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2021 Telstra Innovation Awards winners

Glasshouse Christian College took out the top gong at the Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards on 23 July for their creation LEDPlates.

LEDPlates has the potential to provide learner drivers a bright new way to display their ‘L’ plates, along with a compatible phone app to change the plates as needed from L’s to P’s.

The team, comprising students Arno Mens, Charlie Bidgood and Josiah from Glasshouse Christian College and led by School Coordinator Tanya Cullen were thrilled with the result.

Second place was awarded to Sunshine Coast Christian College students Joshua Morgan, Noah Simpson, and Rain de Beer for their on demand portable locker service Mobile Safety Hub, for use in popular areas (beaches, sporting events etc).

AquaShield created by Kia Pulo, Ethan Bland and Byron Page from St Andrew’s Anglican College came in third for the proposal to revolutionise the use of shark nets with a new alternative and sustainable design.

The Emerging Entrepreneur Awards went to Glasshouse Christian College student Ebony Quinlan for Heart Attrack – a wearable ECG monitor for cardiovascular outpatients.

These outstanding students will share in $10,000 worth of technology prizes for their school including tablets, headphones, mentoring sessions and a 3D printer.

More than 20 finalists across Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the Sunshine Coast got together with their school mates to create an application or invention as part of this year’s Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards.

As part of the program, the students were mentored by some of the sharpest technology minds and entrepreneurs in our region to help the students develop and refine their ideas.

The competition, which is delivered by Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Telstra, brings creative ideas to life while connecting students with industry mentors to develop their entrepreneurial thinking.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson, who has been a champion of these awards since their inception and was part of the judging panel, said all entrants in the awards program were outstanding and their innovative ideas reflected the great talent and innovation that we are nurturing here on our Sunshine Coast, particularly with our children and young people.

“The awards program supports the development of ideas that use technology in a novel way to solve a community, environmental or business challenge,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“These skills have never been more important in the digital age.

“The young people involved in this competition demonstrate that we are well and truly on the right track in encouraging opportunities for our young people to succeed in the 21st century.

“It is why council is supportive of programs that provide a pathway for our next generation, so they can pursue enduring careers in high-value jobs that will be in demand in the 21st century.

“In April this year we launched the SunRamp Health Technology Accelerator Program to support home-grown entrepreneurs and in May, we launched the Next Level Program which offers a series of free, specialist digital skills training courses available to Sunshine Coast residents.

“These programs, combined with our region’s global connectivity through the International Broadband Submarine Cable Network, makes the Sunshine Coast the perfect choice for local and remote workers to upskill, and for companies looking to on-shore their services and systems, to create more jobs opportunities for our future entrepreneurs,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Telstra Regional Engagement Manager Scott Mullaly said Telstra was excited to be working again with Mayor Jamieson and Sunshine Coast Council to bring these awards to life after having a year off.

“The Sunshine Coast community continues to demonstrate their passion for innovation and fostering talent and it’s exciting to see the region surge forward.

“I would like to congratulate all the teams on the hard work they have put in over the past weeks as they have progressed through the awards and mentoring programs. It’s such a wonderful opportunity for students to network, explore and develop their passion for entrepreneurship and gain real life experience.

“My thanks also to the teachers and mentors who supported the program.

“It was an entertaining and exciting final night, with some excellent pitches making it a tough choice for the judges. Well done to everyone and congratulations to our winning teams”

Further information available at: www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/techawards

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