A female refugee student from Iraq is the first winner of a $21,000 Gas Detection Australia award to enable her to study electronics engineering at USQ.
The award was presented at USQ on Monday Evening, 22 February 2010. Cathrin Essa, 19, fled Iraq with her mother and brothers in 2003 and waited two years in Syria before gaining entry to Australia as refugees. Cathrin’s father, a teacher, had died of cancer in 2001 leaving her mother, an accountant, to support the children and flee with them to Syria in 2003 when violence broke out in Iraq.
Gas Detection Australia is an electronics design and manufacturing business which expects rapid company growth in the next five years to meet huge demand for gas detection equipment for greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, freons, refrigerant gases, methane, butane, propane and ozone.
The equipment is designed and manufactured in Toowoomba and sold throughout Australia and to growing export markets.
“This award will help Cathrin embark on university study as well as provide her with practical design and manufacturing experience during her degree studies,” GDA’s Managing Director, James Boucher said.
GDA is planning to sponsor ten awards totalling over $200,000 over the next five years to students who could not otherwise afford to go to University.