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Strength to strength: Natasha’s scholarship success with Batchfire

Batchfire Scholarship recipient and Biloela local, Natasha Hutchings, has gone from strength to strength in her environmental career with the company.

Natasha grew up on a farm in Jambin, just outside of Biloela, and when she finished school in 2017 she decided to go to university to study environmental science.

“The CEO of Batchfire at the time, and the Mining Managers, had visited my school to talk about the Scholarship Program,” she said.

“They explained that it was like a trade apprenticeship, but for a range of other jobs.

“I applied and then I heard back!”

The university of choice for Natasha was CQU in Rockhampton and she says the Batchfire Scholarship helped ease the financial and academic stress of living on campus.

“Obviously going to university can be stressful for anybody, but a scholarship helps with the financial stress as well as offering valuable exposure to the industry,” she said.

“It was really good to have an understanding of the kind of situations you would use your degree for.

“If I ever needed help, the Batchfire team were also always open to helping with a concept or bouncing off ideas for an assessment.”

The university journey for Natasha involved vacation work at Batchfire, allowing her to prioritise study and finish her degree sooner.

“Part of the Scholarship was offering me vacation student work, which allowed me to go from university into a holiday job,” she said.

“This meant I could work during the breaks and then focus fully on my study during the semesters, which allowed me to finish my degree in three years by doing extra subjects.

In February 2021, Natasha joined Batchfire full-time as a graduate and has thrived in her role.

“My experience since joining full-time has been very, very supportive,” she said.

“I’ve had a supervisor who has been my go-to throughout the graduate program and it was very well structured.

“I was never thrown into the deep end and always felt supported with regular reviews.

“Every few months we would talk about new projects that would step up my responsibility as I progressed in my experience.”

After nearly two years full-time at Batchfire, Natasha is excited to grow with the company and has her sights set on an Officer role.

“I will finish my two-year graduate program in February next year, and I’ll be ready to become an Officer!” she said.

The resources sector offers an exciting career with avenues for mechanical, electrical, mining, geology, finance, business, human resources, paramedicine, nursing, health or environmental roles.

“The sheer scale of the resources sector is the first thing that takes a lot of people back—it’s a very complex system,” Natasha explained.

The use of technology in the mining industry is something Natasha finds particularly interesting, allowing exposure to an array of emerging advancements for everything from machinery to environmental monitoring.

“With technologies changing constantly, it’s really interesting to see how that technology is applied in the mining sector—environmental monitoring being an example.

“You’re always using new technology in exciting ways and just yesterday we used a drone to help monitor rehabilitation sites.

“Seeing improvements across the industry and how technology is being used is really interesting.”

Natasha has found the work both rewarding and engaging, as she has continued to develop her passion for rehabilitation.

“The main area I’m interested in is the rehabilitation part and it’s really satisfying to see the results,” she said.

“When you make a decision, you get to see it physically play out in front of you.

“Those drone shots I was talking about showed a nice flying shot of our seeds that have sprouted!”

When asked if she would do it all again, Natasha was quick to respond.

“Of course I would!”

If you’re interested in applying for a Batchfire Scholarship, click here!