MTIA winners rub shoulders with innovators – Bundaberg Now

MTIA winners
Dr Mark Adams of the QUT Translational Research Institute Australia with the MTIA winners.

Students from the winning team of the 2022 Telstra Mayor’s Innovation Awards were recently treated to a trip to Brisbane and the Gold Coast to meet some of the state’s innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs.

MTIA’s goal is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship by helping students in the Bundaberg region unlock their problem-solving potential and take their big tech ideas to the next level.

Earlier this year, Erin Bowie, Kelaney Dobesch and Bella Maher of Bundaberg Christian College were crowned winners of the 2022 MTIA event for their idea Spill.

Spill is a feel-good app designed for people to talk freely about their feelings and frustrations in the form of posts that other users can see.

As part of their prize, the group recently had the opportunity to pitch the winning idea to QUT, Telstra and the Queensland Government’s health and wellbeing sector.

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Amanda Kelk, coordinator of Bundaberg Christian College GATEway, said…..

“The trip was so much fun, a unique opportunity for our students to connect with people who could advise them on ways to develop their innovative idea, Spill,” she said.

“Their mental wellness app is an idea they continue to develop, and one day the team aims to introduce it to the world in hopes that it can positively impact others.”

MTIA winners take advice from the experts

As part of the trip, members of Health and Wellbeing Queensland provided the students with an overview of the various programs they are currently developing and will be implementing over the coming months.


They provided students with useful information on marketing and communication strategies, the importance of research and working with partners.

The students also met the team from QUT Entrepreneurship and QUT Translational Research Institute Australia.

Dr. Mark Adams spoke about his work in discovering new potential therapeutic targets and diagnostics for a range of diseases/cancers.

MTIA winners
Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards winners discuss their Spill app idea with Queensland Health and Wellbeing.

At the Telstra 5G Innovation Center on the Gold Coast, students learned about next-generation mobile technologies in Australia.

Amanda said the students will remember these experiences for a long time.

“They got to see Telstra’s latest technological advancements firsthand, which was mind-blowing, they heard inspiring stories of QUT Entrepreneurial students making a huge impact on society at a young age, and they gained a better understanding of the amazing team at Qld Health and Wellbeing to learn about the amazing programs they offer and the ways in which applying the teams can best support positive health outcomes,” she said.

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“The team found the whole experience incredibly rewarding, especially the opportunity to talk about issues that are important to them, such as adolescent mental wellbeing.

“The team cares about people struggling with poor mental health and want to empower other young people to actively improve their mental health so they can live their best life.

“Every visit and person they met opened their eyes to a world of possibilities.”

Read more about the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards here.


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