The Ampcontrol Hunter Young Business Mind Awards were held in Newcastle on November 28 thanks to the support from a number of businesses, councils, government agencies and individuals.
Students took out $1,000 awards in four categories – STEM, creative industries, social enterprise and indigenous. Three schools took out awards for the best learning experience encouraging creativity, innovation or entrepreneurialism in the school or classroom. The winning students will receive free, ongoing business support through the Hunter Futurepreneurship Program.
Jett Derrick from Hunter Valley Grammar School was awarded the RDA Hunter STEM Student Award for $1,000 for his rope and strap winding aid tool. Bryce Tuppurainen from St Phillips Christian College Waratah and Liam Barnes from Muswellbrook High School were awarded runners up.
Zoe Vince from Belmont Christian College was awarded the Bengalla Mine Creative Industries Student Award for $1,000 for her reusable coffee cup with QR code. Imogen Ward from Morisset High School and Isabella Francis from Cooks Hill Campus were awarded runners up.
Young eleven-year-old Famke McCallum from St Marys – Warners Bay was awarded Port Stephens Council Social Enterprise Student Award for a mobile app and hearing device that delivers positive messaging to counter and prevent mental health issues. Kaitlin Morley from Lake Macquarie High School and Chloe Zdebski; Matilda Sandeman; Corey Sheals; Grace Panella; and Abbey Marks from Hunter River High School were awarded runners up.
Hannah Avery; Gabrielle Rickard; Tiahna McGarry; and Reeves Chanellor from Hunter River High School were awarded the Newcastle Airport Indigenous Student Award for their web-based resources assisting remote and regional schools.
Finally, recipients of the Harvey Normal School Awards included Belmont Christian College’s Year 11 business studies class in first place ($3,000 prize), Glendale Technology High School’s Special Education Unit senior class in second place ($2,000 prize) and Hunter Valley Grammar School in third place ($1,000 prize).
The awards were run by newly formed group Young Business Minds (YBM) Inc.
YBM Chairperson and the Australian Government’s appointed Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cheryl Royle said almost 50 entries were received. Cheryl said the quality of the ideas meant that in three categories, two additional runners up were awarded prizes of $250.
She said the awards were started by the region’s business chambers and held for the first time in December 2017. YBM’s committee of current leaders in business and government have formed the association to formalise and broaden a program to energise tomorrow’s creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. The awards are the first of several planned activities to help develop and promote creativity and entrepreneurship skills in the region’s youth.
“We need to create a range of activities that not only help young people but also help schools, parents, current business people and community leaders to develop stronger relationships to create the right environment for young people to better learn to innovate and to be entrepreneurial,” Cheryl said.
“Investing in these skills benefits our kids as well as the region’s economy and community longer term.”
More than 300 people attended the awards night at St Phillips Christian College at Waratah.
Cheryl said the awards could not have taken place without the support of many businesses, government agencies, councils and schools. The major sponsors were Ampcontrol and Harvey Norman.
“This is the sort of collaboration that is needed between business, government and education to make the Hunter the entrepreneurial capital of Australia.”
The Hunter Young Business Mind Awards 2018 ambassador is Gabe Robinson, the Founder and Director of Hunter Institute of Fashion.
IMAGE | YBM award winners and supporters.