Young Innovator Finals rock the judges

Young Innovators knock the socks off international Line Up of judges at the final pitching event in Geraldton on Friday the 7th December 2018.

The future innovators have delivered some great ideas to help Ocean and Waterway Health to the judging panel and guests and parents looking on in awe.

Six primary and high school finalists presented to an International Judges from America and Greece and Australia who are from the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. Two international schools also submitted video pitches to vie for the overall prize of $1000.

Judges included representatives from the US Consulate in Perth, led by Meghan Higgans, Policy Chief, who said, “The United States Consulate Perth is proud to sponsor Geraldton’s Young Innovator Competition.  The participants developed creative solutions to real world problems demonstrating a deep understanding of both the issues facing our oceans and also what it takes to pitch innovative new ideas.  The students displayed boundless enthusiasm for addressing the pressing needs of our oceans and we’re eager to follow the future successes of these bright, young entrepreneurs.”

The finalists pitched ideas on helping with Ocean Health and Waterways Then, in the style of Shark Tank TV, the finalists fielded answers from the judges about their ideas. Regional Development Australia Mid West Gascoyne Executive Officer Alan Bradley said the students had experienced an incredible opportunity to share their ideas with world-class innovators. Alan said “This has been a great opportunity for our young students to get some exposure to these world class business people who look at ideas like this everyday and make business and investment decisions. The international schools also produced some great ideas to be considered.”

In the lead up to the event, the finalists were schooled by Emma Jackson, Chair of Scinapse on how to identify the problems, develop a solution and create solutions. They then attended a workshop with Geraldton’s innovation hub Pollinators, to learn the art of the elevator pitch. Pollinators Spaces Lead Angie West said it was gratifying to see Geraldton’s young people stepping up as future innovators. “It was exciting for us to be involved with these young innovators and help them develop the skills to pitch their big idea – after all these young people are our future,” Mrs West said. “It was also interesting to note they were all female in a space normally dominated by young males.”

First place in the Year 5/6 category was Dusty Morgan and Scarlett O’Brien Leaning Tree Community School, who presented an app to monitor water use in the home and make savings. Runner up was Nakiya Van Lierop who proposed a robot that could scoop up rubbish from the oceans and drop it back to marinas for collection

Nagle Catholic College’s India Newman won the Year 7/8 category for her Sea Water Carbon Dioxide Treatment Plant, to help remove CO2 from the Ocean. The runners up in this category was Jasmin Joyner and Georgia Thill from John Willcock College who proposed the installation of Scuba Bins in areas where divers and snorkellers could collect and deposit rubbish from then ocean.

Elena Dalle, (who is home schooled) won the Year 9/10 category with her pitch that proposed a concept to make recycling fun, with rewards for kids who deposit foam cups into an iconic lighthouse recycling unit on the beaches of Geraldton. Runner up was a winning competitor from last year Danielle Radford from John Willcock for the development of a process to tax single use plastic to Prevent Plastic.

Two International schools also presented ideas via video. Maritina Akmoutsou, Marina Irakleous and Dimitris Georgakis – Petra Gymnasium School – Greece, presented an idea to use a new enzyme that could eat plastic in the ocean and  a team from New Village School – San Francisco delivered an idea  called Bago Bag, which reminds you to take your shopping bags into the shop and provides rewards and an lightweight bag to take with your phone.

The Overall best judged application was Monitor My Home by Dusty Morgan and Scarlett O’Brien – an app to monitor water use in the home and make savings. Dusty and Scarlett take home the $1000 prize for best overall idea. The judges were especially impressed with Scarlett’s efforts to also help another contestant who became a little shy during the pitch event.

The Young Innovator Competition was developed by Regional Development Australia Mid West Gascoyne, with the support of US Embassy, Mid West Development Commission, Iluka Cisco Innovation Centre and a host of other supporters and helpers. ENDS… Media information: For more information please contact Regional Development Australia Mid West Gascoyne Executive Officer Alan Bradley on 0429 644 757 or by email


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply