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The Big Idea

The Big Issue

In 2016, CQUniversity was recognised as the first (and only) Changemaker Campus in Australia by Ashoka U, an exclusive group of education institutions committed to social innovation globally. Ashoka U collaborates with its members to break down barriers to institutional change, and foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.

CQUniversity students can become real-life changemakers through The Big Idea national social enterprise competition.

The Big Idea is a social enterprise design competition between students at participating universities. The Big Idea invites students to develop a concept and business plan for a social enterprise that might become the next ‘Big Issue’.

In 2014, CQUniversity participated in The Big Idea competition for the first time and took out the national award with The Shelter Project, a social enterprise temporary housing design that uses recycled industrial pallets, and creates opportunities for unemployed Australians to assist with construction while gaining trade-based qualifications.

In 2015 and 2017, CQUniversity again reached the national podium, for The Garden of Earthly Delights (2015, post-graduate stream), a community garden project providing flexible and transitional employment, education, and training opportunities for people experiencing homelessness, and A-Tech-You (2017, undergraduate stream), a project to design and manufacture 3D-printed tables for wheelchairs, while skilling people with disabilities and employment challenges.

As part of CQUniversity’s commitment to engaging with our communities, CQUniversity is participating in this competition again in 2018.

For more information about CQUniversity’s participation in The Big Idea competition, email

The Big Idea
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Watch the CQUniversity winners of the 2014 competition.