An update from the Rockhampton Regional Committee - December 2020

An update from the Rockhampton Regional Committee.
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This year has been a strange year for all of us.  We did not have a chance to hold a face-to-face event before these came to a grinding halt with COVID. However, we are pleased that regional members now have access to numerous online events, available both in real-time and streamed on demand through EA OnDemand.

We hope to resume face-to-face local member activities, in a COVID safe manner, in 2021. We are also looking forward to being able contribute topics and speakers to the Central Region Forum, which will be held in Gladstone in late 2021. We invite any local members who have a topic suggestion to contact the local committee.

As my year as Chair comes to an end, I would like thank the local committee members who have served this year. Your efforts are much appreciated. Without a good local committee, we won’t have good local events.


Thank you to the 2020 Committee

I would like to thank this year’s committee for their continued efforts throughout 2020.





MIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)









Deputy Chair












FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)











Member Spotlight - Interview with Longest Serving Member, Dr Ray Boyle

We caught up with one of Rockhampton's longest serving members.

Dr Ray Boyle, FIEAust CPEng(Ret), is a Fellow  who first joined Engineers Australia on the 16 October 1950

How much has the profession changed since becoming a member?

The most exciting change has been the availability of the internet to provide training online. While large employers maintained adequate technical libraries, the internet has made material available which engineers in regional centers could previously but dream.

I mention training below and the Profession (especially in Central Queensland) can be proud that it was the Local Group which had the vision to lobby for the establishment of tertiary education in Central Queensland. It was the Rockhampton Group under Chairman James Goldston which fought for the establishment of a local University and won the setting up of a local branch of the Queensland Institute of Brisbane.  Jim’s work and that of his successor Bruce Hiskens resulted, over a period of years, in the establishment of the Capricornia Institute of Advance Education, the University of Central Queensland and currently The Central Queensland University (CQU).Unfortunately the work of these two engineers is not clearly acknowledged by the current leaders of CQU except that the Rockhampton Group commissioned a painting of Jim which hangs in the foyer of the Engineering building [formerly known as The James Goldston Building] and a plaque honoring Bruce is in the foyer of the University Library[formerly the Bruce Hiskens Library].

As Chairman of the Institute Council and later as the first Chancellor of the University College of Central Queensland, Bruce Hiskens devoted many hours and much travelling to and from Gladstone. When asked why he had devoted so much time to the office, he replied  “I did not want others to go through what we went through”, referring to the many hours of travel that we students from Mount Morgan had committed to, to attend night classes at Rockhampton.  

Seventy years ago, while there was a central body based in Canberra and with a Division in Brisbane, each Regional Group appeared to be autonomous in setting its program of activities. Regular monthly meetings included organized visits to operating plants, projects and addresses by in-house speakers and visiting ‘dignities’ who could be co-opted at short notice to address the Group. Special social events, including family participation, ensured families were included in our professional doings.

Admittedly, regional activities of government departments (eg railways, power supply local councils), construction activities (eg railways, private consultants) and education (from early 1960’s), ensured the above programmers were extensive and highly successful.

The recent relocation of engineering personnel out of the district, coupled with stricter control of event planning by Brisbane, has seen a disappointing drop in the social and academic events put on by Regional Groups which would be good to see an increase of again in the future..

What is your fondest memory of Engineers Australia?

I was 20 years old when I became a Student Member while in my third year of my apprenticeship. The senior staff (from the General Manager down) who were members welcomed me and made me a feel a part of the group and included me in all the group activities. Through their encouragement I was included in all the activities of the Rockhampton/Mount Morgan Group. These activities enable me to undertake visits to engineering works (the new bridge across the Fitzroy River, the construction of the new Glenmore Power station, the Rail Deviation to replace the ABT Rack railway up the mountain and Rockhampton extensions to civic infrastructure were under way). These visits broadened my knowledge of ‘real’ engineering and was a valuable contribution to the engineering course I was undertaking. Even after I resigned my membership I was, by default, included in the local group activities which the GM saw as part of my training.

The Mount Morgan Group was very active and enabled me to form friendships which lasted for years.

Where and what did you study?

After completing the Senior Public Certificate at the Rockhampton Grammar School I was offered a Fitting and Turning apprenticeship with Mount Morgan Limited on condition that I enrolled in the Diploma of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering [DipMEE] offered by the University of Queensland through night time attendance at the Rockhampton Technical College. I have continued to build on this education to this day.

What do you think is the biggest innovation to have come out of Australian engineering?

I would not presume to make a choice but rather refer you to the wonderful selections made in 'Wonders never cease, 100 Australian engineering achievements', Engineers Australia [IEAust] Centenary Book published to celebrate the Centenary of the Institution, 2019, ISNB 978-1-025627-30-5.

What do you enjoy doing now?

Leading up to my formal retirement in 2000 and continuing in part up to the present time, I have expanded my attention to engineering heritage especially on the engineering history of the Mount Morgan mine. This has presented itself in delivering papers at engineering and other conferences as well as the publication of engineering history especially in the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Bulletin and, through the good offices of the Editor, Margret Doring, in the EAH magazine.  

Read out full interview with Ray here


Recognition of New Chartered Members

We would like to recognise our newest Fellows and Chartered Members.

Chartered Members:

  • Matthew Dennis, MIEAust CPEng NER
  • Nilupa Hulugalla, MIEAust CPEng NER


If you have a topic idea or want to get more involved in the local engineering professional community, please get in contact with us. The committee meets regularly and always welcomes new members - please email [email protected] and we will be in contact with you.


Have a Merry Christmas, I hope you have the chance for a break, and I wish you a prosperous New Year.


Yours sincerely,


Nirmal Mendal


Chair, Rockhampton Regional Committee