QCoal Foundation awards inaugural Christopher Wallin Prize for Geology

Recipient Jose Pena Araya says he is particularly interested in exploration geology.
Recipient Jose Pena Araya says he is particularly interested in exploration geology.

The QCoal Foundation has announced the inaugural recipient of the Christopher Wallin Prize for Excellence in Geology, established to recognise students striving for excellence in the field of geology, as Jose Pena Araya.

Townsville-based Jose has just commenced his third year of a Bachelor of Geology. Originally from Chile but more recently from Mount Isa, Jose will receive the $2000 prize and the opportunity for paid work placement with QCoal Group.

This prize, awarded to the second-year student studying a Bachelor of Geology at James Cook University who demonstrates a commitment to excellence by achieving the highest GPA in the cohort, was established by the QCoal Foundation in recognition of its founding donor QCoal Group’s long-term commitment to the geology profession.

Named after QCoal Group founder and managing director and former principal coal geologist of Queensland, Christopher Wallin, the prize has been launched as part of the QCoal Group’s impending 35th birthday celebrations. Formed by Christopher Wallin, the QCoal Group is Australia’s leading independent coal exploration and mining company.

Christopher Wallin explains the importance of supporting the best and brightest geology students to underpin the future of Queensland’s resource sector.

“Continuous exploration, pursuing all opportunities and an ongoing focus on geology have been key factors in QCoal’s success to date and will also underpin the company’s future aspirations,” he said.

“Over the last 35 years, QCoal Group has discovered and established five new mines, operates six and are one of the few companies to have conducted a continuous geological exploration program throughout that time.

“Central to this prize is the opportunity to work with the QCoal Group’s world class geology team who are responsible for some of Queensland’s leading coal resource discoveries.

“I am delighted by the establishment of this prize which combines my passion for strategic philanthropy and excellence in geology and extend my congratulations to Jose.”

Recipient Jose Pena Araya shares that he first experienced the discipline of geology during an internship in Mount Isa.

“I really enjoyed my internship and working in mining geology, but I am particularly excited about exploration geology – the methodology, mapping and understanding the surrounding country,” he said.

“I am grateful for my peers and lecturers at JCU who have fostered my passion for the field of geology – it is thanks to their support and encouragement that I have been able to attain this achievement.”

The QCoal Foundation is proud to support this prize and collaborate with long-term partner JCU, which continues to deliver on their commitment to excellence in education in regional Queensland.

Jose Pena Araya is the inaugural recipient of the Christopher Wallin Prize for Excellence in Geology.
Jose Pena Araya is the inaugural recipient of the Christopher Wallin Prize for Excellence in Geology.
Advertisement