William Groom scholarship recipient

We are proud to offer the William Groom Centenary of Toowoomba City Scholarship to 18 - 24 year olds, who are commencing their second or third year of a full time UniSQ degree course or TAFE Queensland Darling Downs & South West diploma. We offer this scholarship as a way to acknowledge young students achievements to the local community. The scholarship provides $5,000 in two instalments to the successful applicant following confirmation that the applicant has met the specified criteria at milestone dates. Applications are traditionally called in November each year, with the scholarship winner announced at Toowoomba’s Australia Day ceremony.

The scholarship was established in 2004 to mark the centenary of Toowoomba’s declaration as a city. It honours the many achievements of the municipality’s first mayor William Henry Groom, who served several terms from 1861 before winning seats in the Queensland and Commonwealth Parliaments.

How to apply

To apply for the scholarship, please submit the form below by the 1st Monday in December.

Scholarship eligibility and criteria


Applicants must:

  • be 18 - 24 year old;
  • be commencing their second or third year of a full-time UniSQ degree course or TAFE Queensland Darling Downs & South West diploma next year;
  • have graduated from a local high school, having attended for two years; and
  • reside in the Toowoomba Regional Council area.


Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Sound academic achievement in all subjects attempted in the first and/or second year of their course.
  • A record of community involvement in local organisations that may include sport, arts, cultural and charitable groups.
  • Intention to continue the course full-time next year (e.g. proof of enrolment)

Selection process

Generally, our selection process will include the following steps:

  1. Shortlisting the submitted applications

The selection panel will assess each application to ensure the applicant is eligible and how well the application meets the criteria.

The number of shortlisted applications for interview may vary for each round of the groom scholarship.

  1. Interview

If the application is shortlisted, the applicant may be asked to attend an interview with the selection panel where they will be asked questions on their academic achievements and community involvement.

  1. Outcome

All applicants are notified of the outcome. 

The successful applicant will be asked to participate in promoting the scholarship via a media release and acceptance of the scholarship at an Australia Day awards ceremony.

The $5000 scholarship will be paid to the recipient in half yearly instalments providing the applicant meets the criteria for each milestone. This means, for the second instalment to be paid for a degree level course, the recipient will need to provide evidence of successful completion of four (4) Semester 1 units.  If enrolled in a Trimester pattern, a minimum of four (4) units in Trimester 1 and 2 with the balance of a full time enrolment pattern to be completed in Trimester 3.

If the applicant is enrolled in a TAFE Queensland Darling Downs & South West diploma, the equivalent successful completion depending on the course unit requirements.


Current recipient - Max Corfield (photo top right of page)

Max Corfield, a University of Southern Queensland Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Honours student, has been awarded the Toowoomba Region’s 2024 W. H. Groom Centenary of Toowoomba Scholarship.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald congratulated the former Downlands College student on his academic and community service achievements. The prize was presented at this year’s (January 26, 2024) Toowoomba city Australia Day award presentation ceremony at Picnic Point.

Max is entering the third year of his Honours degree. The 20-year-old student has ambitions of designing new and better agricultural or earthmoving machinery. The seed for his engineering career was sown in his upbringing on a North Burnett cattle farm at Coalstoun Lakes, between Gayndah and Biggenden.

“Living on the volcanic red soil, I was passionate about the land and sustainable farming from an early age,” Max said.

“As I progress in my studies, I’m keen to focus on providing practical, safe and sustainable solutions to the farming community.

“I’m keen to keep learning about applications for 3D designing of machinery and using electronics to boost efficiency and precision in farming practices. This can help cut costs, energy use and reduce chemical and fuel inputs, which are all limited resources.

“The University of Southern Queensland is providing the skills, knowledge and the technology to make my dreams a reality.”

Aside from his studies, Max is heavily involved with the University of Southern Queensland Resident College Community, starting from his time as a resident of McGregor College in 2022.

After attending various activities and celebrations in his first year, Max said he soon realised the value of volunteering to help at the events.

“In November 2022, I accepted the volunteer position of McGregor Branch Sports Coordinator as part of the wider Resident Student Club (RSC), which I joined in 2023,” Max said.

“All volunteers completed three weeks’ training provided by the Resident Colleges in first aid, mental Health first aid, Work Health and Safety briefings and planning 2023 Orientation Week activities.

“Completing the first aid courses and WHS briefings meant our team of RSC volunteers could ensure the mental and physical safety of all residents at our events.

“My involvement and volunteer position helped me plan, and execute functions provided by the RSC. Our 2023 O Week events provided fun, engaging and healthy spaces for new and returning college residents to socialise and connect with each other.

“As the McGregor branch sports coordinator, my focus in 2023 was the Resident Shield competition. I was responsible for helping set-up, run and pack down each Resident Shield event during the year.

“The competition hosts both sporting and cultural events where the three UniSQ colleges compete against each other to earn points to determine the winner of the Resident Shield.

“In the role, I gained valuable leadership experience (public speaking, time management and teamwork) and exposure to running a voluntary club.

“I hope to continue shaping the community of UniSQ Resident Colleges into an active, fun and engaging environment where residents are encouraged to get involved and have positive impacts on the wider Toowoomba community.

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

Max receives $5000 in half-yearly payments.

Mayor McDonald said the scholarship highlighted the calibre of students at the University of Southern Queensland.

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

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


Previous recipients

  • 2023 Farhan Khudir
  • 2022 Cayleb Fidge
  • 2021 Matthew Armanasco
  • 2020 Tom Claydon
  • 2019 Nicole Haeusler
  • 2018 Sally Pomerenke
  • 2017 Emma Terry
  • 2016 Nancy Webb
  • 2015 Emma Rae
  • 2014 Shelby Battaglene
  • 2013 Emily Burton
  • 2012 Lauren England
  • 2011 Matthew Ball
  • 2010 Elise Reichelt
  • 2009 James Laundon
  • 2008 David Hatch
  • 2007 Lacey-Rachelle Millican
  • 2006 Luke Boulus
  • 2005 Leah Hudson
  • 2004 Aeolyn Gwynne