Last night we came together in Melbourne to celebrate young Australians leading inspiring initiatives and innovative projects at the 2018 Unleashed Awards! Topped off with music, food and a good old boogie, the night was an opportunity to honour the young people making a difference to our world.
Each year, the Foundation for Young Australians recognises the genuine impact that young people are making across the country, from students giving social enterprise a go, to those addressing the biggest social and economic challenges of our time at the annual Unleashed Awards.
Among the winners and highly commended finalists we celebrated this year, we were lucky enough to be joined by comedian, Kirsty Webeck as our host, plus rapper and hip-hop artist one sixth, neo-soul artist KYE and DJ Paul Gorrie.
Check out the amazing lineup of young people who received a big old pat on the back at this year’s Awards Ceremony…
$20 Boss Enterprise of the Year Award (Years 7-9)
Open to a business, venture, or social enterprise that was created by students in years 7-9 through FYA’s $20 Boss program in 2018.
BeeSustainable, VIC, Mentone Girls Grammar (Winner)
BeeSustainable create reusable Eco Food Wraps made from locally sourced beeswax and recycled fabrics in a range of designs. They aim to sell their wraps more widely to reduce the amount of plastic wrap that ends up in landfill and make using less plastic easier for everyone. They sold out of wraps at their school’s $20 Boss market and took pre-orders for further production. They now have ideas for branding and packaging and are preparing to sell their Eco Food Wraps leading up to Christmas.
Boss Boards, WA, Christmas Island District High School (High Commendation)
After being donated heritage wood from the Christmas Island Phosphate mines, Year 8 students decided to create clocks in the shape of Christmas Island and engrave historic information on the back. The demand for these was overwhelming, with stocks selling out within a day of posting the product online. Students are now looking at using driftwood that regularly comes onto the beaches to make their products, allowing the turtles better access to their nesting beaches. Funds raised so far have been used to take the students to Cocos Island to explore enterprise opportunities there and to celebrate their success.
$20 Boss Enterprise of the Year Award (Years 10-12)
Open to a business, venture, or social enterprise that was created by students in years 10-12 through FYA’s $20 Boss program in 2018.
Connect, NSW, Oran Park Anglican College (Winner)
Connect is a social enterprise created to address the fast growing social and technological gap between older and younger generations. Run by three tech-savvy teenagers, Connect seeks to improve the technological knowledge of older generations while providing an opportunity for increased inter-generational social engagement. They surveyed the local retirement village to identify technology-related topics of interest and need, then designed and delivered lessons to seniors. Due to the success of the first sessions, they have been invited back to run further seminars and tutorials in the coming years.
That’s Sew Crafty, WA, Nagle Catholic College (Year 10-12 High Commendation)
That’s Sew Crafty create reusable, multi-purpose bags made from recycled fabrics such as curtains, clothing and scraps that would otherwise go to landfill. Their business aims to solve environmental issues such as excess waste and plastic pollution by offering an alternative that is both fashionable and practical. All profits went to the Lion’s Club Need for a Feed charity, supporting farmers affected by the recent drought in NSW. This ensured that their business benefitted both society and the environment.
Open to ventures, social enterprises and businesses with a social purpose, that are led by young people aged 12-18.
Dyslexia Demystified, VIC (Winner)
Dyslexia Demystified seek to increase awareness, debunk myths and most importantly, break down feelings of shame and isolation around dyslexia through the creation of an online support community for dyslexic young people by dyslexic young people. Dyslexia Demystified equips people with the knowledge and skills to empower young people to embrace dyslexia as a positive part of their identity and to experience success both in and out of the classroom. They have delivered over 40 presentations and were invited to speak at the Asia-Pacific Dyslexic Festival in Japan.
Auction Spaces, NSW (High Commendation)
Auction Spaces allow charities and not-for-profits to run a silent auction simply and effectively and to reach an audience beyond a single physical event — all at absolutely no cost to the charity or the bidders involved. Auction Spaces was founded by 17 year old Callum Predavec, when his school music committee was looking for a solution to running a silent auction to raise money. Auction Spaces has now been running for 12 months and has grown to become a website and app available to not-for-profits. It has now been used many times in Australia and around the world to raise tens of thousands of dollars for charity.
Bats4Life, VIC (High Commendation)
Bats4Life sources, refurbishes and distributes used cricket bats to disadvantaged groups on a local, national and international scale. In partnership with the International Cricket Council and Cricket Australia, co-founders Hamish and Pat (launched at the age of 14) aim make the game accessible to groups such as people with disabilities, underrepresented female cricketers and disadvantaged groups in the Asia-pacific region. Bats4Life is also addressing the local level integration of isolated Asylum Seekers into their community through community cricket matches. To this day Bats4Life has over 10 workers, all of which are under 18.
Local Legend Award
Open to ventures, social enterprises and businesses with a social purpose that have been created and run in rural or regional areas in Australia by young people aged 15-25.
