Update on the Michael Roche Scholarship
In 2021, McCullough Robertson Lawyers, through the McCullough Robertson Foundation, committed $100,000 to establish and support the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Michael Roche Scholarship (Scholarship). The Scholarship drives innovation in the areas of environment, sustainability, or climate change within the resources and renewables industry, by supporting insightful leadership and creative vision in originating concepts that will bring invaluable benefits to Queensland and beyond.
The Scholarship honours the substantial contribution of the late Michael Roche to Queensland’s resources and renewables industry. A former QRC Chief Executive, and Honorary QRC lifetime member, Michael was a passionate and vocal advocate for the state’s resources industry. Widely respected for his fearless determination and professionalism, Michael was a senior executive at the ASX and a former Chief of Staff to Labor Treasurer Keith de Lacy in Wayne Goss’ Government. Michael held several board appointments, including Mine Super, Multicap and the WorkCover Risk and Audit Committee, and we had the great privilege of working alongside him when Michael served as a Strategic Adviser at McCullough Robertson Lawyers. Michael’s bold and unwavering commitment and advocacy garnered industry-wide respect, and it is appropriate that through the Scholarship, he will continue to inspire future leaders in the resources and renewables industry.
QUT will award an annual $20,000 Scholarship prize to five postgraduate students or research staff members across disciplines of Science, Engineering, Business, Health, Law, Education, or Creative Industries, who demonstrate a passion for thought leadership within the industry, a commitment to the natural environment, sustainability, or climate change, and who are seeking to contribute innovative solutions within the industry.
It is an honour to provide this opportunity to each Scholarship recipient, and to pay tribute to the legacy of an esteemed colleague who gave so much to Queensland. We are committed to creating opportunities for innovation and meaningful partnerships that last well into the future. Our aim is for the Scholarship to become synonymous with accelerating the career trajectory of the recipients, together with supporting the advancement of the industry.
Congratulations Ashara Moore, PhD Candidate, QUT
Ashara Moore is the first recipient of the prestigious Scholarship in 2022. Ashara is undertaking graduate research study at QUT as a Doctor of Philosophy student in the Mechanical, Medical, and Processing Engineering Faculty. Ashara’s research focuses on the sustainable management of mining waste through the enhanced geochemical treatment of minerals. Ashara’s proposed research activity, undertaken in collaboration with researchers from the team at Lava Blue, and members from the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy, is multi-faceted.
Ashara is investigating opportunities to combine multiple waste streams, specifically tailings from high-purity alumina (HPA) production, biochar and mill mud from biogas generation to form a soil-like product that can be revegetated. Amelioration techniques using biochar and mill mud will be assessed as fertilisers for progressive rehabilitation of mine sites or for agricultural purposes.
Additionally, Ashara’s research will evaluate the efficacy of enhanced weathering of basalt, sourced from the same location as the clay used to make HPA, as a carbon emission reduction technique and soil pH stabiliser. Enhanced weathering of basalt is a known carbon reduction technique (CRT); however, little is known about its potential dual benefits as a CRT and a remediation method for acidic tailings from mineral processing facilities. The research will evaluate the performance of different composites to remediate highly acidic soil-like tailings.
Success in any aspect of these research areas will significantly improve the sustainability of Lava Blue’s mining and processing operations and have far reaching impact for the broader resources sector internationally and domestically. Ashara’s research into more sustainable approaches and opportunities for managing large waste streams is paramount as we continue to see rapidly growing demand in the resource sector to provide critical minerals for the renewables energy transition.
The Scholarship funds will support and facilitate the sharing of knowledge between QUT and industry through site visits to mines and research facilities, along with presenting papers on tailings management at conferences and industry forums in Australia and internationally. Ashara will also be engaging with professionals and academics within the resources sectors to identify needs and investigate industry trends, so that the research can work to fill these gaps. If you would like to contact Ashara to discuss this further and to learn more about her project methodology and objectives, please talk to us.
Congratulations to Ashara. We look forward to hearing how this important research develops.
For more information on this topic, or to explore other articles from our 2023 edition of Emerging Issues for the Australian Energy and Resources Industry, click here.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.