Record number vie for glory at Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards

Published 07 April 2022

Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards.jpg

Moreton Bay’s brightest young entrepreneurs are proving a force to be reckoned with, putting forward the highest number of entries in the history of the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards across Queensland.

Acting Mayor Jodie Shipway said 21 teams from eight different schools have delivered a stellar field of forward-thinking projects, in the region’s inaugural awards season.

“From affordable temporary housing to life-saving smart bands, from apps to help the homeless and QR codes designed to simplify recycling, these bright sparks well and truly have their fingers on the pulse,” Cr Shipway said.

“These awards are all about giving students the confidence to transform what might be a dream or a small scheme into something big that could really make a difference to our community.

“The pillars of Industry Advancement, Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship are a major focus of our Regional Economic Development Strategy for 2020-2041.

“Our young people are the leaders of tomorrow, and if these entries are anything to go by, the future is looking amazing.

“I can’t wait to see what’s next for these inspiring students and wish them the best of luck for the next phase of the program.”

Telstra Regional General Manager May Boisen said it was exciting that Moreton Bay’s schools had made history in their first tilt at the Awards.

“This is the eighth year of the Telstra Mayor’s Innovation Awards program. We’re delighted that Moreton Bay has become the sixth region to take part - and what a debut by these teams!” Ms Boisen said.

“The awards aim to drive the youth in our communities to look at technology as a tool for innovation, rather than just a source of entertainment and fun.

“We encourage ideas that demonstrate an innovative use of technology to solve a community, environmental or business issue, and Moreton Bay’s 2022 teams have certainly risen to that challenge.

“The program is local, using local experts and leaders for the mentoring sessions, engaging with TAFE and Universities along with the Mayors, Councils and of course the schools.

“We aim to educate the students not only about technology and innovation, entrepreneurship and business skills, but also have them understand that world-class ideas and businesses don’t have to be based in major cities to be successful, thus supporting economic development objectives of local councils.”

The entries will now be considered for progression to phase two of the program, with the shortlist to be announced on 21 April.

Phase two includes an intensive four-week mentoring program with local experts in business and innovation across April and May.

Students will then put forward a second submission, with the finalists invited to participate in an intense live pitch session with the Mayor and other esteemed judges on 22 June.

There are more than $15,000 in prizes up for grabs, including prize packs for the first, second and third placing teams and their schools, school trophies for the top three placing teams, certificates for all finalist teams, and of course the Award for Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

“Given the size and scale of the entries, we’re on the hunt for more local mentors,” Cr Shipway said.

“It’s a very worthwhile experience, and a wonderful opportunity to help shape our next generation of leaders.

“If there are schools that missed out on taking part, don’t worry - we’ll be running the Awards again in Term One, 2023, and hoping to make it even bigger and better next year!”

For more information on the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards, and to submit an expression of interest on becoming a mentor for our 2022 teams, visit