In October, we came together to celebrate innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit at our annual Unleashed Awards! We put on our party shoes and celebrated some of the most inspiring initiatives and the young Australians leading them.
Each year we honour the impact young people have made to the biggest social and economic challenges of our time. The annual Unleashed Awards are our way of giving them a big ol’ pat on the back for making an incredible contribution to our world with a night of music, celebration and guest speakers.
This year we were lucky enough to be joined by NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir straight from Houston, Texas. Melbourne’s own Triple J Unearthed stars Kaiit and Alice Skye performed, and all-female group YOWO Music kept us grooving through the night as the houseband. Pulling it all together, our host was none other than funny man, Nath Valvo.
Here are the winners and high commendations we celebrated across the 9 categories
Rookie Enterprise of the Year, Years 7-9
Awarded to a business, venture, or social enterprise that was created by students from year levels 7 - 9 at school.
Winner | BCD Services ($20 Boss project)
Cedar’s Christian College, Regional NSW
BCD Services are a diverse business that do everything from the distribution and selling of pizza, confectionary and drinks, to physical labour conducted at nearby local businesses. They have provided over 50 hours of physical labour and earned more than $1200 in total profit. To top it all off, 60% of money made has been donated to the Cancer Council. Amazing!
Highly Commended | Big Bad Bakers ($20 Boss project)
Flinders Island District High, Regional TAS
Big Bad Bakers was designed to fill a gap in the Flinders Island market, which lacks a regular supply of artisan-baked goods.
Highly Commended | Barkalicious ($20 Boss project)
Mackillop Catholic College, TAS
Barkalicious create nutritious dog treats from otherwise discarded beef livers, raising money for the Hobart Women’s Crisis Center, with hopes of stocking their product in local vet clinics and shops.
Rookie Enterprise of the Year, Years 10-12
Awarded to a business, venture, or social enterprise that was created by students from year levels 10 - 12 at school.
Winner | Mental Music
Brisbane State High School, QLD
Mental Music is a series of podcasts with a focus on issues affecting young people, especially mental health. Episodes include youth commentary, interviews with professionals, and music written and produced by students. Mental Music believes that the best way to engage and promote positive change in young people is to speak from a place of authenticity — as a podcast created by and for young people, they seek to provide a much-needed service in a relevant and accessible format.
Highly Commended | Anti Vexed Text
St. Phillips College, Regional NT
Anti Vexed Text is a subscription service where an SMS message is sent every morning with a positive quote or stress relieving strategy to subscribers.
Awarded to ventures, social enterprises and businesses with a social purpose, that are led by young people aged 12-18. These projects are just starting out, making a positive contribution to the local community and beyond.
Winner | Please Fix
Please Fix is an app that makes it simple for people to report problems like potholes or graffiti to local governments. Community members might come across small problems in their local area on a daily basis but they may not take the next steps to get them fixed. The app has a simple system — point your device at a problem and take a photo, then Please Fix does all the rest. You can download Please Fix from the app store and try it for yourself.
Highly Commended | ChangeMakeHer
ChangeMakeHer is a student-founded organisation united by a common passion to empower young girls to become changemakers of the future.
Awarded to ventures, social enterprises and businesses with a social purpose, that are led by young people aged 15 - 25, with a special shout out for those legends in rural or regional areas.
Winner | E-Raced — Prudence Melom
E-raced is a program designed to break down stereotypes and reduce racism through storytelling. The team behind E-Raced are young Australians from refugee and migrant backgrounds who share their experiences with regional and rural High School students in years 8 -12. Students meet and chat with the storytellers, asking questions about their life, culture, traditions and of course, journey to Australia.
Highly Commended | Street Basketball Association (SBA)
Alice Springs, NT
SBA was created because participants saw a problem in their community: there were no youth -focussed basketball comps in NT, and they wanted to unite people through sport.
Awarded to ventures, social enterprises and businesses with a social purpose, that are led by young people aged 18 - 29. We want to celebrate innovative solutions with significant potential to grow and become a game changer.
