The search for Australia’s brightest young inventors is officially underway, with Origin’s Little Big Idea competition offering innovative kids from grades three to eight the chance to win a prize valued at $10,000.

Returning judges Dr Jordan Nguyen and Macinley Butson will join forces with Simon Doble, inventor and founder of Australian not-for-profit, SolarBuddy, and Origin’s General Manager of Future Energy & Technology, Joanna Nelson, to uncover this year’s top ideas and provide mentoring for the shortlisted finalists across the three grade categories.

A young inventor herself, Butson reflected on the creativity of kids, saying, “I’m constantly blown away by how young people take complex, real-world problems and solve them in innovative, fun ways that an adult never could. I have no doubt this year’s competition will deliver another round of imaginative and thoughtful ideas, big and little!”

As a competition newcomer, Doble is excited to see just how big these little inventors can dream. “I’m always interested in the impact of ideas, particularly those that focus on assisting the community, improving people’s health and wellbeing, and creating a more sustainable future. I’m excited to see how up-and-coming inventors will shape the future of Australia,” Doble added.

Since launching in 2014, Origin’s Little Big Idea competition has received more than 10,000 entries, recognised more than 80 finalists and awarded 21 national winners, providing more than a quarter of a million dollars in prizes. Amongst the three national winners in 2020 were Grace Howard who invented the Kick-Me Pedestrian Crossing to protect pedestrians from COVID-19 germs, and Indiana Maguire who created Read Function to help those with impaired hearing in noisy classrooms.

Origin’s Head of Retail Jon Briskin said, “We are incredibly proud of the Little Big Idea competition and the role it plays in encouraging the change-makers of tomorrow to think big and problem solve in new and exciting ways.”

Three national winners – one from each of the three grade categories – will receive $10,000 each, and the nine runners-up will each receive $1,000. All top 12 finalists will receive one-on-one mentoring from one of the Little Big Idea judges.

To enter the competition and for more information, visit Students need to describe their idea in 200 words or less and submit their entry in one of three grade categories, including 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8. They can also include an illustration or short video to support their submission. The competition is open until Friday 10 September 2021.


Taegan McNamara
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