Townsville iActivate graduates driving big, smart, empowering impact in NQ

08 March 2022

They're determined to transform lives in North Queensland' and the new graduates of CQUniversity's social entrepreneur training initiative are using everything from storytelling to sex toys to do it.

Eight inspiring North Queensland business owners have completed CQUniversity's 12-week iActivate course with face-to-face support' thanks to a partnership between CQU and Smart Precinct NQ.

It's the second Townsville cohort to participate in the accelerator program' and the all-female innovators are tackling big local issues including domestic and family violence' inclusion for people with disabilities' financial literacy' and first aid preparedness.

The graduates will share the social enterprises they've designed with the support of iActivate at a free event at Smart Precinct NQ at 143 Walker St' Townsville' on Wednesday 9 March 2022' from 5.30pm-7.30pm.

The participants and their projects are:

Keesha Booth' Sexually Healthy Cities: Normalising and using sex-positive and pleasure narratives to increase combat abusive and coercive relationships and domestic violence.

Laura Carcarry' My Money Means: Empowering young people and marginalised adults with financial literacy' for a confident and fulfilling life.

Megan Colwell' First Wellness Centre: Support student massage therapists via a finishing academy' to ensure quality and successful providers can develop to meet local skills shortage.

Kristina Ihme' Happy Vibes Cafe: Providing inclusive employment for people with intellectual impairment and/ or developmental disabilities.

Kate Osborne' Life Out Loud – NQ: Providing a platform for North Queenslanders to craft and tell real-life stories to live audiences' promoting connection' courage and kindness in the community.

Marg Oxley' Happy Days Training: Operating an Ingham training café' to empower local people living with disability' to develop hospitality skills and earn income.

Anna Walsh' Pleasure Able: Designing and locally manufacturing accessible sex toys for people with disabilities' to promote better physical and mental health.

Loretta Woodford' Parentmedic NQ: Providing free and discounted baby first aid sessions to disadvantaged communities' as part of a wider first aid training business.

iActivate program manager Steve Williams said the graduating group had plenty of passion for transforming lives' and through iActivate they'd developed the business plans to make it happen.

"iActivate uses proven experience to get started and to grow a social enterprise or business for good' for the benefit of the whole community'" he said.

Peak body Queensland Social Enterprise Council analysis shows every successful Australian social enterprise creates an average of 15 jobs' generating three dollars for every dollar of investment.

Pleasure Able founder Anna Walsh' who is a busy mum and a former police officer' already has a track record for innovation' building a passionate community around happymash sex aids business' and hosting A Woman Charged podcast to promote the health benefits of sex and pleasure.

She said sharing her plans with iActivate students and facilitators had helped shape her 'rough ideas'.

"It's helped me formulate a business plan' and think about pitching for investment'" she said.

Anna intends Pleasure Able profits would be donated to other not-for-profits in the disability support sector. "The social enterprise aspect is really important' Pleasure Able can make money but also be innovative and benefit the community as well'" she said.

The iActivate cohort met weekly with local and online facilitators' and she said the chance to connect was a great motivator.

With video' audio and written content' iActivate's content was developed by CQUniversity and sector leader Impact Boom' to give students clear and actionable steps to design' build and grow social enterprise.

CQUniversity and Smart Precinct NQ will be offering new iActivate opportunities in 2022' email to register your interest.

CQUniversity is Australia's only Changemaker University' accredited by global network for social innovation in education Ashoka U.

For more information visit' and enrol to start iActivate now.