Sunshine Coast a haven for technology tyros
  • Tuesday 02 February 2016

The Sunshine Coast aims to become one of the most innovative and modern regions in the world. To help drive that plan into action, council is encouraging the region’s youngsters to express their technological talents.

Students in Grades 10 to 12 can now enter the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards. Council and Telstra have partnered to create the inaugural competition that includes $20,000 worth of prizes for students and their schools.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the competition would also provide pathways for the region’s bright young sparks to pursue future careers options. 

“Knowledge and Professional Services is one of seven high value industries that are keys to future employment and economic prosperity on the Sunshine Coast and initiatives like Hackfest, Start Up Weekend and the Coder Dojo programs have encouraged plenty of bright minds and outside the box thinkers to emerge,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are all about encouraging the grassroots of our entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow by showing school students what can be achieved in the knowledge and technology field and some of the exciting future career options that are available in this industry.”

Sunshine Coast resident and Advanced Queensland community digital champion Mic Black knows all too well the exciting opportunities that await newcomers to the innovative digital economy after recently creating a world first interactive digital art project – Pixel Mosaic.

“My passion for sharing the human experience in digital technologies led me create Pixel Mosaic. It aims to encourage young people to express themselves through a mixture of art and technology and in doing so, explore a new creative and innovative way to look at what they can create with today’s technology ” Mr Black said.

“We all have to start somewhere and initiatives like the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are a great way to encourage young innovators to become the creators of the future digital technologies.

“I really encourage all students on the Sunshine Coast to have a go and get involved with this competition. Go explore, be creative, think the thoughts that others haven't even considered yet because even the most outlandish ideas can lead to an amazing journey ahead. The Sunshine Coast has so many supportive industry professionals who want nothing else but for your success.”

Telstra Sunshine Coast General Manager Kris Carver said the competition had proven hugely successful in other regions.

“Our kids are the leaders and thinkers of the future and we are committed to fostering innovation and education. That’s what this competition is all about,” Mr Carver said.

“A similar competition has been run on the Gold Coast over the last couple of years and it has uncovered some extremely talented students whose entries have attracted real world interest, so we are very happy to partner with Sunshine Coast Council in this exciting initiative.”

Mayor Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast had become the hub for a vast range of new technology-based companies.

“The University of Sunshine Coast, the Innovation Centre, the ICT Learning Innovation Centre and Spark Bureau all support this growing industry sector within our region and IT services, games and smartphone application development, architecture and design are all experiencing high growth,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“An even more diverse range of creative, knowledge, digital, technology and professional services are set to grow on the Sunshine Coast in the future as a result of major capital projects like the undersea cable project, the solar farm and the Smart City development at Maroochydore.”

“So encouraging our future generation of community leaders to embrace the region’s vision through digital technologies is very important.”

For more information about the Sunshine Coast Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards and to enter, visit council’s website: