Flinders Entrepreneurs and Teaching Team Win National Enterprise Awards

Three Year 6 students in Primary School at Matthew Flinders Anglican College are celebrating their epic business ideas winning First Place, People’s Choice and Runners-Up awards at Future Anything’s 2023 Activate Grand Finals Showcase at The Triffid in Brisbane on Monday, 20 November.

Flinders was represented at the Grand Finals Showcase - an expo-style event - by five student teams, made up of 10 students in Year 6. Each team had to promote their innovative, scalable and sustainable enterprise idea to the roving judges and guests.  

And the Flinders Year 6 Primary teaching team was delighted to be named the ‘Educator Team of the Year’ at the Future Anything 2023 Educator Awards, held at the same event.

Head of Primary, Mrs Trudi Edwards said Flinders’ five student teams were the only primary school teams along with 14 high school teams from across Australia to progress to the Future Anything Activate Grand Final Showcase

"At Flinders Primary School, we are committed to being a leading school in design thinking, and we are thrilled to offer our bespoke I-care and i-Impact human-centred design thinking programs to students from Prep to Year 6.

“This year, it's been exciting to also embrace the Activate in-curriculum program for our Year 6 students, which helps to transform young people’s passion and curiosity into innovative ideas that make the world a better place,” Mrs Edwards said. 

“We are thrilled for Emerson Blanch in Year 6 who won First Place and the People’s Choice Award for his support product, WICS (Wow I Can Swim), which is designed to help cancer patients enjoy swimming again by waterproofing their central line tape.” 

The winning prize pack included $1,500 cash as well as mentoring, marketing and branding support to develop a go-to-market strategy for WICS through the Office of The Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Advance Queensland, as well as the event sponsors.  

“It was also incredibly exciting for Isla Gray and Emma Zhao, also in Year 6 at Flinders, to be named runners-up for their product, Incredible Insects,” she said. 

Incredible Insects features Fiona Fly, Bella Bee and Flora Firefly as custom edible chocolates to spread awareness about the important role insects have in our world and to raise awareness about the role of neonicotinoids have in their decline.

Mrs Edwards also congratulated the three other Flinders Year 6 student teams who presented at the Activate Grand Finals Showcase:

  • Woof Watchers - a personalised dog weight-loss program to support healthy pooches by Adele Larsen and Milly Sheridan 
  • RimWrap - a protective wheel rim for mountain bikes to spark a conversation about men’s health by Toby O'Connor, George Blake and Cooper Sparks 
  • Treetops - an aesthetic fake plant business which gives away seeds with every purchase by Gabi Chomley and Aara Afraz
Flinders Primary School an "Early Adopter" of the Activate In-Curriculum Program

In 2023, Flinders Primary School was one of 65 schools across Australia to participate in ‘Activate’, which is education leader Future Anything’s in-curriculum program to up-skill educators and build enterprising mindsets in students. 

The Flinders Primary School was one of the early adopters of the Activate program this year, as it was opened to primary schools for the first time. 

Mrs Edwards said, “It has been heartwarming to observe all of our Year 6 students embracing the opportunity to empathise, ideate and prototype to solve real world issues that are deeply meaningful to them in 2023.

“Thanks to our wonderful staff team, we are committed to inspiring young people to develop the skills, confidence and capacity to develop an enterprising spirit and improve the world.” 

This year marked the third annual Future Anything Educator Awards to celebrate the teachers who’ve not only led Activate in their classroom but who have lived it through their own entrepreneurial approach to teaching and learning. 

"By winning the Educator Team of the Year 2023 award, our Flinders Primary School staff are recognised for their 'collective efficacy, positivity and shared vision in growing an enterprising school culture and providing opportunities for young people'.

“I especially congratulate our Year 6 teaching team of Mrs Katie Dawson, Mr Andrew MacRae, Mrs Denise McCormack and Mrs Jenny Webb, along with our Head of Teaching and Learning in the Primary, Mrs Debbie Planck and Head of Enterprise and Curiosity, Mr Justin Hill as they have wholeheartedly embraced Activate’s project-based learning journey for our 106 Year 6 students at Flinders."

Flinders also recently won Primary School of the Year (Non-Government) at the 2023 Australian Education Awards and was named in The Educator’s 5-Star Innovative Schools for the second year in a row.

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