Young innovators inspired for change

Published:12 April 2018

60 budding young changemakers participated in CQUni Cairns' inaugural Big Fish event in April, 2018

CQUniversity Cairns recently played host to an innovation initiative for aspiring entrepreneurs that saw 60 buddying young changemakers attend.

Titled Big Fish Cairns, the young innovators' weekend was a free entrepreneurship program designed to develop skills and solve social problems.

Co-presented with the Young Entrepreneurs Project, funded by an Advance Queensland grant and supported by Cairns Regional Council, the event brought together budding entrepreneurs aged 15-24 from the Cairns region for the three-day workshop.

Event organiser and CQUni Senior Development Coordinator Jodie Mlikota said the inaugural Big Fish event was a huge success.

“The participants tackled some real social problems which was inspiring to watch,” Ms Mlikota said.

Visiting guest entrepreneur and founder of Fiftysix Creations - as well as 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Queensland - Taj Pabari shared his incredible story and mentored teams as they built their new social ventures.

Big Fish Cairns culminated on Sunday (8 April ) when groups presented their final pitches to a panel of judges.

“The quality of the pitching was fantastic!” Ms Mlikota said.

“The winning team was Youth Engagement (YE), an event-listing platform for young people of Cairns to be able to find out what’s on and how they can engage with their community and each other.”

Second place was awarded to Bully Knot – an anti-bullying social media plug-in concept that uses AI to track young people’s chats and flag bullying with parents and schools.

Ms Mlikota said some of the students would now go on to compete in the Young Starters Competition.