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Two Hunter locals win $2k mining scholarships

TAFE NSW Muswellbrook

Two Hunter locals win $2k mining scholarships

With the Australian mining sector expecting renewed employment growth over the next five years* - of 2.4%, or 5,600 jobs - industry participants will hopefully reap the rewards.

This is even more the case for two local recent TAFE NSW students who were today announced as winners of a Mining Electrical and Mining Mechanical Engineering Society (MEMMES) Scholarship valued at $2,000 each.

The deserving recipients were:

  • Krystal Hickey from Paxton, a TAFE NSW Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology student

  • Oliver Davidson from Mount Hutton, a TAFE NSW Certificate III in Electrotechnology student

A technical society within Engineers Australia, MEMMES partnered with the Hunter TAFE Foundation to offer the scholarship to encourage further study for workers in the mining industry. Anyone who was enrolled in, or had recently completed an electrical or mechanical engineering trade qualification was eligible to apply. Four scholarships were provided in total, with the other recipients from western NSW.

MEMMES National Chair, Peter Whipp, said, “Due to the high calibre of applications this year, the selection committee decided to award four scholarships rather than the usual two. Last year, we had one winner from Orange and one from the Hunter Valley. MEMMES is excited to have doubled our donation in 2019, to $8,000.”

“Our goal is to encourage apprentices to further their education and go on to take leading industry roles, as the engineers of the future. Vital roles like these provide a significant contribution to the sector’s ongoing success.”

Hunter TAFE Foundation president Gary Webb said, “We are delighted to work with MEMMES to support and inspire mining industry participants into advancing their engineering studies. This generous donation will greatly assist four Australians to help realise their tremendous potential as opportunities in their sector pick up speed.”

When asked how he/she would use the scholarship monies, Ms Hickey said, “I am interested in continuing my learning in the fourth year of my apprenticeship by applying for an auto electrics course. I believe this will not only give me a more holistic understanding of the vehicles and machines I will work on, it will make me more employable and more valuable to my employers. I believe goal setting is important for giving yourself direction.”

Mr Davidson said, “I will enrol in the Diploma of Electrical Engineering course, a prerequisite to becoming a mining electrical engineer. This would provide me with the qualification I need to progress my career in the industry and work as an electrical engineer.”

Established in 2000, the Hunter TAFE Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organisation working with business, education and community leaders committed to supporting education and training at TAFE NSW by helping students achieve their goals. In the 2018 financial year, the Foundation presented over $75,000 in awards and scholarships providing support and encouragement to students in their studies.

TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training provider. Many of its courses can also be studied online, when and where it suits students, via TAFE Digital. Visit or call 131 601.


*Labour Market Information Portal