Shopping support social enterprise a winner at Young Change Agents event

Published:13 September 2018

Olympian Duncan Armstrong (left) with St Brendan's College winning team members Harry Hersey, Lachlan Brown, Deklan Bulder and other YCA supporters.

CQUniversity Rockhampton North recently hosted and supported the Young Change Agents Rockhampton Regional Pitch event.

Local youths aged between 10 and 16 pitched their ideas in front of a judging panel including Olympic gold medallist swimmer and Telstra Community Engagement Manager Duncan Armstrong OAM, SmartHub Manager for Rockhampton Regional Council Elize Hattin, local young entrepreneur Kaleb Roberts of startup Zeit, and Zoe Seibold, Recruitment Advisor at Energy Queensland.

The youth were part of a program run by social enterprise Young Change Agents which helps youth see problems as opportunities through entrepreneurship.

Young Change Agents was funded by Telstra Foundation and partnered locally with CQUniversity and SmartHub Rockhampton to bring the program to local youth.

The Judge’s Choice on the evening went to 'SIC Shopping', a social enterprise that aims to provide local employment opportunities whilst helping people with their shopping. Judges were impressed with the group’s momentum.

The boys from St Brendan’s in Yeppoon - Lachlan Brown, Harry Hersey and Deklan Bulder - have started a crowdfund to help them raise initial start-up funding. The team walked away with $500 prize money to help them continue the development of their enterprise.

The audience vote went to 'Rags to Riches', a fashion brand created by a group of teens from Glenmore State High School which brings social and employment opportunities to people who have found themselves homeless and socially isolated.

Other high school ideas included, 'Calc Your Food', an app to stop food wastage and deliver savings to households, 'Sex Ed in a Text',  a resource written by teens and validated by a nurse to help teens navigate relationships, and 'Hear our Voice', which offers local councils a way to reach young people by increasing reach through social media.

The primary showcase saw six teams present ideas from a barking dog alarm system to help curb breaking and entering, a new online bank for kids, a program to train people who find themselves with caring responsibilities, and an environmental documentary series by kids.

The judges' choices went to a team from Glenmore State School, looking to help parents by rewarding completed homework with gaming time, and a team from Heights College who developed a program to rehabilitate school bullies.

Margaret O’Brien, CoFounder and CEO of Young Change Agents commented, “this night was a glimpse into the future of the Rockhampton region – the immense youth talent and their desire to create positive change in the community through business".

"These teams were selected from their individual school’s programs run over the last few months and all have been awarded a scholarship to a two-day YINC (youth incubator) run by Young Change Agents, to be held at the SmartHub Rockhampton in January.

“Thank-you to CQUniversity for their ongoing support of Young Change Agents – from staff volunteering, providing the venue and the catering, CQUniversity has been actively involved from day one and is a key part of bringing social entrepreneurship to youth across the region.”

CQUniversity staff Jim Callan and Tanya Rutherford have been supporting the rollout of the Young Change Agents program in the region, with other senior staff assisting with mentoring and event setup.

CQUniversity students are now able to get in on the action by enrolling in a two-day program to be held at the University from 22-23 October.