Flinders Designers Win Second Place at Telstra Innovation Awards

Three avid design students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College have won second place for their ‘Orbital Caddy’ prototype at the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 live pitch and awards ceremony, held on 14 July.

The Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards is delivered exclusively to high schools on the Sunshine Coast as a partnership between the Sunshine Coast Council, Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast.

The Flinders students’ second place win has earned them an invite to the three-day action-packed mentoring and pitching design event, the Techstars StartUp Weekend, on from 5-7 August at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The Year 9 students, Tyler Cuttill, Amy Morrison and Bethany Slocombe, also won first place for their prototype in May at the gen[in] Student Innovation Challenge led by the University of Queensland.

Designs for Positive Change in the World

Their Orbital Caddy prototype is a shelf system which rotates about a central axis, inspired by the ferris wheel amusement ride.

The design aims to solve a problem for people who have trouble easily and safely accessing shelving, such as older people, children and those who have limited mobility, such as people who use a wheelchair.

The students designed the prototype during Flinders Innovation Club, a College co-curricular program to inspire and challenge students with a passion for design.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson noted that the quality of ideas our young people were producing was simply astounding.

“What never ceases to amaze and delight me, is that we have an abundance of creative young minds here on the Sunshine Coast coming through this program," Mayor Jamieson said.

“It certainly reflects our vision for the Sunshine Coast to be Australia’s most sustainable region: healthy, smart, creative," he said.

“The young people pitching at the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards ceremony were the very demonstration of that vision in action and showed that we were on the right track in enabling opportunities to succeed in the 21st century."

Learning From Top Mentors in Design

Flinders’ Head of Technologies, Mrs Natalle Sutton said the students had embraced the four mentoring sessions they received in May as finalists in the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards.

“Tyler, Amy and Bethany enjoyed learning how to refine their prototype and prepare a professional live pitch for the Telstra Innovation Awards event, and it’s wonderful that their efforts won them second place!” Mrs Sutton said.

“It’s been a fantastic learning experience as they are meeting so many inspiring people who are carving a career in design and helping to make the world a better place,” she said.

“Their mentors have been impressed with their team approach and ability to take on feedback, review their design and implement changes to refine their product and business approach.

“This is all part of the Design Thinking approach that we teach our students at Flinders as they explore real-world design opportunities, so it’s wonderful to see our young designers reaping the rewards of putting these principles into action.”

Amy Morrison said the team were grateful for the “never-ending support from the Flinders Design and Technologies Department and the Innovation Club.”

“We have had so many great opportunities and experiences we will all be able to take with us into the future,” Amy said.

“Tyler, Bethany and I each have different strengths in business, design and engineering that have helped us to further develop our idea together.

“We received advice from different mentor sessions, which has allowed us to become more prepared for our future careers. It has been a rewarding experience, and with great prizes along the way!"

The students were supported through the awards by teachers in the Flinders Design and Technologies department, including Mr Justin Andries and Mr Peter Horton, and Mrs Sutton.

Design in the Flinders Curriculum

Students at Flinders are able to explore design thinking through Design and Technologies subjects from Years 7 to 12. Through these subjects, students learn the skills and confidence to grapple with new and often ‘wicked’ problems that require creative solutions.

Students in Years 7 and 8 learn through IDEAS (Innovation, Design, Engineering, Art, Science) as a year-long, multidisciplinary course which incorporates the 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. IDEAS is also designed to challenge students’ mindsets through empathy, optimism and experimentation. 

From Years 9 to 12, students can choose from an array of Technologies subjects on offer at Flinders, including Design, Engineering, Food and Nutrition, Graphics Architecture and VET pathways.

Cover image caption: L-R: Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson, Flinders Secondary Teacher Mr Justin Andries, Flinders students Bethany Slocombe, Tyler Cuttill and Amy Morrison, and Telstra Regional Engagement Manager for South East Queensland Matthew Thornton at the Lord Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 live pitch and awards night on 14 July.

Image below caption: All finalists celebrate at the Lord Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 live pitch and awards night.

Lord Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards Live Pitch and Awards Night, 14 July 2022

Request our College


Request our Prospectus

Book a Personalised

College Tour

Book Your Tour