Four regional students have been awarded scholarships valued at up to $20,000 each as part of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Inland Rail scholarship program.
The four students from regional Queensland are the first to be awarded scholarships under ARTC’s Inland Rail Skills Academy.
The scholarships for the University of Southern Queensland will provide the four students with support from Inland Rail as they continue their studies at the university.
In announcing the scholarships, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Inland Rail Skills Academy was investing in Australia’s youth.
“Along with 16,000 jobs created during Inland Rail’s construction, this is a long term investment in young people and a commitment to support jobs and skill development through the delivery of Inland Rail,” McCormack said.
“Every person trained through Inland Rail will have skills and expertise to take back to their communities, wherever they are in Australia, which will help boost local economies.”
The ARTC’s scholarship program is open to undergraduate students living in areas close to the Inland Rail route, giving financial assistance of $5,000 per year to study with a total value of up to $20,000 each.
Mathias Cormann, minister for finance said that beyond the $16 billion boost from its construction, Inland Rail can add another $13 billion in value to gross regional product over its first 50 years, depending on the conditions to invest along the rail line.
“It’s good to see the Inland Rail Skills Academy doing their part to build the workforce capability that will attract and retain investment to regional Australia and boost economic output for the long-term,” he said.
“It’s fantastic that Inland Rail is providing financial support to regional students who might struggle to afford tertiary education – giving them the opportunity to graduate into fulfilling careers and give back to their communities,” Geraldine Mackenzie, University of Southern Queensland’s vice chancellor said.
Awardees of these Queensland scholarships include Sophie Boon, Samuel Butler, Rebecca Hallahan, and Braidyn Newitt.
Rebecca Pickering, ARTC’s Inland Rail director for community and environment 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. And we are delighted to partner with the University of Southern Queensland in support of our locals,” Pickering said.