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Batchfire Scholarship Stars: Q&A with Matthew

We caught up with Matthew Wyatte, one of our brilliant 2023 Batchfire Scholarship recipients, to find out what he has learnt so far both at university and the Callide Mine.  

Thanks for catching up with us to chat about your journey so far, Matthew. To kick things off, how did you find out about the Batchfire Scholarship Program? 

I found out about the Batchfire Scholarship Program through one of my high school teachers and a current Batchfire worker, both of whom encouraged me to apply for the scholarship. The process to apply for the program was straightforward and is worth applying, for any individual wanting to pursue a tertiary education. 

Great advice, Matthew. You have just completed your first semester studying a Bachelor of Engineering at Central Queensland University (CQU), how has it been so far? 

The experience of my first year of university opened my eyes to how different education can be after high school. From the individual communities that make up the university’s culture, the freedom and responsibilities involved with taking your studies into your own hands, and the lifestyle that undertaking university entails. 

Well said! How does it feel having a scholarship to subsidise study costs and guaranteed holiday placement opportunities? 

The scholarship subsidy money has been a great relief allowing for a semester’s worth of unit fees and textbooks to be covered through the Batchfire Scholarship Program.  

It puts less stress on the cost of university fees during the term, enabling me to put all my effort and time into my studies. Additionally, the guaranteed holiday placement has been a great experience, opening my eyes to the mining industry and how my chosen career is integrated within it. 

We are glad to hear the Scholarship has benefitted you. What have you learnt so far, both at university and on-site at Batchfire’s Callide Mine? 

During my first year at university, I have only been exposed to a very generic and broad range of engineering knowledge across the main disciplines. However, as I continue into my degree it becomes more focused upon the specifics of what skills are required of a mechanical engineer.  

Fortunately, through my time at Batchfire doing the vacation work offered as part of the scholarship, I have been exposed at an earlier point to the responsibilities and expectations of such a career.  

The guidance provided by the experienced engineers on-site has been such an advantage to my learnings, by providing feedback on my previous university projects, pushing me to further better my understanding of design software such as Fusion360 and completing numerous designs of differing upcoming projects. 

We are glad to hear you’re gaining valuable experience, Matthew. Are you glad you chose a career in Resources? 

The experience that I have gained from my short time on-site has allowed me to understand how the resources industry operates, although I still have plenty more to learn about it. As a result of this program, I will consider a career in the resources industry once I have my certificate in my hands! 

That’s great to hear! What advice would you give school leavers looking at a Batchfire Scholarship? 

Do it. Apply for it. What have you got to lose? If you suit the criteria for the Batchfire Scholarship Program then it should be a no-brainer, as the financial aid and vacation work placement help with the stress of university and the opportunity for industry experience before gaining your degree. 

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

My best memory on-site so far would have to be just being able to look at all the various machinery that Batchfire utilises in its mining operations. By asking as many questions as possible, to try and learn all the different systems the machines use while operating from the massive hydraulic fluid radiator and all the lines on the back of the mine-rangers floats, to the huge shocks used in the dump trucks to achieve a ride ‘as smooth as possible’ with 200+ tonnes of coal in the tray. 

Too right, Matthew, the big equipment truly is mind blowing. We are glad to hear you have enjoyed your time at the Callide Mine! 

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, keep an eye out for the next Batchfire Scholarship Program. 

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