Amy Cantrill has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. Picture: James Cook University
Amy Cantrill has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. Picture: James Cook University

Marine science scholar to help safeguard reef at ports

A new James Cook University marine science scholar will gain a unique opportunity to engage with the port industry across the Great Barrier Reef.

Through a ground-breaking environment partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and JCU, Amy Cantrill has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from the $5 million partnership to help safeguard the reef.

Miss Cantrill will study science relevant to applied management in the port industry.

 

Amy Cantrill has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. Picture: James Cook University. She is pictured with Dr Nathan Waltham from JCU's TropWATER program. Picture: James Cook University
Amy Cantrill has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. Picture: James Cook University. She is pictured with Dr Nathan Waltham from JCU's TropWATER program. Picture: James Cook University

 

NQBP is the only port authority in the world with three priority ports - Hay Point, Mackay and Abbott Point - located on the shores of a World Heritage Area.

Associate Professor Michael Rasheed, from JCU's Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), is co-director of the project.

"JCU is committed to having job ready graduates in marine science and it's exciting to have students engaging with industry and receiving financial support to get their studies and future career off the ground," he said.

"Bringing world leading environmental science to tackle real marine industry issues is an exciting space for students to engage and our partnership with NQBP provides a unique opportunity for this."

 

NQBP Senior Adviser Environment Nicola Stokes (left) and JCU intern Taleatha Pell. Picture: James Cook University
NQBP Senior Adviser Environment Nicola Stokes (left) and JCU intern Taleatha Pell. Picture: James Cook University

Miss Cantrill said she was looking forward to commencing her new academic journey.

"I feel privileged to be the recipient of this scholarship, and am extremely grateful to the JCU and NQBP partnership for providing me with such exciting opportunities," she said.

NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said the port authority was immensely proud to see the evolution of the partnership.

"Providing university students real-world experience in port environmental management - and on the doorstep to the Great Barrier Reef - is like nothing else offered in Australia," Mr Fertin said.

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NQBP Senior Adviser Environment Nicola Stokes (left) and JCU intern Taleatha Pell. Picture: James Cook University
NQBP Senior Adviser Environment Nicola Stokes (left) and JCU intern Taleatha Pell. Picture: James Cook University

 

The scholarship is part of NQBP's broader five-year research partnership with JCU, announced in September 2020.

A separate internship program has provided JCU marine science students Florence Sefton, Taleatha Pell and Ingrid Naschwitz with "on the job" experience alongside NQBP's environment team already this year.

 

Amy Cantrill (centre) has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. She is pictured with Ingrid Naschwitz (left) and Taleatha Pell (right) who are in a separate intern program with the port. Picture: James Cook University
Amy Cantrill (centre) has received the first Bachelor of Science scholarship from a $5 million partnership between North Queensland Bulk Ports and James Cook University to help safeguard the reef. She is pictured with Ingrid Naschwitz (left) and Taleatha Pell (right) who are in a separate intern program with the port. Picture: James Cook University

 

To help future students, JCU marine science masters graduate Alicia Castle, herself a 2020 intern, is working with the partnership to evolve this program.

"The legacy of our partnership builds on a long-term relationship between the two organisations, spanning more than 25 years," Mr Fertin said.

"Together we have created one of Australia's most comprehensive port marine ambient monitoring programs and now we're seeing an exciting evolution of the impact we can make to help the best marine science students become job ready."

 

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