Winner | Catalysr
Catalysr run a 4-month business accelerator program enabling unemployed and underemployed migrants and refugees to create their own business. They’ve worked with 40 entrepreneurs from migrant/refugee background in their first year, which has led to 10 new businesses. These businesses have created over $300,000 in revenue, and 25 full-time jobs and are continuing to grow. Catalysr’s vision is to create a “migrapreneurial” revolution in Australia. It’s mission is to create 10,000 jobs in Australia in the next 10 years. They’re also in the process of developing online learning platform.
Highly Commended | Dancing with Her
Dancing With Her started as an Instagram account - one that collected wedding photos of women marrying women from across the world. When submissions began to flood in, a website and blog was created, and a list of same-sex friendly wedding vendors was launched. In February 2017, the project continued to evolve and Dancing With Her Magazine was born as a small digital publication available to download.
Highly Commended | genXchange
Sunshine Coast, QLD
genXchange is a platform (both digital and in-person) that connects people across generations to tackle social isolation. It’s like a dating app that celebrates wisdom instead, and seeks to connect students with mentors.
Awarded to any social enterprise or venture led by young people aged 18-29.
Winner | Little Dreamers
Little Dreamers is a not-for-profit that recognises, celebrates, and amplifies young carers as one of the most vulnerable groups in Australia. They seek to improve their lives and strengthen their futures by increasing their social connectedness; championing young carers through advocacy programs, and raising awareness by breaking down barriers of stigma and ignorance surrounding disability, mental health, and caring; and foster employment pathways by working with businesses to develop carer-friendly workplaces. Founder of Little Dreamers Australia, Madeleine is a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader and, along with her team, has significantly impacted the lives of over 1,200 families throughout Australia.
New Work Order
Awarded to Australian businesses, organisations and educational institutions such as Universities and Schools, that have a commitment to preparing young people for the future of work and the world. This award was decided upon by a panel of external sector experts.
Winner | The Global Consulting Group
The Global Consulting Group (GCG) is a charity which provides pro-bono consulting services to other charities and not-for-profits. They do this by selecting and upskilling high-potential students and connecting them with experienced professionals who then work together to solve organisational problems for other charities. The organisation has over 150 concurrent volunteers and 500 Alumni across Australia. Over 120 projects have been completed for clients such as the United Nations, TEDx, Salvation Army, and the Climate Council.
Highly Commended | Northside Christian College
From Primary to High School, Northside Christian College works to equip students with the best skills for future employment in an increasingly competitive globalised economy. They have prioritised innovation and creativity to ensure students are equipped for the job market of the future.
Highly Commended | Huonville High School
Huonville High School (HHS), is in a regional agricultural region of Tasmania. As an education provider for students Years 7 to 12 in what is considered a significantly disadvantaged community, HHS is extremely conscious of the need to prepare the young people of the region for the future of work and the world.
Inspired Citizen Award
Awarded to a project imagined by students involved in the 2017 Australian of the Year and Foundation for Young Australians Inspired Citizens program. It has been created to celebrate young people who recognise and act on their potential to lead positive change in their communities.
Winner | Stomping Out Stereotypes
Frankston High School, VIC
Stomping Out Stereotypes is a project created by Year 9 students at Frankston High School. Their mission is to reduce the impact of stereotyping in their community and through this, make a broader positive impact on issues such as bullying, racism and sexism. They have designed and run school workshops with local primary school students, to create new ways to educate young people about stereotypes and to inspire critical thinking. Their aim is to show their community that they can make a difference by facing up to unconscious stereotyping and changing this behaviour.
Champion of Change
Awarded to an individual who is well known in the public domain and is leading the way with social change.
Winner | Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian who is a mechanical engineer by trade, but has created a name for herself as a strong activist and changemaker in the ongoing race conversation in Australia. She is the author of Yassmin’s Story and, until recently, was a TV presenter on ABC’s Australia Wide. Yassmin was chosen as a Champion of Change because she has become a household name for shining a spotlight on the divisive voices that can flood the mainstream media.