Twelve of Australia’s brightest young inventors have been selected as finalists from over 1,000 entries in Origin’s littleBIGidea competition, and are now in the running to win a trip to NASA in the USA.  

This year’s top 12 innovative ideas include a helmet that must be worn to unlock bike wheels; biodegradable toothbrush heads; a skill-share system for community groups; and lifesaving swimming goggles that send an alert if they’ve been under water for too long.

littleBIGidea judge and 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year, Macinley Butson said, “The creativity, thoughtfulness and practicality of the ideas submitted this year has been phenomenal.

“So many entries demonstrated extraordinary thinking, empathy for the community and care for our environment. Ideas focussed on healthcare, improving the lives of people with illness or disability, and technology advancements. I’m excited to see these budding young inventors continue to evolve their ideas and problem solving skills in the future.”

The finalists will each receive $1,000 towards education within their chosen field and a one-on-one mentoring session designed by Engineers Without Borders Australia to help evolve their ideas. Three national winners will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the USA.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “Congratulations to all the students who entered this year and to their parents, carers and teachers who supported and encouraged their creativity.

“We are proud of the role that littleBIGidea continues to play in fostering creative thinking and curiosity in young Australians.”

Three national winners (one from each category: grade 3-4, grade 5-6, grade 7-8) will be announced in mid-November. For further information, visit

Origin’s 2019 littleBIGidea top 12 finalists:

Grades 3-4

  • Whiteboard Glasses: glasses with frames that can be drawn on and personalised using markers – Zari Boyd (10) South Coogee Public School, NSW.
  • No-Pain Band Aid: pain-free removal using thermosensitive adhesive – Chloe Hands (8) Rainworth State School, QLD.  
  • Turtle Mate: a multi-purpose turtle that acts as a control panel in hospital rooms while comforting sick children – Peta Eldridge (9) St. Francis of Assisi, ACT.
  • Hero Helmet: controls a lock on bike wheels which unlocks when the helmet is on – Samuel Meyers (9) Clover Hill State School, QLD.

Grades 5-6

  • Snap & Save Toothbrush: bamboo toothbrush with replaceable, biodegradable head – Alastair Vogt (12) Kapunda Primary School, SA.
  • Eco Garbage Truck: a garbage truck that collects, recycles and gives back waste in a useable material on-the-go – Lucas Huggins (12) St Cecilia’s Primary School, VIC.
  • Rein Angel: horse reins that snap apart when pulled too tight to prevent riders from losing fingers – Colt Croser (11) Cobargo Public School, NSW.
  • Share & Swap: a skill-share app that profiles different skills within a community for exchange amongst members – Ruby Leibowitz (10) St Michael’s Grammar School, VIC.

Grades 7-8

  • Safety Smart Goggles: swimming goggles with Bluetooth technology that sends an alert if children have been under water for too long – Jorja Suga (12) Clancy Catholic College, NSW.
  • Boosting Cushion: a cushion that helps the elderly and people with injuries increase mobility – Peter Falieros (14) St. Laurence’s College, QLD.
  • Subtitle Glasses: technology-enabled glasses that display movie subtitles for hearing impaired people – Henry Rogers (14) Scotch College, VIC.
  • SafeWaze: a sensor designed to prevent driveway accidents and create safer footpaths Yahli Dvorski (12) Sandringham College, VIC.


Sophie Kostov
Mobile: +61 410 426 729