Thursday, April 25, 2024

Science student awarded W.H. Groom Scholarship

Eighteen-year-old University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Spatial Science Honours student, Cayleb Fidge, has been named as the Toowoomba Region 2022 W.H. Groom Scholarship recipient.

Toowoomba Region Mayor, Paul Antonio congratulated the former Centenary Heights State High School student on his academic and community service achievements. The prize was presented at yesterday’s Australia Day award presentation ceremony at Civic Square.

Cayleb is entering his second year of a Bachelor of Spatial Science (Honours, majoring in Geographic Information Systems) degree at USQ.

He is the recipient of a USQ Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship, which is awarded to students based on their Year 12 academic performance.

“My first year of tertiary studies has reinforced my interest in working as a cartographer or in mapping as a GIS officer, possibly in local government,” Cayleb said.

“I enjoy reading maps, along with the added benefit of doing field work.”

Away from his studies, Cayleb is a keen orienteer. Through his involvement with Orienteering Queensland, he has been a participant and coach with the Range Runners and Bullecourt Bounders and competed at local, state and national events. He also coaches local clubs, acts as the Bullecourt social media coordinator, is a course-setter and volunteers at club training days.

“Reading maps is a distinct advantage in orienteering and can give me a little advantage over other competitors,” he said.

Cayleb also dedicates time to umpiring AFL Darling Downs matches. A registered AFL umpire for eight years, Cayleb was a goal umpire in the 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020 men’s AFL Darling Downs grand finals and a field umpire for the AFLDD for the 2019 and 2020 women’s grand finals.

In 2021, Cayleb umpired senior and reserves matches in Brisbane’s QAFL competition. The move paid dividends when he was appointed to the 2021 QAFL Reserves grand final.

“I am proud of my umpiring achievements, but I’m especially proud of the group of friends I have gained from umpiring and greatly enjoy the sense of camaraderie it offers,” Cayleb said.

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

As part of the scholarship, Cayleb receives $5,000 in half-yearly payments.

Mayor Antonio said the scholarship highlighted the calibre of students at USQ and the level of specialist study that was occurring in regional Australia.

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

“Council is proud to award this scholarship to another worthy young recipient from the Toowoomba Region. Cayleb has a very bright future and 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.

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