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Batchfire Scholarship Stars: Q&A with Caitlin

We sat down with Batchfire Scholarship recipient, Caitlin Boothby, to find out how her studies are going so far.

Thanks for joining us for a chat, Caitlin, and welcome to the Callide Mine! How did you find out about the Batchfire Scholarship Program? 

I found out about the Batchfire Scholarship through my father. He was speaking to a General Manager and mentioned me and my studies, and he was informed of the scholarships and immediately rang me to tell me to apply. I quickly wrote up an application and got my resume together to apply as soon as possible! 

That’s great! You are now in your second year of a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Queensland – how has it been so far?  

My first year of university was very hectic. I was working two jobs to support myself and was struggling to keep up with the workload of uni on top of everything else. However, my second year has been a lot more enjoyable since I don’t have to stress as much about supporting myself financially. I have time to properly study for all of my subjects and keep on top of each week’s workload, as well as participate in some extra Engineering Society events to better my skills. 

We are glad to hear it’s more manageable. Has it been comforting knowing you are not only having your studies subsidised, but that you also have guaranteed holiday work opportunities? 

It has been extremely comforting having stability in work placement and financial support for my studies. I have a lot of friends and classmates who are now struggling to find work placement as we go into our third year. Seeing the processes and trouble that they have to go through makes me reflect on how incredibly thankful I am for the opportunities Batchfire has given me. Not only has Batchfire provided me with a way to fulfill my needed working hours to graduate, but it also means that I get to spend every holiday with my family! 

What have you learnt so far, both at university and on-site at Batchfire’s Callide Mine? 

At university I have learnt a lot of circuit analysis and computer science – particularly networking. This ties in well with placement, as I can apply my theoretical knowledge of network systems when learning the practical side of it with the Technology Department. The circuit analysis and having the theoretical knowledge of how electrical components work within a system has also aided me in understanding equipment around the mine site – particularly with troubleshooting. 

We love hearing about theoretical knowledge being used on-site! Has the experience so far cemented your interest in the resources industry? 

Having a father who works within the resources industry always sparked an interest within me to pursue a career in the industry. Now having my own first-hand experience has further ignited that passion and I definitely see myself staying within the resources industry after graduation. 

We’re glad to hear that, Caitlin. What advice would you give to school-leavers considering a scholarship at Batchfire? 

I would definitely encourage them to do so. From my personal experience placement has not only been extremely insightful and helped me conceptualise a lot of theoretical learning at university but has been genuinely enjoyable. Everybody I met and worked with onsite was friendly and they are more than willing to offer help and knowledge when asked. There are constant opportunities to learn new things or expand your knowledge. Always try to listen and hold onto as much information as possible and never be scared to ask a question, however dumb it might make you feel. 

Great advice. Lastly, what is your best memory on-site at Callide so far? 

When the dragline was on shutdown, in addition to helping with a cable run for a camera install, I got to climb the boom all the way to the top. It was gorgeous, I could see just about the whole mine site, and I now get to brag that I climbed to the top of one of the tallest booms in the Southern Hemisphere. 

What an awesome experience, Caitlin! We’re jealous.  

Batchfire’s 2023 Scholarship Program welcomed six talented young students who are now part-way through their studies at university.  

Each student is given $5,000 per year for university-related costs, as well guaranteed vacation work and placement opportunities.  

 If you live in the Callide Valley and are looking at undertaking tertiary education in 2024, we would love to hear from you! Take a look at the Batchfire Scholarship Program, here 

To find out more about Batchfire you can connect with us on LinkedIn or contact us here.