Skills Academy in partnership with the University of Southern Queensland.  The Inland Rail Skills Academy is supporting seven students at the University and a further 13 students in NSW and Victoria regional universities.

For more information visit: https://www.usq.edu.au/scholarships/inland-rail-scholarship 

Inland Rail Scholarship recipients 

  • Cooper Timms Goondiwindi Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Toowoomba Campus 
  • Hannah Fowler Toowoomba Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science Toowoomba Campus
  • Makayla Wright Harrisville Human Services Springfield Campus

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