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Big Idea to Turn City’s Youth into Job Creators

Youth entrepreneurship in the region is looking bright after talented high school students from across North Queensland came together today at the Townsville City Council Big Ideas Youth Challenge to develop their entrepreneurial thinking and pitch their innovative ideas to improve our region.

Hosted by Smart Precinct NQ in a Townsville Airport hangar, students heard from local entrepreneurs including Safety Culture Project Lead Blake Pelling, Ochre Sun founder Alana Kennedy, and Koorca founder Russ Broad, who each shared insights into their start-up journeys. 

Casie Scott from NBN Australia presenting third place awards to students from Townsville Grammar School.

Students were then guided through the Entrepreneur’s Odyssey by Future Anything founder Nicole Dyson, brainstorming solutions to real-world problems before ideating innovative ideas to pitch to a panel of judges which included Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill.

Townsville City Councillors, sponsors and representatives from the business community mentored students throughout the day, showcasing their support for youth entrepreneurship in the region.

Short-listed groups then pitched their big idea to the judging panel to compete for a share in over $10,000 of prizes. St Margaret Mary’s College were awarded first prize for their pitch to develop mini educational books and an accompanying app to promote the importance of body positivity, and received a $3000 bursary donated by Learning Partnerships to help them further their idea.

This is the second year the event has been held and is delivered in partnership with Townsville City Council and Smart Precinct NQ to contribute to the development of an innovative and connected city as part of the Townsville City Deal.

Nick Lazaredes from SunCity Harley-Davidson presenting second place awards to St Patrick’s College students.

Townsville City Council Big Ideas Challenge 2021 Winners

  • FIRST PRIZE: St Margaret Mary’s College for their mini educational books and app on body positivity. Students received a $3,000 bursary donated by Learning Partnerships and also receive an entrepreneurship and design thinking micro credential.
  • SECOND PRIZE: St Patrick’s College for their app designed to teach young people essential life skills through online tutorials. Students received a $3,000 bursary donated by SunCity Harley-Davidson.
  • THIRD PRIZE: Townsville Grammar School for their idea of creating recyclable and rechargeable batteries to encourage a switch to renewable energy sources. Students received a $1,500 bursary donated by NBN Australia.
  • FIRST EMERGING INNOVATOR AWARD: Calvary Christian College for their idea of a study app designed to help students revise content effectively before exams. Students received a $1,000 bursary donated by Carey Group.
  • SECOND EMERGING INNOVATOR AWARD: Townsville Grammar School for their innovative app designed to promote the ‘true’ voices of youth in the region and ensure young people are being heard. Students received a $1,000 bursary donated by the Townsville Business Development Centre.
  • THIRD EMERGING INNOVATOR AWARD: Charters Towers State High School for their app to promote local interactive events around the city and encourage people to spend less time on social media. Students received a $1,000 bursary donated by James Cook University.

Photography Credit: Flicka Photography.



Compiled by the BDmag editorial team