City of Newcastle Activates Local Innovation talent

The inaugural Sustainnovation Challenge was activated 2021-23 and saw more than 100 students, 50 local industry, business, government and community leaders from across the lower Hunter region participate in its delivery. 

The Challenges



The Challenge

How will focusing on accessibility and inclusion in our community benefit everyone?

An idea to be activated

Student from Merewether High School and Bishop Tyrell Anglican College proposed a inclusions focused school-based education program being built into the K-12 learning sequences.

This innovative program would aim to foster a new attitude towards those living with both visible and invisible disabilities, teach language to allow inclusive dialogue and provide opportunities for the normalisation of disabilities.

In this video students pitch their ideas for support when bringing their idea to life after taking time to work their idea in the Sustainnovation Challenge Accelerator program.



The Challenge

How do we remove the barriers for businesses to recycle or use recycled products?

Students idea: 'Pub To Produce'

Inspired after chatting with Michael Starkey, local hotelier and President of the Newcastle & Hunter branch of the Australian Hotels Association NSW, the students were impassioned to solve the local hospitality industry’s pain points when it came to managing food waste.

Working with City of Newcastle circular economy team, hospitality industry and the University of Newcastle, students from the Hunter School Performing Arts will be developing a strategy to test, then hopefully activate, their idea

Hunter School of Performing Arts students brought their creative flair to the table when positioning their ideas to help business to reduce food waste costs and help the environment.



The Challenge

How do we get our cities and communities ready for the future of work?

Creating a place where people want to live

When you can work from anywhere, our cities and communities will only thrive if we are creating places where people want to.

Setting their vision for Newcastle and the lower Hunter region, student audited the region, today,  against their liveability wish list.

Kurri Kurri High School students landed on community relationships were important, leading them to pitch a digital community building idea called ‘Partnership Points’.

Kurri Kurri High School’s team pitched their proposal for a sustainable app system called ‘Partnership Points’.

The Student ExperiEnce

The Sustainnovation Challenge team wishes to thank those organisations and businesses who have supported the City of Newcastle Sustainnovation Challenge concept and continue to be involved in the program’s delivery.

The Sustainnovation Challenge team also wishes to thank those secondary schools in the Newcastle Local Government area who have committed to having their students participate in the challenges.

Reach out or connect

Don’t hesitate to contact the team if you have any questions.