Leading the Way, WA (Winner)
Leading The Way work with an Early Learning Centre in Perth, to acknowledge and celebrate local indigenous culture daily by making this an integral part of everyday education. Led by a young Yamaji woman from the Geraldton region, the project is attempting to change conversations around Noongar culture focusing on positive education from an early age. Building reconciliation activities into early learning can support attitudinal change and help to challenge attitudes towards Indigenous cultures on a local scale.
Sparkles and Twinkles, WA (High Commendation)
Sparkles and Twinkles is a Kalgoorlie based business offering children’s party entertainment specifically designed for children with special needs and intellectual disabilities. The project started in 2012 when founders Maddison and Paige Chinnery were 10 and 14 years old. Activities and games are tailored to the specific skill set and capabilities of the children they are with. Having a lived experience of chronic illness, the founders have been able to respond to a much needed gap in the children’s entertainment market with compassion and creativity.
Portland Secondary College SRC Healthy Eating Project, VIC (High Commendation)
Responding to the lack of nutrition education in their area, the Portland Secondary College SRC worked in partnership with their local council group, SeaChange, to redesign the school’s canteen menu. They added a colour code system to highlight the health value of food items on offer to allow students to make more informed meal choices. The group also developed a Sugar Awareness Lesson which has been taught in classes around their school. The project has been running for 12 months and the impact it has made has been included in a Deakin University case study and referenced in the Australian Government Senate Inquiry into childhood obesity.
Open to ventures, social enterprises and businesses in their early to mid stages that have a social purpose and are led by young people aged 18-29 making a genuine impact.
Nightlife First Aid, SA (Winner)
The winner of the 2018 Vanguard Award is a first aid service dedicated to creating safe partying environments where youth are likely to be exposed to drugs and alcohol. They do this by sending out first aiders to be on site at parties and events, to be able to immediately respond to any medical emergencies that may occur. In 3 and a half years the project has attended almost 60 events, monitored over 20,000 young partygoers, individually treated over 1,000 of them and prevented the deaths of 25 young Australians. The project plans to expand internationally within 5 years.
Humanitix, NSW (High Commendation)
Humanitix is the first not-for-profit ticketing platform in the world, donating 100% of profits from fees back to partner charities. Humanitix solves global inequality and furthers disability inclusion by combining capitalism and philanthropy into a sustainable force for good by disrupting the ticketing industry. They have developed revolutionary inclusion tools, and are investing in cognitive service technologies to ensure their ticketing solutions effectively enable people with disabilities to attend events globally. Humanitix are now an official ticketing provider of FFA Cup matches, all Westfield, Optus, UN Australia events, as well as major music festivals & conferences in Australia and New Zealand.
Game Changer Award
Open to established ventures, social enterprise and businesses that have been created and led by young people aged 18-29.
The Last Straw, VIC (Winner)
The Last Straw work with hospitality venues to retrain industry staff on straw use, provide resources, and empower community ambassadors to become plastic straw responsible. The campaign has stopped approximately 20 million straws from entering the waste system over its three years of operation. They have been a driving force in the wider national conversation around plastic waste. Since launching in 2015, there are now over 500 venues in the country that have committed to becoming straw responsible, including the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Sydney Opera House. The campaign received it’s first round of funding through FYA’s Unleashed Pitch Up competition in 2016 and has been able to expand their impact exponentially since.
Writers for Change Award
Open to young writers aged 15-25 who have published an online written piece within Australia that has had a significant impact on the audience and community.
Vanamali Hermans, ACT (Winner)
Vanamali is a 20 year old Wiradjuri woman who grew up in Murwillumbah on the Far North Coast of NSW. Her piece, The ANU Has A Class Problem addressed the inequality in Australia’s higher education system and catalysed conversations about this issue within her own university. The writer is a young carer from regional NSW with a lived experience of being one of the 2.3% of enrolled students at her own university from a low-SES background. The article was impactful on a personal level for many students who had shared experiences and also kickstarted ongoing discussions with the university’s vice-chancellor about addressing class inequalities through systemic change on campus.
New Work Order Award
Open 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.
Elizabeth College, TAS (Winner)
Elizabeth College is a co-ed Year 11 and 12 public school in southern Tasmania who have designed an Innovation Enterprise course to develop students’ enterprise and entrepreneurial skills through participation in a series of practical activities including $20 Boss, Australian Business Week “Hack in a Box”, and interactive workshops. Students also participate in tours of Hobart businesses, take on industry placements and complete a Financial Literacy course. The school has an overarching School of Business program which also offers additional opportunities outside of school. They have worked with over 60 businesses and charities in order to deliver a diverse and meaningful program to students.
Innovation Nation Award
Awarded to participant’s of FYA’s Innovation Nation in Schools program, which provides young people with the skills, coaching and seed funding to develop innovative solutions to local community challenges.
Cash Cage, NSW, Windsor High School (Winner)
Students identified that at least 50% of items found in their waste bins were recyclable, both at school and in the greater community. The students designed and built recycling bins called “cash cages” in their school grounds and community, to collect recyclables that could be deposited at their local “return and earn” facility. Revenue earned from depositing recyclables will be invested into building more cash cages, other waste facilities such as compost bins, as well as events, promotion and expansion to other schools. Through this initiative, students hope community members reduce their impact on the environment through more educated consumer consumption.