Students at Flinders Get Powered by Design

Powered by Design

Matthew Flinders Anglican College launched its inaugural Powered by Design - Innovation in Industry event recently, inspiring and challenging 75 students in Years 10 and 11 with a passion for design and innovation.

The event brought together education and business under the banner of innovation to open students’ minds to the limitless study, career and entrepreneurial opportunities on offer across industries locally on the Sunshine Coast and also Australia and the globe.

Guest speakers and workshop mentors who are leaders in their respective industries shared their insights and experiences of the latest cutting-edge research, projects and connections.

Students were inspired across vast creative industries, from interior design to architecture, engineering, product design, fashion, sales and marketing, construction, food manufacturing and product development. 

The Flinders Head of Technologies, Mrs Natalle Sutton said the students were excited to meet and make meaningful connections with industry experts and thought leaders.

“The energy in the room was electric and it was so rewarding to see our students invigorated and keen to soak up all the knowledge and inspiration on show through our amazing guest speaker line-up,” Natalle said. 

“It was soon clear to our students there are limitless possibilities in innovation to create products and services to better support people and build sustainable, healthy, creative and inclusive communities,” she said. 

“We are so grateful to the special guests who volunteered their time and expertise to spark ideas and inspire our next generation of designers and innovators.”  

Keynote speakers included Tim Kelly, Business Development and Lead Engineer ARM HUB who presented on why innovation is the engine room to our economy and Emma Greenhatch, CEO of the Food and Agribusiness Network on the Sunshine Coast.

Flinders’ Year 11 Design student Paige Little said the event was a positive experience that provided countless insights. 

“Tim Kelly's keynote speech was one of the highlights for many of us. It was a massive privilege to be a part of the event,” Paige said. 

Year 12 student and Head Intern for the event, Chloe Stronach enjoyed every aspect of the Powered by Design conference. 

“I really didn’t know much about the design industry before choosing Design as a senior subject,” Chloe said.

"Powered by Design gave me the chance to speak to industry professionals, who showed me this area is constantly evolving and that the opportunities are truly endless," she said.

“The event allowed me to see how I could pursue what I love at university and where the design industry could take me in the future." 

Students also learned from entrepreneurs and leaders from local and national small businesses, including Gourmet Gardens, Renegade Designs, Strucket, Montville Coffee, Heka Hoods and Adrian Ramsay Design House as well as freelance designer, Paul McCuaig. 

In his keynote presentation, Tim Kelly explained why it’s an exciting time for the manufacturing industry in Australia, and how “innovation is the engine room for our economy”.

Emma Greenhatch presented a keynote on how the Food & AgriBusiness industry is growing globally to support the world’s population, which is set to reach 10 billion by 2050. 

Emma explained this exciting industry requires experts who can help to design, market and supply sustainable, high-quality and affordable products. 

Students and speakers also discussed the construction of Turbine, an exciting food and beverage manufacturing precinct at Sunshine Coast Airport, which is expected to create 131 new jobs during construction and support 687 once operational with $200 million in economic benefits.

Design and Technologies in the Curriculum at Flinders 

Students at Flinders are able to explore Design and Technologies from Years 7 to 12 to 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 founded in Design Thinking 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.

The College is well resourced with cutting-edge equipment and top facilities, including food laboratories, maker spaces and work studios. 

Students have access to machinery and technologies, including a suite of 3D printers as well as a 3D food printer, laser cutters, a new high-end CNC machine and a professional-grade plastic granulator and heat press machine that uses recycled plastic waste to create sheets of plastic to use when designing new products. 

The College is set to open a brand new state-of-the-art Design Centre in the Secondary School in 2024 as part of the Flinders Masterplan. 

The technology-rich facility will feature dedicated specialist studios, maker spaces and a gallery to support and exhibit student projects, including art studios, white rooms, two specialised materials workshops, library zones, food laboratories, and presentation and pitching rooms.

To learn more, visit 

Guest speakers and mentors at Flinders Powered by Design

ARM Hub | Tim Kelly 

GOURMET GARDENS  | Megan Brabant


STRUCKET | Kelly Lavery



FOOD AND AGRIBUSINESS NETWORK | Emma Greenhatch,  Nicole McNaughton & Rowena Cann

HEKA HOODS | Eli Newman


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