Eight new engineers, building designers in the pipeline, thanks to Downer

Published:10 July 2019

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student Charmaine Dig-O with others holding a white Thank You sign

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student Charmaine Dig-O (middle) was able to complete an industry placement at the Chevron Wheatstone facility west of Onslow, Western Australia, thanks to her 2018 CQUniCares Downer Scholarship.

Eight students who are benefitting from Downer’s $100 000 donation to the CQUniCares Appeal and Scholarship program will meet as a cohort for the first time at CQUniversity Rockhampton North campus, on Monday 15 July.

They will be congratulated by key Downer representatives and CQUni senior managers while hearing the experiences of one of last year’s Downer scholars.

The eight scholarship recipients, including one Indigenous student, will each gain $10 000 in financial support, along with paid work experience and employment with Downer for two years following their graduation.

They are based across the CQUni network of campuses, including Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville, and Brisbane, studying a mix of Engineering and Building Design.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nick Klomp says the Downer scholarships are transformative and life-changing for the recipients and will make a difference to their career success.

“I would like to congratulate the eight students who will carry the promise of these scholarships, arranged through the CQUniCares Appeal,” Professor Klomp says.

“I would also like to thank and commend Downer for sharing CQUniversity’s belief in the transformative power of education and philanthropy, and we very much look forward to continuing to grow our partnership in the coming years.

“Downer understands that many of our students have great talent but face financial challenges and often come from rural and remote areas, which brings some additional challenges.

“Downer’s generous donation will ensure that true talent will have the chance to shine, and I’m confident these eight students will become wonderful Downer and CQUniversity ambassadors as they develop their careers across Australia, and possibly even overseas.

“We are sure there will also be a ripple effect as they become successful role models for their families and home town communities.”

Chief Executive Officer of Downer’s Mining, Energy and Industrial division, Brendan Petersen, said Downer was delighted to support the development of Australia’s future engineers and that these newly awarded scholarships reflect the expanding partnership between the two organisations, who both share a nationwide footprint.

“Downer works to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace that facilitates opportunity and respect. Our focus on gender, youth, and cultural inclusiveness is active and ongoing, and through various initiatives we aim to help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities,” Mr Petersen said.

“CQUni’s value of inclusion aligns well with Downer’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Our donation is also an extension of our commitment to the University through the support we have provided through the CQUniCares Downer scholarships.”

For over a decade, CQUni has arranged for its Engineering Co-op students to gain industry experience at various Downer work sites across Queensland and Australia.

In addition, there are approximately 80 CQUni graduates working across the Downer Group, the two organisations have been developing joint research projects and Downer representatives are involved in CQUniversity’s Engineering Advisory Committee.

Over the past six months, four of the previous cohort of CQUniCares Downer Scholarship recipients were able to experience work at the Chevron Wheatstone facility west of Onslow, Western Australia, as part of their industry placements.

Of the four scholars was CQUniversity Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student Charmaine Dig-O.

“We were given the chance to see the LNG facility and work with different trades. I got to experience what it feels like to have a fly-in fly-out job and network with a lot of people from different companies,” Ms Dig-O said.

“I probably would have never had this opportunity as a student Engineer if it wasn’t for Downer. I would like to thank Downer for awarding me this scholarship a year ago and opening up opportunities for me in the engineering industry.”

In 2017, Downer also presented CQUniversity 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.

The partnership with CQUniversity has expanded through Downer’s pledge to provide annual scholarships, especially for female students studying Engineering, Building Design, Construction Management, Environmental Science or Science.