Year 9’s Developing ‘Crazy Good’ Ideas at Gippsland Social Innovators.

Across February 15th and 16th of February, 60 Year 9 students from Sale College, Maffra Secondary College and Catholic College Sale came together for a two-day Social Innovators program facilitated by Crazy Ideas College (CIC) and enabled by Esso Australia.

On Day 1, students selected a passion topic related to various environmental and societal issues and formed teams with like-minded peers around these. Together, they brainstormed and developed crazy good ideas, and finished the day building a prototype of their favorite big idea which was carried forward. With a sense of pride about the progress made and some weary heads, there was a real buzz of excitement and anticipation of what tomorrow would bring.

Day 2 progressed swiftly as teams focused on creating achievable experiments to test their big ideas. Excitement filled the air as teams prepared to pitch their issue, big idea, and experiment to a panel of 12 community partners. The energy and dedication of the students were evident as they eagerly presented their projects, showcasing their passion and commitment to making a difference. As the partners shared what they loved about each idea and who in the community may be able to assist them in bringing it to life.

The community partners included; Arpit Zaini and Amanda Santa Maria from Esso Australia, Bell Northway from Headspace, Ash Goodsell from Days Like These Creative, Meg Capurso and Helen Waddington from Wellington Shire Council, Georgina Glanville from Gippsland Art Gallery, Joy Churchill and Julian McIvor from Sale Business & Tourism Association, Randolph Yarram from Ramahyuck, Rachel Ronaldson from Gipps Sport, and Kelly Morris from Central Gippsland Health.

The students’ ideas ranged from a ‘Good Times – Bad Times Get Better’ gratefulness app to help young people when they are feeling down, to a combined Debutante for the elderly and youth. The students received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the partners, with many teams being offered support and guidance in taking their Smart Start Experiment to the next stage of development.

CIC believes in providing opportunities for young people to explore their agency, creativity and thinking in safe, collaborative spaces. The Gippsland Social Innovators Program certainly showed young people at their best; leaning into new possibilities, working with others to showcase their own and their peers’ strengths and to think critically about big issues that matter. The educators, community partners and CIC could not be prouder.

“I was surprised that we worked with people from real businesses who have money who can help us bring our idea to life. I thought today would feel like a chore, but now that I’ve completed the program, I already want to do it again!”

  • Aidan, Catholic College, Sale

“I really loved being involved with the Crezy Ideas College. It was amazing to see all of the crazy ideas and I’m amazed by the range of topics that were covered.”

  • Arprit Zaini, Esso Australia