“Every year the WA Mining Club, in conjunction with industry co-sponsors, offers a number of scholarships to encourage and foster the development of the next generation of leaders within Western Australia’s mining sector,” WA Mining Club Scholarships Committee Lead Damian Quail said.
“To date, the Club has given away 65 scholarships since the awards first opened in 2003. And 2019 looks to be one of our biggest to date.”
Nine $10,000 scholarships will be awarded this year to outstanding students in categories including geology, female student in a technical discipline in the mining sector, Indigenous, and environmental sciences in the mining sector. It is this last category that international student Juliette Kuiper took home in 2018.
Currently a second-year Environmental Engineering student at Murdoch University, Ms Kuiper saw the scholarship as a pathway to getting involved in the mining industry.
“I find the entire process of mining fascinating,” Ms Kuiper said. “From exploring the unknown to transforming materials into products which sustain the world’s rapid population growth and economic development, I’m always learning something new.
“Also, from an environmental perspective, I believe there are a lot of opportunities for growth in reducing our impact and in mine rehabilitation.”
While the scholarship winner is extremely proud to have been able to save for her first semester, by working from 7am to 1am almost every day for months, the funds did come in handy.
“As an international student, financial hardship has to some extent impacted on my study time,” she said. “The Mining Club scholarship has been a very generous contribution towards my tuition fees and enabled me to attend a Humanitarian Design Summit in rural Nepal with Engineers Without Borders.”
Ms Kuiper has been visiting high schools with the Murdoch University Outreach Team to share her story with student from years 9 to 12 to promote a future in STEM-related careers.
In addition to the $10,000 award, Ms Kuiper and other winners are given the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program to help them start building real-life experience and a network in the mining industry.
Ms Kuiper’s allocated mentor through the program has been Claire Tolley from Sandfire Resources, who the Murdoch University student says has been incredible.
“She has supported me every step of the way, introduced me to great opportunities and made me feel incredibly welcome to the industry,” Ms Kuiper said. “The luncheons and the Young Professional events have all been very inspiring and opened a lot of doors. I always really enjoy attending the events.”
This year seven scholarships are open to university students, and two Indigenous scholarships are open to high school, TAFE and university students.
Currently progressing through the Gold Fields Recruitment and Selection process, Ms Kuiper is firmly committed to her career, going as far to say that if she won lotto tomorrow – aside from bringing her family out to Australia on the holiday of a lifetime – she would continue to pursue a career in mining.
“Having a purpose, the feeling of growing and continually learning is what makes me enjoy life so much,” Ms Kuiper said.
Applications for the 2019 WA Mining Club Scholarships close on 4 August at 5.00pm.
Finalists will be invited to a WA Mining Club Scholarship Awards lunch at the Hyatt Regency on 29 August 2019, where the winners will be announced