The Sustainnovation Challenge team is excited to announce the launch of two impactful classroom Sustainnovation Challenges for secondary educators in early 2024. Originally intended for the South West Sydney Sustainnovation Challenge series in 2023, the challenges—Digital Exclusion and Water Sustainability—were unfortunately cancelled at the last minute due to COVID-related spikes and teacher availability.

Despite the setback the team, in collaboration with the NSW Government’s Water and Smart Places teams, who were involved in the original planning of the challenges, is reviving these challenges. The two challenges will be curated and resourced for teachers to deliver over four to five lessons. Aligned with several mandatory syllabuses in secondary education, there will be scope in the resources and experience to complement teachers’ current classroom programming rather than being an extra-curricular experience. 

As with our two-day challenges, we have a commitment from government agencies and other stakeholders to evaluate and potentially implement outstanding student proposals that are being put forward by the students.

Please review the two challenge outlines here. If you are interested in being on our list of schools to be supported in the rollout of a challenge in your school, simply register your details with us.

Note that these challenges and resources will be free and can be used by any school.


Water sustainability

“Sydney water supply system is at a tipping point”

Like many places around the world, our water resources are coming under increasing pressure from a combination of population growth, changing industry and community needs and a more variable and changing climate. We need to prepare now for a future where water sources and services may come under even greater stress.

Greater Sydney is confronting a significant obstacle, as the projected demand for water is set to surpass the sustainable long-term supply. In simpler terms, if no action is taken, Greater Sydney communities will likely experience a shortage of water, which will impact the well-being of the people, communities, economy, and environment before the decade is out.

Water scarcity can severely affect our communities, impacting various aspects such as health, economy, social cohesion, environment, and infrastructure.

To address this challenge the NSW Government is taking steps such as investing in water infrastructure, improving water efficiency, and exploring the use of alternative water sources. These measures will increase water capacity and alleviate some of the sustainability challenges. We need to make decisions now about how, where and when to direct water-related investment and infrastructure.

Furthermore, the NSW government sees that encouraging people, communities, and businesses to modify their water usage behaviour through innovative methods is crucial in addressing the upcoming water challenges our communities across NSW face.

The Water Sustainability Sustainnovation Challenge will see students explore the water challenge then dive into the world of behavioruals scien, innovation and communication to develop their own ideas and campaigns to shift people’s, communities’, and businesses’ attitudes towards water usage. 



“Digital exclusion is a significant challenge faced by many communities across australia"

Digital exclusion is a significant challenge facing communities across Australia and if not addressed, will further exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities we are seeing across our society. As such, there is a need to engage young people in developing innovative solutions to this challenge.

Through this Sustainnovation Challenge, students will have the opportunity to work closely with experts, review the latest research and information, and develop and share their own ideas to address the digital divide and digital exclusion challenges being seen in South-West and Western Sydney.

By participating in this challenge, students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to the development of digital inclusion initiatives, including expanding access to digital resources, providing digital skills training, and increasing awareness and advocacy about the importance of digital inclusion. Furthermore, their insights and ideas will benefit not only the South West and Western Sydney region, but also communities across NSW and Australia as a whole.

Through the ‘Breaking the Digital Divide’ Sustainnovation Challenge, young people will be playing a key role in shaping the future of digital inclusion and promoting a more equitable and inclusive society.

Connect, reach out for a meeting or register your interest in Classroom Challenges for 2024

Don’t hesitate to contact the team if you have any questions. We’re here to help you.