North Rocky Dux to bring gender diversity into STEM field
NORTH Rockhampton State High School graduate Felicity Finlayson is aiming to change the mining industry one step at a time and has her sights set on paving the way for more young women to join the mines.
Felicity's dream to serve as a positive role model in the industry has been realised after spending time as an ambassador for the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
A large component of her role with the academy has been promoting the facility in local schools with a particular focus on getting more young women involved in the mostly male-dominated sector.
"I'm going to work in the mines and I really hope other females become involved as well,” Felicity said.
"QMEA is just a great way to meet people in the sector and also get more people involved so when we eventually make it out into the workplace there will be more women.
"I'm passionate about gender diversity in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.
"With my position as a QMEA ambassador this year I tried to encourage other young people, particularly females to pursue a career in the resources sector.”
The QMEA ambassador wowed organisers of the camp and was invited back for a second camp where she was tasked with a general mining project.
"I shared my stories involving the camps and things that I'd done and I spoke to other students at my school and with the camp that I went on this year, I was one of the year 12s and it was mainly year 11s,” she said.
"I spoke a lot to the year 11 students there about the opportunities that they could have and now a lot of them have become QMEA ambassadors for next year.”
Many people may look back on high school and recall a montage of parties and weekends lounging around with mates.
But for Felicity her number one priority from her very first day of high school was achieving her academic dream.
Every since she learnt what an OP was, she was determined to earn herself the top an Overall Position 1 score, something that she has since achieved this year after graduating.
This year, that dream came true after months of hard work.
She had very little time to relax throughout her schooling days and would spend every minute of her free time studying, doing homework or participating in her other activities that included concert band, string orchestra, debating, futsal and soccer.
The impressive teenager also held leadership roles at her school such as school captain and was awarded Dux of the School for her outstanding academic prowess.
"I worked very hard ever since I started high school, because I've always been aiming to achieve an OP 1 and it was great to be rewarded for all my hard work,” Felicity said.
Felicity was presented with the Peter Doherty Outstanding Senior STEM Students award and a $5000 scholarship.
She has been offered a place at the University of Queensland in 2019 for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Master of Engineering.
But that is not until 2019 as she is planning to enjoy a gap year of sorts in 2018.
Felicity will next year attend high school in Finland where she is "hoping to learn a new language and experience the Finnish culture”.
Felicity's placement is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rockhampton West as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.
"I think it's just a great way to develop personal skills as well,” she said.