UniSQ Mechanical Engineering Honours student awarded 2024 W. H. Groom Scholarship

Max Corfield, a University of Southern Queensland Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Honours student, has been awarded the Toowoomba Region’s 2024 W. H. Groom Centenary of Toowoomba Scholarship.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald congratulated the former Downlands College student on his academic and community service achievements. The prize was presented at today’s (January 26) Toowoomba city Australia Day award presentation ceremony at Picnic Point.

Max is entering the third year of his Honours degree. The 20-year-old student has ambitions of designing new and better agricultural or earthmoving machinery. The seed for his engineering career was sown in his upbringing on a North Burnett cattle farm at Coalstoun Lakes, between Gayndah and Biggenden.

“Living on the volcanic red soil, I was passionate about the land and sustainable farming from an early age,” Max said.

“As I progress in my studies, I’m keen to focus on providing practical, safe and sustainable solutions to the farming community.

“I’m keen to keep learning about applications for 3D designing of machinery and using electronics to boost efficiency and precision in farming practices. This can help cut costs, energy use and reduce chemical and fuel inputs, which are all limited resources.

“The University of Southern Queensland is providing the skills, knowledge and the technology to make my dreams a reality.”

Aside from his studies, Max is heavily involved with the University of Southern Queensland Resident College Community, starting from his time as a resident of McGregor College in 2022.

After attending various activities and celebrations in his first year, Max said he soon realised the value of volunteering to help at the events.

“In November 2022, I accepted the volunteer position of McGregor Branch Sports Coordinator as part of the wider Resident Student Club (RSC), which I joined in 2023,” Max said.

“All volunteers completed three weeks’ training provided by the Resident Colleges in first aid, mental Health first aid, Work Health and Safety briefings and planning 2023 Orientation Week activities.

“Completing the first aid courses and WHS briefings meant our team of RSC volunteers could ensure the mental and physical safety of all residents at our events.

“My involvement and volunteer position helped me plan, and execute functions provided by the RSC. Our 2023 O Week events provided fun, engaging and healthy spaces for new and returning college residents to socialise and connect with each other.

“As the McGregor branch sports coordinator, my focus in 2023 was the Resident Shield competition. I was responsible for helping set-up, run and pack down each Resident Shield event during the year.

“The competition hosts both sporting and cultural events where the three UniSQ colleges compete against each other to earn points to determine the winner of the Resident Shield.

“In the role, I gained valuable leadership experience (public speaking, time management and teamwork) and exposure to running a voluntary club.

“I hope to continue shaping the community of UniSQ Resident Colleges into an active, fun and engaging environment where residents are encouraged to get involved and have positive impacts on the wider Toowoomba community.

“I’m very grateful to Council for selecting me for the scholarship. The prize will greatly assist with my study expenses.”

Max receives $5000 in half-yearly payments.

Mayor McDonald said the scholarship highlighted the calibre of students at the University of Southern Queensland.

“Max is achieving top results individually, but also is an active participant in other community activities,” Mayor McDonald said.

“Council is proud to award this scholarship to another worthy young recipient from the Toowoomba Region. Max has a very bright future. I look forward to hearing about his ongoing achievements.”

The scholarship was established in 2004 to mark the centenary of Toowoomba’s proclamation as a city and to honour the achievements of Toowoomba’s first mayor, William Henry Groom.

W. H. Groom served a total of seven terms as mayor from 1861 and was elected to represent the municipality in the Queensland Colonial Government.

He was elected to represent the Darling Downs in the first Commonwealth Parliament and was responsible for much of the town’s early development.

Caption: Toowoomba Region 2024 W. H. Groom Scholarship recipient, University of Southern Queensland Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Honours student, Max Corfield.

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