Students soar with airport scholarship
Two James Cook University students are set to power ahead with their studies thanks to a new scholarship offered by Townsville Airport.
Jacob Smith and Leree Pippenbacher have both been named as recipients of the inaugural Townsville Airport Indigenous Scholarship, which will provide two full-time first year Indigenous students up to $32,000 each over the duration of their degree to assist with their study commitments.
A first year Bachelor of Engineering student, Mr Smith said he was extremely grateful to Townsville Airport for the scholarship.
“I no longer have to worry about any student loan debt, which has taken a large amount of stress off my shoulders and has allowed me to study,” he said.
“In 2023, I’m looking forward to learning the basics of engineering and getting started on my journey to becoming a successful engineer.”
Having always had an interest in different mechanisms and machines and how they work, as well as in physics and math, Mr Smith is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Software.
Ms Pippenbacher, a single mother and mature-age student, is studying a joint Bachelor of Business-Bachelor of Law Degree and said the scholarship was an “amazing opportunity”.
Professor Martin Nakata, JCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy, congratulated both Mr Smith and Ms Pippenbacher on being selected for the scholarship.
“It is wonderful to have two recipients for this inaugural scholarship, and we look forward to supporting Jacob and Leree in their educational journey through JCU’s Indigenous Education and Research Centre,” Mr Nakata said.
“I’d like to thank Townsville Airport for partnering with JCU in offering this generous financial support to Indigenous students.
“We are excited to see what the future holds for Jacob and Leree.”
Townsville Airport General Manager Brendan Cook congratulated Mr Smith and Ms Pippenbacher on being selected for the scholarship.
“We couldn’t think of more deserving recipients and are looking forward to seeing Jacob and Leree succeed in their chosen fields,” Mr Cook said.
“These scholarships are designed to make good quality education more accessible, which we know in turn benefits the community and region as a whole.
“This is one of the many outcomes driven by our Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan and its criteria that supports the development of an Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES), thanks to the Federal Government, which allows us to further support the local community through initiatives such as this scholarship.”
NAIF’s loan of up to $50 million, announced in 2019, supported the redevelopment of Townsville Airport.
NAIF CEO Craig Doyle said the investment and the IES are an important example of how NAIF was delivering for people and communities of northern Australia.
“Not only has the NAIF loan ensured Townsville Airport’s sustainability for the region, but it has also delivered tangible outcomes through its IES, which is evident with these scholarships. An IES is a key criteria required for NAIF support,” Mr Doyle said.
“These scholarships are one of the outstanding commitments as part of Townsville Airport’s IES and will not only benefit Jacob and Leree, but also their families and the region as they inspire their community through their educational achievements.”
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