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Winning team’s Sydney trip an innovation success

The Bundaberg Region winners of the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards have come back from Sydney with a wealth of experience and ideas.

Mercedes Thomas, Tessa Bryden and Nawshaba Ahmed from St Luke’s Anglican School flew to Sydney last week with St Luke’s teacher Joanne Harris and Bundaberg Regional Council’s Amber Lutter for a whirlwind day on Thursday, visiting major organisations that foster innovation.

At Foxtel they toured the studios, editing and audio facilities, content preparation, playout and master control.

Their visit to the Telstra Customer Insight Centre gave them an inside look at some of the technology innovations that Telstra are working on.

To find out how start-ups operate and prosper, they visited Muru-D Start up Accelerator, engaging in activities designed to take their project Clearn to the next level.

Visit helps guide innovation for Award winners

Mayor's Telstra Innovation Award winners
Mercedes Thomas, Nawshaba Ahmed and Tessa Bryden and team

Team member Mercedes Thomas said it was a very worthwhile experience.

“It was great to meet some of the business people and learn about their experience and how we can help guide our innovation to the next step,” Mercedes said.

Meanwhile Tessa Bryden said it was a huge help with career options.

“It was great to see where innovation can take us,” Tessa said.

“With the stress of choosing a career I want to know if innovation is a viable option.”

Winning the award and the Sydney trip were vital for future plans for the third team member, Nawshaba Ahmed.

“It’s led me to think about my future a lot more,” said Nawshaba.

“It has encouraged us enter a lot more innovation competitions, including the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, which we also managed to win and we’re now going to the Kennedy Space Centre.”

The inaugural Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards called on students in Years 9 to 12 to form teams of three and develop an innovative idea.

The winning team, Melior Terra, from St Luke’s Anglican School, developed their project Clearn over 12 months.

Clearn is a digital service which aims to encourage recycling.

A free app can be used to barcode scan items and educate users about their environmental effort.

Mayor congratulates local winners

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was great to see our local team go to Sydney as part of their prize.

“The standard from the Bundaberg region was so high and, in fact, was the largest amount from any Council area in Queensland,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“The awards highlight the great talent we have in our local schools, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation.

“It’s great to see schools in our region represented at such a high standard in the Telstra Innovation Awards and we look forward to even more entries this year.”

Mayor's Telstra Innovation Award Winners
Mercedes Thomas, Nawshaba Ahmed and Tessa Bryden in Sydney

May Boisen, Regional General Manager at Telstra, said the Bundaberg team were the first to experience an important part of the Sydney trip.

“It’s always exciting to be able to facilitate this unique trip to Sydney for the winners of the Mayor’s Telstra Innovations Awards,” Ms Boisen said.

“The teams are able to experience technology firsthand in a real life setting at Foxtel Studios and have the opportunity to see what is on the horizon at the Customer Innovation Centre.

“We were very pleased to be able to have the Bundaberg team get a glimpse at the Security Operations Centre as well on their trip – the first team to have had this opportunity.

“But we feel the most valuable part of the visit for these winning teams is the opportunity to spend time with the team from Muru-D where they can talk in detail about their winning idea and engage with a real world start-up.”

Entries for the 2020 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards will open in February.

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