Qld Early Career Support Funds winners announced

January 17, 2020

The SSSI Queensland Northern and Central Groups are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 round of bursaries for students and those beginning their careers in the surveying and spatial sciences.

Winners receive funding to assist with travel to university lectures and/or SSSI learning events.

Northern Group

Vaugh Golding, Ben Cook, Paul Hoskins (Town Group Convenor, Townsville) and David Dance (accepting Rebecca Heath's certificate) 

Vaughn Golding 

Vaughn moved to Queensland in January 2017 and moved to Townsville last year. He previously lived in Adelaide and rural SA.

He is currently working as a Surveying Assistant with RPS Townsville and studying a BSPH (Cadastral) at USQ. Vaughn previously studied 3 subjects of a BSci (Spatial) at UniSA in 2016 and has previously completed a double B.Eng (Mining) (honours) & B.Sci (Geology, Geophysics and Applied Geology) at The University of Adelaide from 2009-2013.

Vaughn expects to become a Surveying Associate through SBQ upon completion of his 2nd year practicals in February 2019. He is really enjoying surveying and likes that he will get to work both outside and in the office.

Ben Cook

Ben is 34 years old and currently working as a surveyor at Rowlands Surveys in Townsville.  After completing high school in Mount Isa, he moved to Townsville and was employed as a cadet surveyor at Rowlands Surveys.  After working his way up the ranks his current role is a director at Rowlands Surveys.  Ben completed his associate degree in 2009 and had a break from Uni for a few years until 2015 when he recommenced his studies with the Bachelor of Spatial Science (Honours in Surveying).  This year he completed the full degree with flying colours!

Ben said of the bursary: "Travel expenses are significant from North Queensland to USQ Residential School due to the flight cost and accommodation costs while on campus.  The bursary has contributed towards this expense which is greatly appreciated.  2019 was my last year of attending residential school as I have now completed by full Degree.  I would encourage students next year to apply for the SSSI Northern Group Student Bursary."

Rebecca Heath

Rebecca has been with the Department of Main Roads for over 15 years and moved to Townsville from Mackay in 2007 to advance her career in Asset Management.  She always had a keen interest in GIS and with encouragement from her Manager, decided to undertake a Bachelor of Spatial Science Technology.  Once she graduates next year, her aim is to gain a full-time position as a Spatial Science Officer within the department.

Rebecca said of receiving the bursary: "Any student living in North Queensland knows that one of the greatest costs in studying is travelling away for Residential School.  Even with the support of a great employer, there are always costs that as student we have to cover ourselves.  The bursary program is a great initiative that allows a student like myself some financial and emotional relief and allows me to concentrate solely on my studies while away.  I’m so very appreciative of the SSSI support and encouragement and will do you proud on the completion of my practical studies."

Mitchell Whittington

Mitch was born and raised in in Ingham. He commenced a cadetship with Hinchinbrook Shire Council in 2009 and began an Associate Degree in Spatial Science in 2009 with University of Southern Queensland, which he completed in June 2013.

In 2015, Mitchell commenced a Bachelor in Spatial Science Technology with University of Southern Queensland, which he finished in 2016 and has now undertaking a Bachelor in Spatial Science (Honours) with USQ.

He is a Surveying Graduate with the Surveyors Board of Queensland. Mitchell is currently employed as the Engineering Surveyor with Hinchinbrook Shire Council.

Mitch said of the program: "This bursary was a great help towards my education expenses which accumulate quickly when living over 1500km from the campus. The funds were used to subsidise by flights, trains and accommodation expenses which easily exceeded $500. I recommend to all students studying in the northern group to get behind this initiative as it will help with reducing the financial burden when travelling to residential schools or may enable you to get to a SSSI conference."

Central Group
Fraser Webb

Fraser has been in the surveying industry for 8 years, starting in 2011 working as a chainman on Oil and Gas projects in Southeast Queensland. This led to enrolling into University in 2013 moving to Brisbane in 2014 to work fulltime in a small surveying company. During this time he gained as many skills as possible completing the Bachelor of Spatial Science Technology degree in 2017.  Being from a rural background Fraser became tired of the city life and in 2018 moved to Longreach in Central Western Queensland to pursue his passion for rural and regional Queensland along with new adventures and challenges. Since then he has nearly completed the honours degree and isfocused on progression to becoming a registered surveyor, pursuing a cadastral endorsement.

Fraser said of the grant: "As its widely known regional Queensland is becoming more and more accessible however the cost still remains high whether by road or by aeroplane. I used the funds for airfares and other expenses associated with being away from home to attend the Professional Practice course at USQ in Springfield during Semester 2 2019. The assistance has been greatly appreciated." 

Byron Aitken

Byron grew up in a small town in Northern NSW called Yamba, where he completed a building apprenticeship. Once finished, he moved to Emerald, QLD where he got a job in the mining sector. Byron was put on as a chainman the first day he entered the industry and from then on, he had always had a passion for surveying. After two years overseas, Byron came back to pursue a career in surveying.

Byron had started with a small company in Emerald doing Main Roads, Pre-design surveys and then progressed to being site surveyor at the Fairbairn Dam Spillway Improvement Project, which he is still currently at.

Byron is currently in his second year studying the Associates Degree in Spatial Science at USQ and hopes to further his studies once this is complete.

Byron said: "I am planning on using the grant to head to future SSSI events in the following year to further my knowledge and meet fellow surveyors."


Congratulations to all the recipients!

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