The partnership between the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME), the South Australian Government and the Playford Trust continues to provide outstanding scholarship opportunities for school leavers enrolling in mining or petroleum engineering at the University of Adelaide.
The scholarships provide eligible students with $10,000 a year for two (2) years; and are co-funded by leading resources companies Beach Energy, BHP, Cooper Energy, OZ Minerals, Santos, Tri-Star and the State Government.
The 2021 Playford Trust scholarship winners are profiled below.
For full details and applications visit the Playford Trust website.
2020 Playford Trust scholarship recipients were profiled in our Resourceful.SA publications. Issue 1 | Issue 2
“I’d like to work in the resources sector because I know mining is one of Australia’s biggest exports and something Australia relies on”
With doctors for parents and a sister studying medicine at university, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise if Adam Faisal had taken the same path. Instead, the 19-year-old opted to study a Bachelor of Mining Engineering and Bachelor of Computer Science and Mathematics. “My family says I’m going to be the first one who is able to do maths,” he says with a laugh.
Faisal’s interest in engineering developed during his school years. “I’ve always liked the sciences and maths, and also to see how the theoretical side of the world connects to the practical side of the world,” he says.
Now in the second year of his double degree, his studies have covered dynamics, coding, mathematics and mining. “Some of the coding subjects have been really interesting, such as learning how to use Matlab and other coding languages and software,” he says.
Faisal will have the opportunity to put his learnings into practice this summer, with a 12-week internship with BHP. “I’ll be spending 10 weeks in the office and two weeks at Olympic Dam. I’m really excited for it – it should be an amazing experience.”
Born in London, Faisal moved to Australia at the age of 13 and is keen to give back to his adopted homeland upon graduation. “I’d like to work in the resources sector because I know mining is one of Australia’s biggest exports and something Australia relies on: I’d like to give back to the country I live in as much as I can by working in one of the biggest revenue generators,” he says.
The 19-year-old soccer player and avid Manchester United fan is thankful for the support of the Playford Trust. “I’m happy they have faith in me that I’ll do well but I have confidence in myself that I will be just fine,” he says. “It’s helpful to know I have money behind me if I need anything like a new laptop or textbooks; but it’s also a great thing to have as it is a recognised scholarship within the industry, so it’s about more than the monetary value.”
“I’m definitely interested in doing something around environmental engineering when I graduate: I feel that I can do some good”
Growing up in a STEM household, with a science teacher mum and software programmer dad, it’s little surprise Francesca Tew has chosen to study both chemical and mining engineering at The University of Adelaide.
What has come as a surprise for the environmentally conscious 19-year-old is the correlation between mining and caring for the environment. “I only started my mining degree this year but it is very interesting,” she says. “I never realised how many environmental aspects were taken into consideration. I’m definitely interested in doing something around environmental engineering when I graduate: I feel that I can do some good.”
Leadership is also a passion for Tew. As a Year 10 student at Cabra Dominican College, she volunteered at The University of Adelaide’s science experiments school holiday program, sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for learning. In Year 12, she moved from playing to coaching volleyball, thriving on watching her players develop and grow not just as athletes but also as people. “I would love to be involved in leadership roles in my career as well,” she says. “I’d like to go as high as they’ll let me.”
Having called South Australia home since the age of three, Tew has a strong loyalty to the state, which is what attracted her to apply for the Playford Trust scholarship. “I really like the values they have, specifically around remaining in South Australia and helping our economy to grow – I think that’s awesome,” she says.
Having recently suffered a knee injury while playing rugby, the financial support from the scholarship has proven invaluable. “I do casual hours in a local supermarket but haven’t been able to work, so it eases the financial burden so much.”
“It gave me confidence the resources industry is backing graduates”
In his final year at Rostrevor College, Jack Haddad was deciding whether to study civil or mining engineering at university. Having completed specialist and methods maths, geography, accounting, physics, religion and psychology in Years 11 and 12, his well-rounded education pathway meant both subjects were viable study options. Two factors swayed his decision: his love of a challenge and learning about the Playford Trust scholarship.
“My school careers counsellor emailed me about the scholarship, which I think cemented my decision about studying mining engineering: not only because it offered financial help but it gave me confidence the resources industry is backing graduates,” the 18-year-old says. “I didn’t know a lot about the mining industry and was interested to challenge myself to learn something new.”
Now in the first year of his degree, Haddad is thriving off the challenges of his studies, which to date have covered environmental aspects, mining engineering and infrastructure. “Mining engineering is super interesting, learning more of the specifics and the general gist,” he says. “I also enjoy the introduction to infrastructure – it ties a lot of the mathematics and physical studies into a real-world application.”
