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What if you could find a way to help disadvantaged young people find employment, build people’s confidence and help them engage with the wider community?
Two UWA students have done just that. After winning the finals of The Big Idea UWA competition from more than 100 participants, they will now go on to compete in the national finals. The Big Idea, coordinated by The Big Issue, is a competition between students across 11 Australian universities where students are invited to develop a concept for a social enterprise.
As part of the unit Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise, the UWA students who will head to the national finals developed a social enterprise concept to assist young people aged between 18 and 25.
Working with the local competitions, the Community Umpiring Agency would train young people in AFL 9’s umpiring. Each person would be invited to umpire three 40-minute games teaching them new skills and giving them a taste of structured employment.
The winning team Lachlan Hunt, and Andrew Mavety also receive professional development through The Big Issue and support through Bloom for three months to develop their idea.
Andrew Mavety, a member of the winning team, said taking part in The Big Idea was a valuable learning experience.
“I developed a better understanding of the complexity and significant impact of social enterprise,” Mr Mayety said.
“Creating the umpiring concept was an opportunity to combine our passion for sport with social enterprise to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged youth and give back to the community.”
Judging the entries from UWA student teams was a panel comprising Andrew Joske (WA Operations Manager, The Big Issue), Michelle Scott (Director, McCusker Centre for Citizenship UWA), Paul Flatau (Director, Centre for Social Impact UWA), Shannon Ziegelaar (COO, Bloom), and Jacquie Thomson (General Manager, Grants & Community Development, Lotterywest).
The Audience Choice Prize was awarded to Your Heritage Too, a project focusing on a mobile exhibition event designed and operated by Indigenous Australians to provide education services such as cultural history, traditional cuisine, music, sports and games to promote Indigenous culture and help close the between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians.
UPDATE: UWA students Lachlan Hunt and James Walker competed in the national final in Melbourne on 29 November, and were the only non-Victorian team to be finalists in the undergraduate competition.