Scholarship Advances Innovation on the Fraser Coast

With the support of the Queensland Government's Advanced Queensland PhD Scholarships initiative and in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Hyne Timber has appointed a Graduate Engineer to join their team near Maryborough.

Graduate Engineer, Rebecca Cherry, commenced employment on the 20th March at Hyne Timber's Tuan Mill where she will also be completing her PhD following a presentation of a scholarship by the Queensland Deputy Premier, the Hon Jackie Trad at Thursday evening's Queensland Science Reception.

This presents an opportunity for Ms Cherry to investigate innovative sustainable building technologies within a commercial environment.

According to Hyne Timber's Product Development Manager, Geoff Stringer, Hyne Timber recognises and values innovative partnerships.

"Establishing partnerships and engaging PhD students to further develop sustainable building materials using locally grown and manufactured plantation softwood has the real potential to further support regional economic development for the Fraser Coast." Mr Stringer said.

"For example, Ms Cherry previously worked with Hyne Timber at our Glue Laminated Timber plant in North Maryborough to support our locally manufactured timber bridge solution, which was made from locally grown plantation pine.

"This bridge, an innovation itself, was successfully and quickly installed in the Tuan Forest and presents a sustainable, prefabricated option as part of the Federal Government's bridge replacement program, especially for smaller, regionally located bridge projects where access for heavy lifting equipment is restricted." Mr Stringer concluded.

Hyne Timber already sponsors an educational assistance program with eight employees currently undertaking graduate studies, five of whom are in Maryborough. Courses range from accounting, law, business analytics, asset maintenance and statistics.

The companies dedicated Organisational Development Manager, Mark Lourigan just recently spoke as part of an Employer Panel at the University of the Sunshine Coast's campus in Hervey Bay, providing tips and answering under graduate's questions with regards to making themselves more employable.

The existing educational assistance program is currently being rolled up into Hyne Timber's new, comprehensive Capability Development Plan. This plan is designed to offer development opportunities for existing employees while also formalising school based placements, internships and reintroducing cadetships.

The cadet program has provided the company with technical and leadership capability over many years, up until the mid-2000s. Many of those cadets are still in the company in technical and/or leadership positions including the recently appointed General Manager for Business Development and Strategy, Shane Robertson, based in Maryborough.

The program is open to new or existing employees to undertake an intensive program of learning for future technical and leadership capability aligned to a national qualification, combined with on-the-job program components throughout the company


Photo: Hyne Timber's Rebecca Cherry (Centre) Presented her Scholarship by Queensland Minister for Innovation Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch (Left) and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad (Right).