May 18, 2022
Whitney Akhurst is in the final year of a medical radiation degree at Newcastle Uni. As one of 20 recipients of this year’s Mineworkers Trust scholarships, she’s no longer worried about how she’ll manage financially through 18 weeks of work placements she needs to complete her studies.
“I can now can focus on doing my best with my university work and making sure I am putting everything into my placements without being worried about keeping up my finances during placement blocks,” says Whitney, whose dad Darren Akhurst works at Mandalong underground mine in NSW.
Whitney is training to become a diagnostic radiographer who will carry out medical imaging including the regular chest x-rays required by mineworkers to detect dust diseases.
Adrian Reis, who is studying microbiology and genetics at Queensland Uni, has used his scholarship to upgrade his computer and software to help with his research. “Studying this year has been really exciting, being able to get stuck into lab work and make actual progress has been very rewarding,” he says.
Adrian is close to finishing his undergraduate degree and is moving into post-graduate study focusing on developing treatments for tuberculosis, which remains a major cause of death in developing countries. Adrian’s dad Philip is an iron ore train driver with Rio Tinto in the Pilbara.
Adrian and Whitney are two of 20 scholarship recipients receiving $7000 each, based on an independent assessment of their academic achievements and goals. The annual Mineworkers Trust scholarships are open to Mining and Energy Union members, their families and dependents. Applications for 2023 will open at the end of this year.