Innovation News

Sustainable Futures In Education


Australia’s first sustainable vocational education and training campus has just opened at Robina on the Gold Coast. Contemporary environmental design and construction practices were utilised throughout the building, including 250 solar panels, sensor activated lighting, a rainwater-fed automated irrigation system, as well as recycled materials and ecological finishes.

Speaking at the launch of their fourth Gold Coast campus TAFE Queensland’s Karen Dickenson said the facility was designed from the ground up to be sustainable, including the suppliers and contractors who worked on the project.

“We’ve embedded sustainability into the building, in the construction, in the fit-out and into everything you see around you… even the course curriculum - they all have a story of sustainability. This will be a very memorable and rewarding journey for all the students who choose to study here,” the TAFE Gold Coast General Manager said. 

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Big City Lights


The Gold Coast’s central business district is about to receive a technological facelift courtesy of a new festival of light, design, installation and performance. Big City Lights* is the latest creation by Placemakers, the same people responsible for Bleach* Festival. 

Essentially the buildings in the Southport CBD will become a giant digital canvas with large scale projections, laneway activations and amazing installations reinterpret the city landscape. Artistic Director Rosie Dennis says that when she moved back to the Gold Coast she began to think about how the city had changed and wanted to create a festival to reflect that.

“When I came back three years ago you see the city with fresh eyes. The city sees itself in an entrepreneurial and when you consider the creative potential. I was thinking I wanted to create something that had a direct relationship with place and how the Gold Coast is developing and changing. Big City Lights* lets us do all of those kinds of things by having a conversation with architecture and design in a playful way.”

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Griffith Student Wins Global Design Innovation Award


Griffith University’s Majed Abuseif has won the People's Choice Award for his Smart Planter Box at the Design Innovation Competition in the United Kingdom.

The design competition is open to both concept projects, as well as realised projects by young design and tech professionals worldwide with the aim of facilitating innovation by challenging the traditional set up of an industry or business through a new method, creative solution or strategy.

The PhD student has been developing his superior green technology concept over the past 2 years and thanked his supervisors Professor Karine Dupre and green infrastructure specialist Ruby Michael, both of Griffith University, for their support of the project.

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Gold Coast Teacher Wins Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching


Mudgeeraba Creek State School’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) specialist and primary teacher, Megan Hayes has received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools, in the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. Mrs Hayes is recognised for her outstanding work in championing the importance of STEM education for primary children, both in her community and at a national level.

As an innovative educator with more than 30 years’ teaching experience, Megan Hayes philosophy is to build the connection between science and its application in the real world for her students. She inspires students to think critically, take risks and become ‘agents of change’ for the future.

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Leading Entrepreneur Transforms Bond Students


Bond University has recruited one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs to help its students forge their own path to business success.

Stuart Giles, who alongside wife Cathie Reid co-founded Icon Cancer Group, Epic Pharmacy Group and the Epic Good Foundation, has been named as the inaugural Founder in Residence for Bond University’s Transformer entrepreneurship program.

Mr Giles said he was thrilled at the opportunity to contribute to Transformer, a fee-free extracurricular option for all Bond University undergraduate and postgraduate students.

“I’m really excited by the idea of being able to go back to where it all starts and not just give a little back, but maybe play a role in helping younger entrepreneurs at the start of their journey by sharing what I’ve learnt along the way,” he said.

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Chinese Students Embrace Marine Conservation Program


With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting international border closures the Gold Coast education sector has instigated numerous digital initiatives to maintain our relationships with our overseas partners through the implementation of virtual exchange programs with considerable success.

Recently, China’s Beijing No 25 Middle School approached Study Gold Coast to see if it was possible to implement a marine conservation program for their students with a particular focus on coral bleaching, loss of biodiversity and the reduction of the human ecological footprint within marine habitats.

Designed to coincide with the UN’s World Ocean Day (June 8), the school was actively seeking insights as to how other countries dealt with their environmental issues in a bid to better understand how our marine resources can be managed more carefully.

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Virtual Exchange Creates New Study Experience


This week St Stephen’s College transitioned a study tour with Showa High School in Japan into an online experience as the result of Australia’s current international border closure. Traditionally the Japanese students would visit the Gold Coast for a week to gain what Sam Holmes, the school’s Executive Director of International Education, calls ‘a taste of St Stephen’s’.

The partnership between the two schools began four years ago and has expanded over that time to now include similar relationships between Showa and several other South East Queensland schools. All up 100 students were due to visit Queensland this year through the arrangement, with double that number scheduled by 2023.

As the number of students participating in the study tours has grown exponentially, so too have the long-term enrolments from Japanese students - and then COVID-19 changed everything. Working with Australian International Student Tours CEO Tanya Ferguson, the team at St Stephen’s College devised an online version of the program by condensing the experience into two days.

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Online International Exchange Fosters Closer Relationships For Students


In August 2020 a group of Japanese students from Hashimoto High School in the Kanagawa Prefecture were due to visit Australia for an international study exchange with Trinity Lutheran College through Study Gold Coast. As the year unfolded and it became increasingly clear that international travel wouldn’t be possible the program was totally rebuilt as a virtual experience.

By October the first virtual class was underway with an introduction to the program and an English language lesson for the Japanese students. Later sessions included virtual experiences with the Gold Coast Student Hub and the Home of the Arts (HOTA), as well as a tour through a homestay family’s home and a visit to the Gold Coast City Council Chambers with a presentation from the Mayor’s Office. 

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World First Climate Law Degree


Bond University is launching the world’s first climate law degree for undergraduate students who want to fix the system from the inside.

The university’s Faculty of Law took its cue to develop the new Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Climate Law from the hundreds of thousands of students who protested to demand action on climate change during 2018 and 2019.

Executive Dean of the Faculty, Professor Nick James, said COVID-19 had temporarily taken the focus off climate change but “there are still many young people out there who are passionate about doing something to help heal the planet.”

“My sense is that concern among high school students and young people hasn't gone away and that they are energised and keen to learn more about the issue and how to do something about it,” Professor James said.

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