18 Sep 2018

Two fortunate students from James Cook University (JCU) will work alongside industry leaders as part of the inaugural internship program run by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) and the university.

Ella Smyth, studying Marine Science, and Kelly Sissons, studying Environmental Earth Science, will spend four weeks immersed in field activity, learning from a team of professionals with diverse expertise ranging from research to management.

NQBP Director Sustainability and External Relations Gary Campbell believes the program is a terrific way for students to see how science can be applied in industry.

“Few opportunities exist in Australia for university students to gain real-world experience in port environmental management,” Mr Campbell said.

“As we’re the only port authority in the world to manage three major ports within a World Heritage Area, the experience is unique.

“We feel privileged to share our knowledge in this way and to help nurture the next generation of environmental leaders.”

The program is part of NQBP’s broader three-year research partnership with JCU, announced in 2017, which builds on a long-term relationship between the two organisations spanning 24 years.

During this time, the partnership has grown to become one of Australia’s most comprehensive port marine ambient monitoring programs.

Principal research scientist at JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) Dr Michael Rasheed said the internship gives the partnership even further depth.

“As researchers, it’s incredibly rewarding to see our work inform port operations and strategic planning and we’re thrilled our students can now experience this too,” Dr Rasheed said.

“It’s an opportunity for our students to realise the local, and indeed global, significance of what’s learnt in the classroom on a day-to-day basis.

“The future of marine science jobs increasingly requires professionals to demonstrate applied experience. These internships will help our successful students to become industry-ready and prepare them to tackle future marine coastal management challenges.”

Ella and Kelly are both excited to have been chosen to participate.

“The ocean has been my passion since I began diving in 2014,” Ella said.

“I see the internship as an opportunity to gain the industry and research experience necessary for me to pursue this passion and a career in marine science.”

“I’m really interested to learn more about the research environment and the work being done by a company like NQBP to protect the reef,” Kelly said.


North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation contact:
Kirsty Mugridge | Media and Community Engagement Advisor
07 4969 0772 | KMugridge@nqbp.com.au