Students Anton Solomon and Paul Murde are from Horn Island in the Torres Strait, just north of Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland.
Anton and Paul attend Tagai State College on Thursday Island and have to travel by ferry to get there each day. While other young people spend their holidays swimming and fishing, Paul and Anton have spent their time repairing outboard motors, trucks and dirt bikes.
Both students recently attended the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS) to get a better idea of which area of engineering they’d like to pursue. Deadly Vibe caught up with them to see how it went.
Deadly Vibe: So why Engineering?
Anton: The thing that interests me about Engineering is that when I was younger
I always helped my dad fix his Toyota and my bicycle. When I got older I started to fix my dirt bike. I found mechanics fun and I wanted to do the next level up, which is Mechanical Engineering.
Paul: I’m interested in Mechanical Engineering because where I was raised we had to travel in boats, so I grew up fixing motors and I found it very fun and enjoyable. My dream is to work in the mines and fix motors and machinery.
DV: What subjects do you need to work hard at to get into Engineering?
Paul: I need to work hard at Maths, English and Science, but especially Maths because engineering is mainly to do with maths.
DV: What was the Summer School like?
Paul: It introduced me to other jobs that come under engineering. It was a great experience and a chance to talk to some real engineering professionals and see how they got there. If they can do it, I can too. It gave me confidence to push myself further so I can reach my goals.
DV: What are your goals for the future?
Anton: My goal is to become a Mechanical Engineer in the Navy or Army.
Paul: I would like to be an Engineer so I can set a good example for my people back at home.
Established in 1998 by Engineering Aid Australia, the annual IAESS, which runs every January, introduces Year 11 and 12 Indigenous students to Engineering and a range of opportunities that an engineering degree offers.