Monday, May 18, 2015

Share your big idea with us

Here at CQUniversity we pride ourselves on being innovative. Innovation is at the heart of our research, engagement, teaching and business practices. Striving for innovation is a driving force behind everything we do and a core value that can rouse a strong institution like ours to move from strength to greatness. Like so many things, innovation starts as an idea.

Ideas have the potential to inspire, motivate and transform us. Almost everything we have, everything we are, we owe to an idea (often simple) that started small and flourished into something big. So when does an idea become innovation? What makes an idea big?
In 2014, a team of CQUniversity students took an idea and transformed it into something much bigger. Engineering students Mattison Rose, Jessica Kahl and Angus Hughes harnessed the concept of a simple Pallet House and created a social enterprise called The Shelter Project. The newly formed social enterprise will employ disadvantaged Australians to assist in the construction process of disaster relief shelters, providing training, self-esteem, confidence and skills to assist in transitioning to further employment.

A big idea was born. In fact, the idea was so big that the team won first place in The Big Issue’s ‘The Big Idea’ competition, securing business development opportunities and making us all very proud.

Now we’re calling on the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. CQUniversity students with an idea or an interest in joining the competition are invited to register at All students are encouraged to register for this unique opportunity and develop their idea with the help of mentors as part of the competition.

I’m so pleased to be supporting this competition again in 2015 and I can’t wait to see the ideas and projects that are generated by our students. Last year was the first time a team from CQUni entered the competition and our students beat out entries from some of the largest and most prestigious metropolitan universities in the country. What’s more, the judges were astounded by how one simple idea that started in a backyard in regional Queensland could literally change the lives of many and bring hope to communities who have been devastated by disasters. The Shelter Project is the embodiment of our giving back philosophy at CQUniversity and is another reason why CQUniversity is emerging as a great Australian university.

Do you have the next big idea? Do you know someone who might make a great candidate? If so, encourage them to sign up. For more information, visit  

For some added inspiration have a look at this video about Jessica, Mattison and Angus’ journey last year. 

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