Students at St Joseph's Regional College recently won the illuminate:nextgen challenge with their idea about the need for additional public transport in Port Macquarie.
The challenge itself was about finding solutions to the issue of young people leaving the Port Macquarie-Hastings region to pursue other opportunities after school.
The winning idea Y-Link recognised that students and young adults needed more transport options to live, study and work in regional communities.
Holly Coles, Lenia Collier, Noah Merkus, Piper Seale and Blake Stainforth said they wanted wanted to hire a bus and security guard to operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to allow people easily travel for sport, work, and more.
"We thought the biggest issue is public transport on weekends and after house," Piper said.
"Busways do a good job but the current bus system is designed to help the elderly and during work hours. If we want young people to stay in Port Macquarie easier access to public transport is vital."
"We decided as well as having more public transport we wanted to have an app which would tell people routes, how full the bus was and the bus schedule all in one. You could also pay for the bus fare using the app," Blake said.
"We also thought having a security guard on the bus between 8pm and 2am would be a good idea. We also thought a yearly bus pass would cost $100 which works out to 20 cents a day for unlimited travel or you could pay $2.50 per trip."
The group say Port Macquarie-Hastings Council have also started talking about making it a reality.
"It is super cool that council is talking to us about our idea because we think adding more public transport would go a long way to encouraging young people to come and stay here," Piper said.
"And in the future if it actually happened we would want to expand the services to Wauchope, King Creek and the Camden Haven."
The second place team made up of Alex Byrne, Matt Gleeson, Tim Kobelke and Luka Marshall said they came up with an idea to embrace being environmentally friendly.
"Our idea Flip to Hip is about making more businesses environmentally friendly," Alex said.
"Our business was to be a supplier of environmental coffee cups and other products to cafes and food shops in Port Macquarie."
"We would have bold prints on the packaging so that people knew what do to with our special containers," Mark said.
The team said they wanted to take new approach to combating the idea of being environmentally friendly.
"One of the biggest issues still is that even though items can be recycled and are environmentally friendly they are still ending up in landfill," Luka said.
"We wanted our business to be mindful of our waste and we would have our own worm farm to compost the items we sell businesses to ensure minimal waste is put into the environment," Alex said.
The winners were announced at the awards ceremony held on September 6 with founder of Illuminate Next Gen Adam Mostogl among the attendees.
Associate Dean (Research) of the Charles Sturt Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences professor Mark Morrison said the challenge had been a great experience for all the students who took part.
"Students learned the importannce of both understanding and empathising with the market segment that they are trying to provide a solution for, and how to apply a range of practical business skills in developing a solution," professor Morrison said.
"They came up with some great ideas that are definitely worth further investigation."
Kate Wood-Foye, director of external engagement at Charles Sturt said it was wonderful to engage with the school community to showcase our future leaders.
"What a fantastic week engaging with leaders of the future - it was a delight to see the absolute explosion of energy and ideas from these young entrepreneurs," Mrs Wood-Foye said.
- Overall Winner - Youth Link (Team 03) St Joseph's Regional College
- Runner-up - Flip to Hip (Team 04) St Joseph's Regional College
- 3rd Verge (Team 06) St Columba Anglican College
- 4th Conduit (Team 11) St Columba Anglican College
- 5th BOING (Team 01) Heritage Christian School
- 6th The Youth Lounge (Team 07) Mackillop College
- Best Business Case Youth Link (Team 03) St Joseph's Regional College
- Best Pitch Deck Presentation Demos Living (Team 09) Great Lakes College
- Best Pressure Cooker Submission - INC2 (Team 08) Mackillop College
- Best Short Challenges BOING (Team 01) Heritage Christian School
- Best Marketing Strategy Verge (Team 06) St Columba Anglican College
- Best Demonstration Hall The Youth Lounge (Team 07) Mackillop College AND Conduit (Team 11) St Columba Anglican College
- Student Choice: Best Idea Demos Living (Team 09) Great Lakes College
- Student Choice: Best Team Conduit (Team 11) St Columba Anglican College
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