Fire up bright sparks, Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are back!
  • Tuesday 29 November 2016

An app to help school students monitor and manage stress took the top prize in this year’s Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards. What will it take to win next year?

The challenge is now out to every Sunshine Coast student in Grades 10 to 12, with the second annual competition ready to roll from the start of the school year through to March 27, 2017. 

Mayor Mark Jamieson said teams from all schools across the Sunshine Coast Council Local Government area were eligible to participate and thanks to Telstra, there’s $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs.

“So the message today to all students across the Sunshine Coast who are going into Grade 10 and above next year is get your thinking caps on over the school holiday break, sort out your teams and come back in 2017 ready to bring your great ideas to life,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Council is very proud to once again partner with Telstra to deliver this fantastic competition that aims to foster and grow entrepreneurship and innovative thinking by challenging our young people to come up with big ideas utilising technology.

“This is so important because many of the jobs and careers of the future haven’t even been created yet and they’ll be shaped by our bright young minds.

“We need to encourage students to express their talent in opportunities like the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards to give them real-life experiences in building new apps, or services or products.

“I was so impressed by the inventions that students put forward in this year’s competition and we clearly have many fantastically creative young minds on the Sunshine Coast who are focused on helping to develop a smart and healthy future. I’m really excited to see what students can come up with in 2017.”

Courtesy of Telstra, this year’s winning team from Unity College took home three Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 64GB phones for their efforts, while their school was awarded two Asus 15” laptop computers, two Samsung VR headsets and a 60” Smart TV.

Year 11 student and member of the winning team Ellen Massey said that participating in the competition was an extremely rewarding experience.

"While it was obviously awesome to win and take home those terrific prizes, I had such a terrific time making our idea for the EJ2 Estress mobile app come to life over the 12 weeks of the competition,” Ellen said.

“The mentoring sessions we had at Spark Bureau with experts who have start-up business experience were amazing and I learnt so much.

“It’s definitely a changing world and this competition is a great example of how we’re going to implement different ideas in the future.

“It’s not just about the winning, you can get some great contacts and network with different companies by taking part in these awards, and it’s just a great experience.”

Telstra Area General Manager May Boisen said she hoped Ellen’s experience would encourage more girls to embrace technology and enter, with Telstra developing something special in store for the standout girls who take part in 2017.

“The best two girls who take part in the competition, as judged by their commitment and determination in the mentoring sessions, will win a Telstra technology experience where they will fly to Sydney, tour the Telstra experience centre,  as well as enjoy mentoring with a senior Telstra female leader and have the opportunity to learn how media content is brought to life,” Ms Boisen said.

“The Sunshine Coast is a great region that’s fostering its talent and really looking to show young people new ways of thinking and these awards are just one way we can encourage students and schools from across the region to embrace technology,” Ms Boisen said.

“Ellen and her team are proof of the great things young people are capable of and also of the benefit they get from mentoring and using new technology.

“Telstra is proud to again work with the Mayor to the technology awards to bring the awards to life for another year.”

For more information about the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards, including a video on last year’s event and awards presentation, visit: You can also enter for 2017 via that link.