Engineering students at three universities in Queensland, NSW and Victoria each have the opportunity to receive $20,000 in study funding under the Australian Rail Track Corporation's (ARTC) Inland Rail scholarship program.
The new Inland Rail alignment is being constructed to complete the backbone of Australia's rail freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane through regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland. The project comprises 13 individual stages spanning 1700 kilometres and will be the largest rail freight infrastructure project in Australia and regarded as a significant infrastructure project in the world.
The ARTC scholarship program is part of the Inland Rail Skills Academy and is open to undergraduate degree students living in areas close to the Inland Rail alignment. It has been set up to enable students to learn and pursue careers that enrich and diversify regional communities in a positive way and provides financial assistance of $5000 per year.
The tertiary institutions involved in the academy are University of Southern Queensland, Charles Sturt University, and La Trobe University, all of which have engineering departments. Four students from the University of Southern Queensland have already been awarded scholarships: Sophie Boon, Samuel Butler, Rebecca Hallahan and Braidyn Newitt who commenced study this year.
ARTC’s Inland Rail Director for community and environment, Rebecca Pickering, said the academy was keen to support students by providing opportunities for them to graduate into careers, which add value to their local regions.
“These scholarships and the employment opportunities they unlock will act as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communities along the Inland Rail alignment," Ms Pickering said.
There is a total of 20 Inland Rail scholarships available for students starting undergraduate study in 2020 and 2021.