Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022

Entries have now closed

Council is proud to partner with Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast to deliver the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022.

There are over $10,000 in prizes up for grabs!

Students in Years 9 to 12 at high schools within the Sunshine Coast Council local government area are encouraged to apply and bring their creative idea or solution to life. It connects students with mentors to develop skills relevant to industry and critical thinking. This could be a new app, design and engineering project, gaming technology or robotics. It could be a smarter phone, watch or digital camera. It could be a new idea for transport, health, agriculture, cyber security, conservation, construction, energy or recreation. It could be the use of existing technology in a new way to solve a community, environmental or business challenge. The possibilities are endless!

The aims of The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 are:

  • Nurture the knowledge base that exists among young people in our region
  • Encourage students to be innovative & collaborative by:
    • encouraging teamwork between students;
    • giving students an opportunity to present their ideas and concepts to a wider community audience; and recognising the efforts and achievements of students.
  • Highlight the importance of study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) fields for the future of the Sunshine Coast – building a knowledge-based economy
  • Foster a culture of entrepreneurship amongst young people in the region through:
    • connecting students with opportunities such as access to mentors in the business community and other support channels;
    • providing students with valuable experience and knowledge regarding entrepreneurship at a local level; and incentivising students to take risks by making their own decisions to explore different opportunities.

The key details for this year’s awards program are:

Awards aim to encourage innovation, and/or a

  • The competition for the 2022 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards officially opens 15th February 2022.
  • The awards are open to students from Years 9 to 12 in teams of up to three. Teams must be from High Schools that are located within the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.
  • There is no limit to the number of teams that can enter from each school.
  • Phase One of the awards commences 15th February 2022. Teams will have 10 weeks to develop an original innovation, business or technological idea or concept.
  • Entries for Phase One of the competition close 11.59pm, 27th April 2022.
  • An evaluation panel will review all entries and shortlist 12 finalist teams who will be announced 6th May 2022.
  • During Phase Two, teams have a further 4 weeks to develop their original idea or concept. During this phase, students will attend four face to face mentoring sessions at Venue 114, Bokarina where they will have the opportunity to be coached by a range of Entrepreneurs and Industry Experts.
  • Entries for Phase Two of the competition close at 11.59pm, 21st June 2022.
  • An evaluation panel will review the entries and allocate scores based on the award criteria set out in the terms and conditions.
  • Live pitch and awards ceremony to be held on 14th July 2022, the 12 finalist teams will present their ideas or concepts in a live ‘pitch’ to the evaluation panel. Final scores for this presentation will be allocated and the winner of Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 announced.

Finalists Announced

After an in-depth judging and review process, Sunshine Coast Council, Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast are thrilled to announce the finalists in this year’s Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards.

Chancellor State CollegePea in a Pod Housing
Glasshouse Christian CollegeType 1 World
Matthew Flinders Anglican CollegeOrbital Caddy
Mountain Creek State High SchoolKynnan James
Mountain Creek State High SchoolCoastEZParks
Mountain Creek State High SchoolTrawling
Mountain Creek State High SchoolShred-All
Suncoast Christian CollegeOrigami Huts
Suncoast Christian CollegeSeaShaw
Suncoast Christian CollegeBird Deterrent

Finalists are now invited to attend four development workshops with a dedicated industry leader as mentor and expert guest presenters, to help take their ideas to the next level and prepare for Phase Two judging. Workshops will be held each Thursday evening from 4pm-6pm at Venue 114.


The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are delighted to announce there is over $10,000 in prizes up for grabs for teams and the winning school. 
All of this year’s prizes are proudly sourced from Telstra stores on the Sunshine Coast.

First Prize

Garmin Venu SQ Fitness Watch for each student, Beats Wireless Studio Buds for each student, Google Nest Mini each for students, DJI Mini 2 Drone for use by the school, 6-hours of team mentoring, Certificate for each student, School Trophy

Second Prize

Garmin Venu SQ Fitness Watch for each student, Google Nest Mini each for students, Certificate for each student and a School Trophy

Third Prize

Beats Wireless Studio Buds for each student, Google Nest Mini each for students, Certificate for each student and a School Trophy

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

6-hours of mentoring & School Trophy


Official School Handbook

The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 School Handbook contains all information about this year’s competition, entry details, prize information and more.

Official Flyer

Parental Consent Form

Download and complete the Parental consent form and attach to the entry form.

