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Future female leaders of industry feted in Mackay

Future female leaders of industry feted in Mackay

Published:14 May 2018

Holders of CQUniCares Downer scholarships L-R Morgan Lewis, Logan Bella, Tahilah Pepich, Charmaine Dig-O and Fiona Bazeley. BELOW: The scholarship holders are pictured with Downer reps David Videroni (left) and Leeanne Bond and CQUni Professor Pierre Viljoen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement, Campuses and Mackay-Whitsunday Region).

Representatives of major integrated services company Downer used a recent visit to Mackay as the chance to meet some future female leaders of industry.

The senior Downer reps offered encouragement to five CQUniversity students who are progressing with their studies in Engineering and Environmental Science, supported by CQUniCares Downer scholarships.

Downer’s General Manager for Oil and Gas, David Videroni, joined Downer’s Executive Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Leeanne Bond, for the meeting at CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea.

They had the chance to connect with Engineering students Charmaine Dig-O, Tahlilah Pepich, Logan Bella and Morgan Lewis, and Environmental Science student Fiona Bazeley.

These students are each benefitting from $3000 a year in funding support through the scholarships, which also bring opportunities for vacation employment with Downer during their studies, and two years of full-time employment with the company after graduation.

Third-year Engineering student and Downer Scholar  Morgan Lewis is already undertaking her six-month work placement with the company’s Oil and Gas business. Ms Lewis recently spent two months at Downer's LNG site in Gladstone following experience in the Brisbane Head office, and is now based at Downer’s Darwin LNG site.

The Downer visitors also met senior CQUni staff and toured Engineering facilities at CQUni Mackay Ooralea campus.

“These CQUniCares Downer scholarships aim to nurture vacation-based employees who can be converted to long-term graduate engineers within the Downer Oil and Gas business, while boosting our strategy of female participation in our workforce,” Mr Videroni says.

“Downer and CQUni have a nice synergy with the same footprint in terms of locations where we each operate.”

CQUni Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman says CQUni’s partnership and growing affinity with Downer has already borne fruit on a number of levels.

“Downer has presented us with $20 000 worth of equipment, including instrumentation gear, to help train apprentices in the gas industry and electrical sector at the CQUniversity Gladstone Marina Campus,” Professor Bowman says.

“The partnership expanded through Downer’s pledge to commit $42 000 over a four-year period to provide scholarships for female students studying Engineering, Construction Management, Environmental Science or Science.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for CQUni students to be supported by Downer throughout their studies and then further into their first few years of employment.”

Professor Bowman says CQUni is proud to have had Engineering Co-op students working with Downer for over a decade.

“In addition, we were pleased to find that Downer currently employs no fewer than 62 of our CQUni graduates across a variety of roles in their company.”