Somerville House School Captain Freya Allen has been selected as one of only twenty Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) school ambassadors for 2019. The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led, school and industry initiative. The Academy’s programs and experiences broaden students’ and teachers’ knowledge of the resources sector and provide a talent pipeline of employees into Vocational Education and Training and STEM-related careers, with a strong focus on female and indigenous students.
With a record number of students applying to become ambassadors from the forty-five QMEA schools across Queensland, Freya was formally inducted into her ambassadorship role at a Gala Breakfast held on Friday 7 December.
In a statement released by the QMEA and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Katrina-Lee Jones Director of Skills, Education and Diversity with QRC spoke on the high calibre of students who applied for the ambassadorship program.
‘We were incredibly impressed by the quality of students who applied to become ambassadors, and it was very difficult to select just twenty,’ said Katrina.
‘The ambassadors play an important role in the QMEA schools, particularly in encouraging their peers to continue with the all-important Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects,’ she said.
When asked what inspired her application to become an ambassador, Freya spoke of the QMEA camp she attended earlier in the year where students travelled to central Queensland to participate in the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance ‘Make It Now’ Engineering Challenge at the Saraji Mine near Dysart.
“At Saraji, we listened to talks from chemical, geotechnical, mining and many other Engineers who shared with us why they chose to work in mining and how they got into the position they currently held,” said Freya.
“I had a great time on the camp and thought I’d try for an ambassadorship - all students who attended the camp were encouraged to apply.”
Becoming an ambassador also gave Freya the opportunity to stay for two nights at the University of Queensland (UQ) St Leo’s College, to sample ‘university life’ and explore the latest UQ Engineering Faculty.
“It was interesting to see the new open plan university classrooms,” said Freya.
“We also got to experience college dorm life with shared bathrooms and shared meals times – which was also interesting!” she said.
Reflecting on what the QMEA ambassadorship means to her, Freya said she was excited to be able to the raise the profile of the QMEA with Somerville House students. Freya spoke of how she hopes to give fellow students the tools and encouragement necessary to continue with their STEM subjects throughout school and into university.
“[Becoming an ambassador] is an excellent way to continue to receive further opportunities from the QMEA,” said Freya.
“It will be great to share these opportunities with Somerville House students and to be able to go on the student camps in a leadership role.”
Picture courtesy of the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy.