Introducing Social Innovation Studio

Social Innovation at CQUniversity.

Introducing Social Innovation Studio Gladstone 2017


We all wish to belong, we all wish to be actively engaged, we all wish to be involved with the community that we live in. We all wish to be of value and we all wish to be included.

The social innovation studio is an opportunity for students to have social impact and do so in a way which is engaging in partnering with the community. And at the end of the expiry of eight days of working and playing they pitch their ideas to the community and hopefully the partners, they're working with will think they're great and the students will get to continue those projects from now until the end of June. You know there are a range of complex social issues that exist in the world and the fact that our students get to firstly understand and look towards solving those problems or those issues is huge. But secondly, you know they're empowering community organisations to kind of achieve their vision.

Our project partner is Agape. So Agape is a basically and is a skin care product line and the business is owned and operated by young adults with disabilities right here in Gladstone.

Agape gives disabled young adults the opportunity to work in the community.

The course attracted me primarily because we've just set up a not-for-profit in Bundaberg so there's a group of indigenous leaders that have come together and we wanted to use our cultural knowledge to build businesses and industry. After I go back the first thing I'm going to do is apply what I've learned here to this organisation now,

We were partnered up with WIN, it’s a multicultural organization in Gladstone.

What the group does is basically work around spreading positive messages about cultural diversity and multiculturalism. It's really, really beneficial for not just for us but for the young people that work within our organisation.

And we're giving change and changing lives within the community it's you know and having thanks from you know people coming up to us and saying you know thank you for being here, you're really helping us. It feels really good.

It's been absolutely fantastic working with the CQU students on the innovation project and its really helping us to hopefully move forward in the future.

CQUniversity has recently been accredited as the first changemaker university in Australia. In fact in Asia-pacific.

My biggest success that I have seen has come from what I've seen today. And it's been David, how I walked him with him in the car park and he didn't walk with me. He walked about 6 meters ahead of me and he was ready for university.

I've lived all over Australia, internationally and attended a lot of different campuses, different tertiary institutions. This has been by far the best because we're tangibly being involved in real businesses and real projects.

It’s necessary for students to go out there and have some real-life experience and work with communities and not-for-profit business. It's a great experience and I would encourage everyone to be a part of it.

A butterfly flapping its wings can cause a cyclone on the opposite side of the world. So a small change in how WIN works with their youth program can also have a similar effect on social cohesion and harmony within our community. I'm really excited to see where social innovation is going to go at CQUniversity we have big plans.