This summer, Haddad will have the opportunity to experience that real world for himself with a six-week internship at BHP. “It will stand me in good stead because it will give me an idea of which part of mining interests me the most,” he says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”
With the financial support of the scholarship behind him, the West Coast Eagles fan and videogamer can focus on his studies and hobbies while saving to pay off his university fees upon graduation. “It’s been a great support because I have that sense of security – rather than having to save money from my part-time job, I can enjoy it while still saving money through the scholarship,” he says.
“I didn’t think I was the brainiest kid in the world so to get this scholarship gave me faith in myself, it felt awesome”
As a young child, Oliver Snoad always believed his interest in rocks would lead him to become a geologist. But that all changed when a former student returned to Westminster School to speak to the then 16-year-old Snoad and his senior school classmates about the benefits of working in mining engineering. “It sounded like the perfect fit – the lifestyle, the type of work,” the now 19-year-old said. “I hadn’t realised mining was an engineering discipline – that talk set me on the right path.”
Snoad’s experience so far as a first-year mining engineering student at The University of Adelaide has reinforced his decision. “I have studied maths, programming (Matlab and Excel), introduction to engineering and introduction to mining,” he says. “Introduction to mining and engineering have been very interesting, and I’ve found the mining aspect more enjoyable than I expected.”
His programming studies have also opened his eyes to a career in mine automation. “That sounds incredibly interesting and it seems that is the way the industry is moving, to make things safer and more economical,” he says.
Job security and global career opportunities also appeal. “Another factor that drew me to mining was the opportunities to work in other countries,” Snoad says. “To begin with I would love to start in Australia but if opportunities presented to work abroad, I would definitely jump at those if I was at the right stage in my life.”
For the avid surfer and musician, having the support of the Playford Trust behind him is a matter of pride. “I was genuinely shocked when I learned I had been awarded the scholarship,” he says. “I didn’t think I was the brainiest kid in the world so to get this scholarship gave me faith in myself. It felt awesome. It means I don’t have to work as much to support myself, which is a great relief.”
“The industry support that comes with the scholarship gives you a good chance to build connections”
Mitchell Jakab knows exactly what he wants from a career: the chance to immerse himself in a fulfilling role that offers opportunities to work across the country as well as plenty of free time to develop his passion for martial arts.
And, in mining engineer, he has found that perfect balance.
Before enrolling in a Bachelor of Mining Engineering at The University of Adelaide, Jakab was already vaguely familiar with mines, having grown up hearing stories of the mining that once took place at his great grandfather’s farm. Today, the first-year student is learning the subject for himself: his studies so far have covered introductions to mining, engineering and infrastructure. “You don’t get really into the specifics of mining until third year, but I have been researching different mining terminology and how mines and the industry work in general,” he says.
“I find the FIFO lifestyle really appealing because it means when you’re rostered on it’s 12-hour days so all you do is work, and when you have time off your work is completely separate. I enjoy taekwondo so, after I finish my degree and when I get a job FIFO, I want to take up more martial arts.”
The opportunity to network was one of the reasons Jakab chose to apply for the Playford Trust scholarship. “The industry support that comes with it gives you a good chance to build connections,” he says. “At the Playford Trust presentation night there were representatives from mining companies. Andrew Cole, OZ Minerals CEO, was there and we all got to meet him.”
And the 18-year-old isn’t fazed by having industry eyes monitoring his progress. “It does put me under a bit more pressure but it also gives me more incentive to succeed,” he says.
“It gives me a good start to my five years at university, and it is good to know they trust in me to do a good job”
Like most children, Ben Barrow played with Lego. Unlike most children, however, he knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up – become an engineer. What he didn’t know was what type of engineer he wanted to be. But his grandfather’s passion for geology, augmented by his own keen interest in maths and physics, led him to choose to undertake a Bachelor of Mining Engineering and a Bachelor of Computer Sciences and Mathematics at The University of Adelaide, majoring in mine automation and computer sciences. “I thought, ‘I could do mining engineering or add another year and get two degrees for the price of nearly one’,” the 19-year-old says with a laugh.
His first-year studies so far have covered electronic engineering, maths, programming and dynamics. “Dynamics has been interesting because that is to do with the physics of moving objects. It’s a bit of a challenge but I’m really learning a lot along the way and enjoying it,” he says.
With such a demanding study schedule, Barrow is grateful for the financial support he gets from the Playford Trust scholarship. “It allows me to focus more on my studies rather than having to worry about paying for travel and textbooks,” he says. “It gives me a good start to my five years at university, and it is good to know they trust in me to do a good job.”
Having just embarked on his studies, Barrow is keeping his mind open to which field of mining he would eventually like to specialise in. “Mining is all about experience – you have to start and then work out where you want to go from there,” he says. “I’m looking forward to just learning a lot about the different roles.”