Key Dates

Entries have now closed

Tuesday 15th February 2022 (Term 1, Week 2 delayed start) – Competition opens

Wednesday 27th April 2022, 11:59pm– Phase 1 competition entries close

Friday 6th May 2022 – Finalist Teams announced and Phase 2 of the competition begins

Thursday 12th May 2022 (4pm – 6pm) – Mentoring session 1 at Venue 114

Thursday 19th May 2022 (4pm – 6pm) – Mentoring session 2 at Venue 114

Thursday 26th May 2022 (4pm – 6pm) – Mentoring session 3 at Venue 114

Thursday 2nd June 2022 (4pm – 6pm) – Mentoring session 4 at Venue 114

Tuesday 21st June 2022, 11:59pm – Phase 2 competition entries close

Thursday 14th July 2022, 6.00pm – Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony


The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2022 are proudly brought to you by:

Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic Development Branch is managing these Awards.  This project directly aligns with one of the five critical pathways identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) 2013-2033, namely; Investment in Talent and Skills. The Sunshine Coast Council is committed to achieving the economic, social and environmental goals detailed in the REDS, and this project will be another step towards achieving those goals.

In addition, the Knowledge and Professional Services Industry and Investment Plan further highlights the need for all encompassing digital education and connectivity, as well as focusing on collaboration as a key driver in creating the new knowledge-based economy.

Telstra are a world class technology company and Australia’s largest mobile network, providing users with mobile phones, internet plans and packages, home phones & more. The Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards builds on Council’s and Telstra’s ambitions for the future and encourages students in our region to start thinking today about the possibilities of tomorrow.

Study Sunshine Coast (SSC), established since 2016, is the official study cluster for the Sunshine Coast region and is supported and funded by Sunshine Coast Council and Trade & Investment Queensland through Study Queensland. SSC plays an important role in supporting the student journey including positioning the Sunshine Coast as a leading Australian study destination for both domestic and international students. SSC also works closely with industry and our education providers to attract, develop and retain talent to support the growth and vision for the region.

Key focus areas:

  • Destination promotion
  • Enhancing the student experience
  • Industry engagement and collaboration to support students


The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards helps bring creative ideas to life for students in Years’ 9, 10, 11 and 12 at high schools within the Sunshine Coast Council Local Government Area. It connects students with industry mentors to develop enterprise skills and entrepreneurial thinking and runs from February to July 2022.

Mentor Program

The Mentors are a critical component of the 12 Finalist teams journey in the MTIA. The four face to face Mentor sessions gives the teams exposure to local innovators and entrepreneurs to help evolve and strengthen their creative concept and idea and hear from a guest Mentor presenter.

 The MTIA mentoring sessions connects students with industry mentors to develop enterprise skills and entrepreneurial thinking. The Awards focus on business or social enterprise ideas that utilise innovation principles, creative uses of technology or scalable concepts – this could be a new app, design and engineering, gaming technology, robotics, a smarter phone, watch or digital camera.

Ilana Boon

Manager, International Marketing & Recruitment at USC

Dominic Vrolijks

Maker in Residence at Sunshine Coast Maker Space

Matt Travers

Director at Sunny Digital

Neil Waldbaum

Owner at Deep Orange Design

Tara Jacobsen

Co-Founder & Program Director at Groei

Raphael McGowan

Founder of Bakslap

Angela Lisle

Director of ICT & Digital at TAFE Queensland

Saskia De Klerk

Senior Lecturer in International Business at USC

Colin Graham

Managing Director at Causeway Innovation & Program Manager at Sunramp Healthtech Accelerator

Workshop Presenters

Daniel McKinnon

Managing Director, CTO at Frontside Future

Workshop 1: 12th May

Topic: Product Development

Raphael McGowan

Founder of Bakslap

Workshop 2: 19th May

Topic: The journey of Bakslap; from an idea to a successful business

Gary Swanepoel

Director of PIXELPIXEL and Founder at Startup Precinct

Workshop 3: 26th of May

Topic: Prototyping

2021 Winners

More than 20 finalists across Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the Sunshine Coast got together with their school mates to create an application or invention as part of this year’s Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards. The winners were announced at a special event on 23 June 2021:

1st Place


Glasshouse Christian College

‘IoT LED Light ‘Learner Plate’ – A bright new way for learner drivers to display their ‘L’ plates, along with a compatible phone app to change the plates as needed from L’s to P’s.

2nd Place

Mobile Safety Hubs

Suncoast Christian College

On demand portable locker service for popular areas (beaches, sporting events etc).

3rd Place


St Andrews Anglican College

Revolutionising the use of shark nets with a new alternative and sustainable design that is reliable.

The Emerging Entrepreneur Award

Heart Attract

Glasshouse Christian College

A wearable ECG monitor for cardiovascular outpatients

Questions? Get in Touch with Us

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